Rebels and Revolutionaries

Subject HIST20065 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available


Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Assoc Prof Sean Scalmer

Subject Overview: From the Chartists, the Fenians, the Bolsheviks, the Suffragettes, and Gandhians, to Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and other advocates of guerrilla warfare in Latin America, the New Left in North America, and the Zapatistas of Mexico, the modern era has seen rebellions and revolutionary struggles of many kinds. This subject examines the history of these actions. It is structured around the career of significant rebels. Attention is directed to three major issues: the historical context that incites rebellion; the political techniques rebels adopt and perfect; and the influence of rebels on later struggles. Because the course is organised chronologically, students engage not only with individual struggles, but also learn about the changing forms of political action over time.


On completion of the subject, students should

  • have a detailed knowledge of the history of modern political rebellion
  • have an understanding of the context that incites rebellion, of the changing techniques developed by rebels, and of the influence of earlier struggles on later movements
  • understand the views and actions of those who lived in earlier times
  • develop an aptitude in building historical explanations
  • develop the ability to use historical knowledge to illuminate the conflicts and possibilities of the present


Research Essay (2,500 words, due mid semester) (55%). Reflective Essay (1,500 words, due at end of semester) (35%). Tutorial Participation and Presentation (10%).

Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five days, no late assessment will be accepted. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • research through competent use of the library and other information sources, and the definition of areas of inquiry and methods of research
  • critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument
  • thinking in theoretical terms through lectures, tutorial discussion, essay writing and engagement in the methodologies of the humanities and social sciences
  • understanding of social, ethical and cultural context through the contextualisation of judgements
  • developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and possibilities and by constructing an argument
  • communicating knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion
  • written communication through essay preparation and writing
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: History
History Major
Related Breadth Track(s): Democracy and Empire

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