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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.
Intended learning outcomes
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 and be able to synthesise a body of historical literature.
Last updated: 31 January 2024