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What does it mean to live in a nation that has been built on immigration? What histories, policies and attitudes underpin this experience? And what key issues, challenges and opportunities face Australia and other nations as a result? This subject encourages students to engage critically with the history of Australia as a migrant nation, both through a historical lens but including also a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Topics covered include migration and refugee histories, the politics of immigration, the development of multicultural policies, critical debates about multiculturalism, racial politics, refugee issues, case studies of migrant communities and ethnic/national identities. Taught by specialists in the field, the subject draws on the work of historians, social and cultural theorists, policy makers, activists, writers and artists, and invites students to produce writing and research that explores contested issues. This subject will appeal to those with an interest in immigration, multiculturalism, refugee studies, ethnic and national identity, and those who seek to understand how history continues to shape contemporary society.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who complete this subject should be able to:
- demonstrate a detailed knowledge of Australian immigration history, including key periods, policies and contexts;
- locate, identify and analyse key documents, debates and voices in Australian immigration history, including those sometimes 'hidden from history';
- understand how history and historical understanding of migration informs contemporary debates and policy contexts;
- demonstrate an understanding of various conceptual and interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the history of immigration;
- reflect critically on the concept of multiculturalism in an Australian context and in comparison to other nations;
- produce written research on aspects of Australia's migrant past, including the histories of specific groups and individuals;
- reflect upon how our understanding of migration has changed over time and in different places and contexts;
- Identify the significance of the past in the present and in particular the legacy of the White Australia Policy in national and international debates; and
- analyse key texts and articles and produce a précis of the key arguments, ideas and information they contain.
Last updated: 16 May 2020