• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject History
  • Academic career Postgraduate
  • Course convener
    • Dr Samuel Furphy
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

Biography is many things. It is the study of significant and ordinary individuals; it is the study of families and groups; it can shed light on specific historical periods and problems; it can provide a way of accessing individual and collective experience; it can illuminate the whole process of social and historical change. This course challenges students to think critically and creatively about the writing of biography in all its forms. What is the relationship between biography and history, biography and theory, biography and fiction? How do biographical studies incorporate theory? Should historians use different approaches to biography depending on the culture and/or gender of their subjects? How important is the relationship between biographers and their subjects? What special problems face the biographer of living subjects, or subjects in living memory? Through exploring questions such as these, students will develop a critical understanding of the complex issues surrounding the writing of biography.

Learning Outcomes

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Describe and assess various approaches to researching and writing biography

2. Understand the relationship between biography, history and fiction

3. Evaluate new forms of biography and life writing such as those developed through feminist, postcolonial and Indigenous theories and approaches

4. Understand the uses of biography and life story in the humanities and social sciences

5. Demonstrate skills in researching and writing short critical biographical studies

Indicative Assessment

Participation in online forums, 1000 words (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3]

Critical review, 2000 words (30%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 5]

Biographical essay, 3000 words (60%) [Learning Outcomes 2, 3, 4, 5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Workload

Students are expected to spend approximately 130 hours on this course, working through the reading program, contributing to online discussions and completing the assessment tasks.

Prescribed Texts

None. Readings will be provided at the beginning of the course.

Specialisations

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Band 1
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $3216
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4590
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
9597 24 Jul 2017 31 Jul 2017 31 Aug 2017 27 Oct 2017 Online

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