Metropolis: City and Society in History

Subject HIST30067 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

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

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture per week for 12 weeks and eleven 1-hour tutorials scheduled across the semester
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 8.5 hours per week including class time: total time commitment 102 hours





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:


A/P Andrew May

Subject Overview:

This eclectic subject examines the social history of everyday life in cities and towns, looking to the past for an understanding of the present condition and future prospects of cities across the world. It will have broad relevance to all students with a general interest in the study of cities as human environments. With examples drawn from Australia as well as from cities across the globe—from London and Paris to Cairo and Calcutta—we will explore the ways in societies have managed the social, organisational and ecological challenges of high density living. Subjects covered will include inequality and social exclusion, leisure and pleasure, medicine and public health, crime and deviance, shopping and food supply, the city and the senses, children and youth culture, built heritage and memory places, nature and urban sustainability, suburbanisation, cities and disasters, gender and public space. Readings will be interdisciplinary, drawn from urban studies more broadly, as well as primary sources including photographs, film, artworks, newspapers, architecture, advertising, maps, novels and archaeological sites.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • have developed a general outline of the history of urbanisation and of the ways in which the city functions as a social unit
  • be familiar with the histories of a number of key world cities
  • have learned some of the major concepts in the broad field of urban history
  • understand the interaction of ethnicity, race, class and gender in shaping urban lives through history
  • appreciate the wide array of historical sources and processes that explain the social life of the city
  • be able to identify key points of comparison in explaining the historical development and present challenges of Australian and other global cities

A book review 500 words 15% (due date selected in week 2), a city report 1000 words 30% (due mid semester) and a written research task 2500 words 55% (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 late assessment will not 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:

Subject readings will be available online

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:

Students who successfully complete this subject should be able to:

  • think critically and analyse material and determine the strength of an argument through completing recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion;
  • demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources;
  • demonstrate an understanding of social, ethical and cultural contexts through the contextualisation of judgments, and also being open to new ideas and possibilities and expressing responses to them by constructing an argument;
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion;
  • attention to detail, time management and planning through organising their workload and completing assessment tasks.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: History
History Major

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