Researching Australia: Issues, Agendas

Subject AUST30001 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

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

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture per week and a 1-hour tutorial for 11 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

Total Time Commitment: 8.5 hours per week: 102 hours over the semester.


This subject is only available to students completing the final year of a major in Australian Studies, or those in the Graduate Diploma in Arts (Australian Studies). Completion of 37.5 points of level 2 subjects in history and enrolment in the Bachelor of Arts or Graduate Diploma in Arts. Bachelor of Arts students should endeavour to take the capstone in their final semester of study after completion of 25 points at third year.



Recommended Background Knowledge:

Completion of Level 1 and Level 2 requirements for the major in Australian Studies

Non Allowed Subjects:


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:


Dr Sara Wills


Dr Michael Cathcart

Subject Overview:

How do you develop research expertise on Australia and so contribute to informed debate about issues facing the nation? This topic enables students to draw on their experience of the Australian Studies major to pursue research on an issue of contemporary concern to Australia. Areas for research will be identified at the start of semester, and students will develop research and writing techniques over the semester to produce a position paper on a specific issue, suitable for presentation to government, other organisations or industry. Research questions can be developed in relation to topics such as national identity, international relations, the environment, various social and political movements or issues and the media.


Students who successfully complete this subject should have:

  • an understanding of the ways in which a variety of disciplines can be drawn upon to understand Australia‚Äôs past and present
  • a comprehension of the nature of Australian Studies as an interdisciplinary methodology
  • an ability to work within a student cohort to develop an understanding of the study of Australia


500 word research proposal 15% (due mid-semester), and a 3500 word 'position paper' 85% (due during the examination period).

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 working days, no late assessment will be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Tim Soutphommasane , Reclaiming patriotism: nation building for Australian progressives (Cambridge University Press 2009)
Donald Horne, The Lucky Country (any edition)

Recommended Texts:

Prescribed and essential texts are listed above. The broader reading list will include: Steven Angelides and Barbara Baird, Histories of Sexualities. Larissa Behrendt, Achieving Social Justice: Indigenous Rights and Australia's Future. Judith Brett and Anthony Moran, Ordinary People's Politics. Susan Carruthers, The Media at War. David Carter, Dispossession, Dreams and Diversity. Inga Clendinnen, The History Question: Who Owns the Past?. Tim Flannery, Country. Patricia Grimshaw et al, Creating a Nation. Ghassan Hage, Against Paranoid Nationalism. Clive Hamilton, Affluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough. Peter A Jackson and Gerrard Sullivan, Multicultural Queer: Australian Perspectives. Phillip Knightley, The First Casualty. Mark Peel, The Lowest Rung. Richard White, Inventing Australia

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, through competent use of the library and other information sources, to define areas of inquiry and methods of research.
  • through engagement in the methodologies of the humanities and social sciences, have demonstrated the ability to think in theoretical terms:
  • have an understanding of social, ethical and cultural context, the contextualisation of judgments, a critical self-awareness, and an openness to new ideas and possibilities
  • have demonstrated, through essay writing and discussion, the ability to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically

Researching Australia: Issues, Agendas is the capstone subject for students taking the major in Australian Studies

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Australian Studies
Australian Studies

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