Major Issues in Modern American History

Subject HIST40033 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

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: A 2-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks
Total Time Commitment:

10 hours per week: total time commitment 120 hours


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.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


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 Barbara Keys


Ara Keys

Subject Overview:

Through exploring key issues and debates, the seminar will provide an advanced introduction to selected areas of modern American history and to controversies about major issues in that history. Topics covered might include the 1970s, the legacy of slavery, the New Deal, presidential scandals, or religion and American life. Students will read and critique the work of major scholars engaged in field-shaping debates and will undertake a major research project based on primary sources.


Students who complete this subject will

  • gain knowledge of key issues in modern American history;
  • develop understanding of key historical debates and how to analyze them;
  • develop research skills, including in the use of primary sources, in the field.

A research proposal, 500 words (10%) due mid-semester ; a research essay, 4500 words (80%) due end of semester, seminar participation (10%).

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 2% per working day. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Subject readings will be available online

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Students who complete this subject will

  • demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other research information resources
  • show critical thinking and analysis, and an ability to determine the strength of argument through essay writing and seminar discussion
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: History

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