This course examines the role of history and historical research in the public sphere. It is concerned with the way audiences remember, imagine and in other ways engage with the past, whether it be as tourists at a theme park, visitors to a museum or war memorial, or as media consumers, broadly defined. The history student of today might soon be contributing to documentary making, to museum curatorship, to oral history, or to the burgeoning industry around heritage management. The course is relevant to students considering such vocations, or to anyone interested in how narratives about the past are communicated publicly. The course will involve analysis of films, broadcasts and critical literature, and include site visits to major cultural institutions in Canberra. Students will have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate practical skills in interviewing or other forms of historical communication such as audio-visual presentation or curatorial design.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. understand and explain how public spaces, institutions and media (broadly defined) function as sites for the dissemination of historical narratives.
2. analyse how historical narratives are used in the public realm.
3. demonstrate in their writing an ability to interpret or read non-written historical evidence that might include audio and visual sources and objects in collections.
4. understand how digitisation affects the craft of the historian.
5. demonstrate research skills that can be used in developing historical narratives in media other than conventional writing.
Indicative AssessmentA research project, of 15 minutes duration, that uses non-print media to communicate a historical narrative, 40 % or a written treatment/design for a documentary, exhibition, memorial or other historical narrative in non-print media (1200-1500 words) (LOs 1-5)
A research essay of 3000 words, 50% (LOs 1-5)
Class participation/presentations, 10% (LOs 1, 2 and 4)
Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 30 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 18 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials; and b) 100 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsKen Burns (director), The Civil War (1990) (TV documentary); Brett Morgen (director), Chicago 10: Speak Your Peace (2007) (documentary film); Martin Thomas (writer/producer), This is Jimmie Barker (2000) (radio documentary).
Assumed KnowledgeAn interest in, or formal study within, the following fields would be useful background for this course: digital humanities; media studies or history; architecture and design; practical experience in filmmaking, sound recording and radio; heritage studies; art theory; memory studies; and theories of performance.
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:
- Unit value:
- 6 units