The Writing of Australian History

Subject HIST90023 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, 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: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 10 hours per week: total time commitment 120 hours
Prerequisites: Usually admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth-year honours in history (or in a relevant program) or enrolment in a relevant coursework Masters program
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:


Prof Stuart Macintyre


Stuart Macintyre
Subject Overview:

This seminar will explore the ways in which Australian history has been written. It will consider the principal forms of the literature and the chief schools of interpretation, from the establishment of Australian history as an academic discipline to the present. It will engage with some of the principal publications of leading historians, from Brian Fitzpatrick and Manning Clark through to present-day historians. Their work will be read in its cultural, intellectual and political context to explore the materials they employed and the methods they used. Particular attention will be given to the critical assessment of historical argument, so that the seminar will consider examples of historical debate and students will undertake their own appraisal of historical literature. Students will extend their knowledge of the patterns of Australian historical scholarship and develop a capacity for historiographical analysis. They will apply these skills to case studies of leading Australian historians, and to their own historical scholarship.


Students who successfully complete this subject should...

  • be familiar with the development of Australian historical scholarship and the principal schools of interpretation
  • be able to undertake a critical reading of different forms of historical literature and demonstrate textual and contextual skills of historical evaluation &amp.amp.amp.amp.bull.. be able to synthesise a body of historical literature
Assessment: A book review 1000 words 20% and a short paper on one of the forms of Australian history ,1000 words 20%, (due at specified dates through the semester) and an historiographical essay 3000 words 60% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject should

  • be able to show an advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base in the specialist area.
  • be able to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature in the discipline.
  • develop an appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of original research
Related Course(s): M.A.Australian Studies (Advanced Seminars and Shorter Thesis)
Master of Arts in History (Advanced Seminars and Shorter Thesis)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Australian Studies
Australian Studies

Download PDF version.