• Class Number 4351
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Carolyn Strange
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
    • Eamonn McNamara
SELT Survey Results

The twentieth century forged a new world. Through revolution, mass destruction, economic development and technological transformation, a connected globe of deep divergences emerged. This course surveys the transformations that redefined the world from the age of empires to the era of globalisation. In a series of modules it examines the key political, economic, social, demographic and cultural dynamics that shaped the contemporary world, from war and revolution to health, work and consumption. Particular attention will be dedicated to ideological conflict, advances in communication and technology, environmental degradation and unprecedented population growth. We will also trace the experience of changes that upset and in some instances reinforced older patterns of insecurity and disadvantage. The course will use a diversity of evidence, from political manifestos to commercial advertisements, to explore attempts to reshape the world. Taking in all continents, and ranging from international systems to unique local patterns of work and leisure, this course provides a critical foundation from which to understand the ongoing legacies of the twentieth century world.  

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. understand major transitions, processes and developments in the history of the twentieth century;
  2. utilise case studies of important periods and themes to explore change and continuity in the twentieth century;
  3. critically reflect upon the range of documentary resources and historical interpretations considered in the course;
  4. demonstrate strong research, writing and analytical skills; and
  5. present, discuss and evaluate historical material in oral form.

Examination Material or equipment

Open-book examination in final exam period. Printed notes, readings and books permitted.

Required Resources

There are no prescribed texts for this course. 

Several books can provide a useful point of reference for general background. Among them are:

J.M Roberts, The Penguin History of the Twentieth Century (London: Penguin, 1999)

William R. Keylor, The Twentieth Century and Beyond: An International History Since 1900 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).

Eric Hobsbawm, Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century 1914-1991 (London: Michael Joseph, 1994)

J.A.S. Grenville, A History of the World: From the 20th to the 21st Century (London: Routledge, 2006)

Martin Gilbert, A History of the Twentieth Century (London: Harper Collins, 1997), 3 vols.

Alan Palmer, Dictionary of Twentieth Century History (London: Penguin, 1991).

Peter Watson, A Terrible Beauty: A History of the People and Ideas that Shaped the Modern Mind (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 2000). 

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • with the return of assessments.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Assessment Requirements and Evaluation

1. Keep a copy of all written work that you submit.

2. Keep a copy of submitted and marked assignments. You may need to make this material available at the end of the course.

3. Include full, consistent and coherent footnotes and bibliographies. Follow the School of History’s Guide to the Writing, Presentation and Referencing of Essays: (posted on the course website).

4. Use proper spelling and grammar. Errors and sloppiness will be taken into account in grading.

5. Declare the actual word length of your essays on your essay cover sheet.

6. Adhere to the posted word length. A 10% buffer on word limits is allowed on all written work; however, essays that exceed the prescribed word length will be penalized by a 10%.

7. Submit electronic WORD documents (not pdfs) via the Turnitin portal on the course website by the deadline time posted for the assignment. Requests for extensions must be made through the “assessment extension request’ portal on the course website. Do NOT write to your convenor or tutor to request extensions. Extensions should be sought BEFORE the essay due date. Extension requests will be considered only on the basis of medical or other extraordinary circumstances.

8. Late essays will be penalized at the rate of 5 % per working day or part thereof. Written assessments will be accepted only up to 10 working days past the posted due date unless an extension has been approved.

9. Students must attempt all assessment items to pass the course. Continued non-attendance at tutorials or failure to submit written work will disqualify you from successfully completing the unit. Failure to attempt all assessment items will result in a grade of NCN.

10. Students must adhere to the University’s policy on academic integrity: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/learning-development/academic-integrity. Plagiarism is a serious breach of academic integrity and it can result in penalties ranging from failure of an assignment to failure of the course to expulsion.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction: Forging the twentieth century
2 The Legacies of the Old World (1900s-1920s) Ideology and iconoclasm First week to upload primary source
3 War and revolutions
4 Modelling the New World (1920s-1940s) Sickness, health and perfecting the human race Museum 'report' – due 22 March 4 p.m.
5 Fun and games: modernising leisure
6 Mobility: Peoples and Borders (1940s-1960s) ?New nationalisms and internationalisms
7 Immigration: the world on the move
8 Overcoming Nature (1960s-1980s) The Promise of Science: Transforming the world Research Essay -- due 13 May 4 p.m.
9 The Limits to growth: The realising of ecological impacts
10 Globalisation and Inequality TBA
11 'A Rising Tide Lifts all Boats'? Distribution, Abundance and Scarcity Last week to upload primary source
12 Drawing the twentieth century to a close

Tutorial Registration

Note: students should sign up for tutorials as soon as possible. Introductory tutorials will be held in the first week of semester, beginning 26 February.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
1,000-word Museum 'Report' – due 22 March: 20% 20 % 22/03/2019 05/04/2019 1, 2, 3, 4
2000 word research essay – due 10 May: 40 % 40 % 10/05/2019 27/05/2019 1, 2, 3, 4
Three hour, open-book examination in exam period 30 % 30 % 06/06/2019 22/06/2019 1, 2, 3, 4
Tutorial Presentation and Participation 10 % 31/05/2019 30/06/2019 3, 4, 5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


You must actively participate in tutorials to earn your grade for this assessment.

To perform well you must demonstrate that you have completed the tutorial readings by responding to questions, sharing ideas, asking questions, and contributing respectfully to group discussions. If you feel uncomfortable speaking before your peers you may talk to your tutor about providing written evidence that you have completed and thought carefully about the readings.


Open-book in exam period

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 22/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 05/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

1,000-word Museum 'Report' – due 22 March: 20%

Choose ONE historical source produced in the twentieth century and explain 1: how it illuminates a significant aspect of twentieth century history; 2: how you can justify your source selection.

Imagine that you work in a museum that is planning an exhibit on the Twentieth Century World. Your task is to ‘sell’ your choice (it can be anything: an object; a text; music; art; video etc.). Describe your chosen source and answer the two questions. You cannot simply describe. The best reports will include persuasive evidence to assert the aspect’s significance and justify the source selection.

You are not obliged to choose sources related to the course module themes. However, the readings for the modules provide examples of the sorts of readings you must draw upon.

Your ‘Museum Report’ must be written in sentence form. It must include references and a bibliography (these are not included in the word count). Follow the instructions in the History Essay Guide (posted on the Wattle site).

NOTE: you may write about the source you select for your first tutorial presentation.

For inspiration, see:



Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 10/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 27/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

2000 word research essay – due 10 May: 40 %

Choose a tutorial topic from any week (2-12). Answer this question: How can I analyse this topic to understand one of the wider themes or issues raised in the associated lectures and/or readings?


You must write your essay in sentence form. It must include references and a bibliography (these are not included in the word count). Follow the instructions in the History Essay Guide (posted on the Wattle site).

You may draw upon tutorial readings for your essay but you must also conduct research to incorporate and analyse primary and secondary sources.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 06/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 22/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Three hour, open-book examination in exam period 30 %

The final exam covers the entire course, including tutorial readings and lecture material.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 30/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4, 5

Tutorial Presentation and Participation

No marks are awarded simply for attending tutorials.

Five percent of your tutorial grade will assess your tutorial participation. You must demonstrate that you have completed the readings. You must also be prepared to answer the questions posted for each tutorial and to participate in discussions.

The second component of your tutorial grade (also worth five percent) requires that you search for TWO primary sources that connect to the tutorial question from TWO different weeks. The first one must cover WEEK 2 to WEEK 6; the second one must cover WEEK 7 to WEEK 11.

You must explain, and not merely describe, your selection.

Primary sources (produced in the period under consideration) may include images, written texts, video or audio. In tutorials, you must also explain how the source relates to the tutorial question.

PRIOR to your tutorial, you must post your selected source on the course site’s ‘document archive’. Your explanation must be in sentence form, 50-75-words. Postings will be visible to all students and instructors. Sources posted after your scheduled tutorial will not be counted toward your presentation grade.

LAST WEEK to upload: WEEK 11

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.


Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Carolyn Strange

Research Interests

Modern History; crime and justice; gender and sexuality

Prof Carolyn Strange

Eamonn McNamara

Research Interests

Eamonn McNamara

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions