• Class Number 4354
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Ben Silverstein
    • Ben Silverstein
    • Dr Laura Rademaker
  • 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
SELT Survey Results

This course develops a critical understanding of diverse historiographical approaches in the discipline of history. It provides students with an in-depth appreciation of contemporary historiography in order to develop skills in both critical analysis and problem-based research design.  The course will be team-taught by the School of History in seminar format to promote a community of researchers and scholars. When possible, students will participate in the National Honours Workshop hosted by the Australian National University.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. analyse key issues in modern history;
  2. formulate and respond effectively to complex historical questions;
  3. identify and interpret primary and secondary source materials that can inform answers to those questions;
  4. construct sustained, structured, evidence-based arguments that address questions of historical enquiry; and
  5. present, discuss and evaluate historical research in oral form.

Required Resources

Other than the expectation that students will download and read the sources for each week’s seminar, there are no materials (e.g. published textbooks) required for purchase for this course. 

Staff Feedback

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

  • individual
  • written
  • verbal

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

Additional referencing requirements

History requires that your essays footnote all references and summarise these references in a bibliography. References should follow Chicago ‘Notes and Bibliography’ style, a summary of which can be found here. A full manual is also available at the Library

Presentation and Referencing for Essays

Basics of Format

  • Use a regular 12-point font such as Arial, Palatino or Times. Footnotes can be 10-point.
  • Use double-line spacing and try to leave a minimum of 2.5cm/1 inch margins. Footnotes are again the exception – these should be single-line spaced.
  • Number the pages clearly, preferably in the top or bottom right-hand margin.
  • If more than 10%-over/under the suggested word-limit, consult me. In History, we count everything in the main body of the essay, including direct quotations. Footnotes and bibliography are excluded. Thus, only in rare instances should your main text offer the full title of a monograph, for instance. Usually you leave such details for the footnotes.
  • In the submitted version, any working subheadings should be converted into the opening, topic sentence of paragraphs.
  • Make sure to append your bibliography (see below for more advice).
  • If you wish, you may add a postscript to your essays which reflects on the writing of the essay in 200 words or so, identifying aspects of the reading and writing which you found intriguing/effective or problematic/difficult; perhaps explaining why you took a particular approach or suggesting other future questions on the same topic. The postscript is optional and does not count toward your word-limit. It’s designed to aid my assessment of your work. Its main purpose is not to excuse technical troubles with the essay (e.g. several significant works were absent from the Reserve collection and could not be consulted for the essay). Such difficulties should be resolved in consultation with me as soon as possible.

Basics of Style

centuries: when a time period is used as an adjective it is convention to hyphenate/compound (so: seventeenth-century London). When a time period is used as a noun then the hyphen is dropped (so: during the seventeenth century, London became the largest city in western Europe).

contractions: avoid these. For example, instead of couldn’t, stick with could not. Similarly, do without etc (or even the full term of et cetera). This either assumes your reader gets the wider point, or suggests laziness on the part of the writer.

passive voice: avoid writing of things done to/by people e.g. It has been argued by Bernard Bailyn that... . The key reason for avoiding the passive voice is length. It’s far more concise (if not grammatically nice) to write simply: Bernard Bailyn once argued that...


person: avoid both the second person (e.g. you can see that). Instead, use either the third person (e.g. it can be argued that...; one might suggest that) or first person plural (e.g. from these examples we can see that...). If your own opinion, on the basis of original research, is called for, first person singular (I) is acceptable.

possessives: (or use of apostrophe-s). [It’s] is only ever short for it is. Hence: the monarchy was at the height of its sovereign power during the sixteenth century. And similarly, a singular possessive would be (the Spanish monarchy’s power), a plural possessive would be (The Hapsburgs’ power). If the noun ends in ‘s’ (e.g. King Charles) then either King Charles’s demise or King Charles’ demise.


split infinitives: some still consider it bad form to write: ‘to boldly go where no one has gone before’, that is, an adverb (boldly) intervenes between the verb form (to go). Better to write: ‘to go boldly where no one has gone before.’


tenses: your essays write about the past, so use the past tense when referring to early modern people/events. By contrast, it is conventional to use the present tense when referring to scholars in print or still alive (e.g. David Eltis contends that....). Also, try to avoid shifting tense mid-sentence.


Basics of Structure

  • Keep the submitted work simple: a clearly expressed and structured argument that makes use of adequate illustrative examples and details (in most assignments 2-3 well-chosen examples for each main point should be sufficient).
  • In the main, introductions should outline the approach or thesis (argument, structure and/or method) of the essay. Conclusions should sum up the position of the essay. So, how its evaluation relates to the set topic (e.g. does it disagree strongly and, if so, why).
  • Edit a final draft as a paper hard-copy whenever possible. Editing on-screen can mean unintentional additions to, or omissions from, work. When editing look to eliminate slang, repetition, convoluted sentences, and ambiguity.


The essential function of a footnote is to allow readers to work their own way back to the sources you have used when writing your essay. For History this can make for quite involved references, so we ask that you use consecutively numbered footnotes at the bottom of pages and avoid either endnotes or abbreviated references placed in the main text.

When it comes to the composition of footnotes you will inevitably encounter subtle differences between courses and disciplines. Ultimately, however, your footnotes must provide ‘workable’ references and follow the same format throughout your essay.

The School of History has recently adopted the standard Chicago style and its manual, though this is effectively what old hands were using prior to 2012 when the School issued its own guidelines.

At the first quote from a work, provide full details of author, title, and publication before the page reference. So:


        Book: Mark S. Dawson, Gentility and the Comic Theatre of Late Stuart London (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 222.


        Journal Essays: Mark S. Dawson, “Histories and Texts: Refiguring the Diary of Samuel Pepys”, Historical Journal, 43, 2 (2000), 414-16.


        Essays in Edited Collections: Mark S. Dawson, “ ‘Cast thy humble slough, and appeare fresh’: Reappraising the Advent of Early Modern English Whiteness, c.1600-1750”, in Historicising Whiteness, ed. L. Boucher, et al. (Melbourne: RMIT Publishing and Melbourne University Press, 2007), 355ff.

For subsequent citations of the same work simply use surname and brief title before page number. The exception is if the citations immediately follow each other. For instance, if the work cited in your fourth footnote is identical to that mentioned in the third, then you can use ‘ibid.’, followed by page reference. So:

        Dawson, Gentility, 21-8.

        Dawson, “Histories and Texts”, 425.

For an important reminder of how proper footnoting helps you to stay on the right side of rules regarding plagiarism, see page 30.


Essentially, this is an alphabetical compilation, by author’s surname, of the sources you have used to write your essay. You should list only works cited in footnotes or those which you can readily demonstrate as having been read for the essay. Listing general reference works (e.g. dictionaries or encyclopaedias) is typically not required, nor are numbers or bullet points used to mark off each entry.

At this level (and certainly for a research essay), you can expect to divide the bibliography into smaller sections indicating the types of sources used. For early modern history, a common hierarchy would be:

Primary Sources

  • Manuscripts (for anyone using these, please ask for further advice)
  • Printed Works (from the period itself but usually referenced as you would any other book)
  • Modern Editions (particularly when someone has transcribed a manuscript for you or otherwise edited the primary source)

Secondary Sources

  • Books
  • Essays (either from journals or collected into a book)
  • Unpublished Works (such as an Honours thesis)

How to Reference Sources Read in Facsimile

It is both fortunate and unfortunate that many sources, secondary and primary, are available to you as photographic/digital scans rather than in the original. We will be discussing this issue further in tutorials, but, generally speaking, you do not need to cut and paste lines of hypertext into your references.

If the item is a scan of an original hard-copy (e.g. a 1999 journal essay read on JSTOR) or a photographic pdf (e.g. of a book published in 1625 now residing in the Huntington Library, California), there is no great need to reference its URL (i.e. location on the Web). You can cite it just as if you had consulted the hard copy. Why? Because minimal editorial intervention is at work. The JSTOR scan, for instance, should match that of the 1999 printed journal that might otherwise be on the shelves at Chifley. No one has transcribed the original into a new form or edited out particular sections of the original (and we can look beyond the long odds that a scanning error was made). By contrast, if one browsed the web and found a site where someone had typed out a modern full-text transcription of the 1625 book, one would have to cite the website if quoting from the transcription. 

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Working With Archives Ben Silverstein In this first week we will begin the work of thinking through some of the methods and implications of researching in archives. Archives are available for us to explore, but they also guide us along our research journey. Their logic suggests questions and directions we may follow. We will discuss the shaping of archives alongside the ways they can be both productive and confining, and consider a range of ways we might respond to our archives. Questions for consideration: What do you go to archives to find? How have historians' methods of thinking about archives changed in recent decades? What archives might you think about accessing this year? Read: Curthoys, Ann, and Ann McGrath, 'Crying in the Archives' in How to Write History that People Want to Read, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2009, pp. 48-79. Stoler, Ann, 'Colonial Archives and the Arts of Governance', Archival Science 2 (2002): 87-109. Birch, Tony, 'Archive Box', Law Text Culture 7 (2003): 142-7. Birch, Tony, 'Footnote to a "History War" (archive box--no. 2)', Meanjin 63, no. 4 (2004): 135-7. Birch, Tony, 'The True History of Beruk [William Barak] (archive box--no. 3)', Meanjin 65, no. 1 (2006): 72-6.
2 Deep History: The Scale of History Laura Rademaker This DEEP HISTORY mini-module, drawing upon the ARC Laureate Project ‘Rediscovering the Deep Human Past’, will reflect upon developments relating to the scale of history. Is it possible to change the scale of history? This module will analyse moves to integrate Australia’s deep human past into historical narratives. ‘Big’ history aims to include the story of the universe since the big bang, whereas ‘deep history’ aims to expand human history to connect with our hominid past. What is the value, especially in the Anthropocene, of a historical framing that emphasises big history, deep history and/or a new global history? This theme considers why many historians are calling for an expanded scale in history, including a much longer temporal frame. In this module we discuss why has this become an issue now. How do historians’ understanding of time itself, as well as the ways historians carve up time shape the possibilities for the narratives they tell? We will discuss how historians have often confined themselves to periodisations, temporalities and historicities that reinforce certain presumptions, privilege particular groups, sets of power relations and social values. We ask, how might the new approaches of ‘deep history’ offer ways to avoid these? Read: Intro to Davis, Kathleen. Periodization and Sovereignty: How Ideas of Feudalism and Secularization Govern the Politics of Time. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012: pp 1-20. Intro to Shryock, Andrew, and Daniel Lord Smail. Deep History: The Architecture of Past and Present. University of California Press, 2011. Aslanian, Sebouh D., Joyce E. Chaplin, Ann McGrath and Kristin Mann. “AHR Conversation: How size matters: the question of scale in history.” American Historical Review, 118(5) 2013, pp.1420–1472. doi: 10.1093/ahr/118.5.1431
3 Module One Making Australian History Frank Bongiorno This module introduces you to some themes in Australian historiography. It has four topics: Colonial and Imperial Histories; A Sense of Place; History for Everyone?; and ‘Unsettling’ Histories. It is not intended as a comprehensive coverage; there are many important historians, and themes, that do not figure below, but some could be taken up in your assignment work for the module. In one common understanding, Australian historiography barely existed before Manning Clark began teaching the subject at the University of Melbourne in the late 1940s. No one could possibly accept this idea these days, after decades of research on earlier examples of historical writing, from the academic through to the popular. This module aims to provide an opportunity to sample this variety, as well as inviting you to place the post-World War Two professionalisation of Australian history in the universities in a wider context. Academic historiography is only one of our interests here; we are also engaged with more popular modes of presentation such as through the media. The module asks you to consider how, as the scope of history has widened and the voices of previously marginalised people have been considered, history has been reimagined as a diverse discipline as well as one that still centres on the interpretation of primary sources. You will also notice that the nation itself, or the nation-state, figures in complex and constantly evolving ways. A century ago, Australian history was understood primarily within an imperial context, an approach that was meaningful, in part, because of the nature of the identities of the historians themselves. Many considered themselves ‘Independent Australian Britons’ – a phrase attributed to Alfred Deakin. In recent decades, the rise of transnational history has been, in Australia, something more than academic fashion. It also reflects the cosmopolitan identities of most of its practitioners. The evolution of Australian history needs to be understood in the context of such shifting identities – those of the historians but also of the audiences that they seek to address. The field of history developed in Europe in the nineteenth century alongside the rise of the nation-state itself. We should not be surprised if, as the nation-state has changed dramatically under the impact of forces such as decolonisation, deindustralisation, financialisation, globalisation and now – authoritarianism and populism – that the practice of history has also been transformed. Colonial and Imperial Histories **Please note that this class will be held on Tuesday 12 March, 1-4pm, in the Ann Curthoys Room** In this first week, we examine some early efforts at historical writing by settler Australian authors during the colonial period. We then consider the role of the university in the production of historical research from the end of the nineteenth century, glance at the emerging significance of the preservation, publication and interpretation of primary sources, and explore the development of imperial history as the key framework for the research and writing of Australia history. Finally, we consider how imperial history has been reinvented and rinvigorated in recent decades via a focus on the concept of the ‘British World’. Questions for consideration: What did historians writing in the colonial era understand as the purposes of their historical writing? What did these historians see as the major themes in Australian history? What did academic historians understand as ‘scientific’ history? How has Imperial History been renewed in recent decades? Read: Macintyre, Stuart, ‘The Writing of Australian History’, in D.H. Borchardt (ed.), Australians: A Guide to Sources, Fairfax, Syme & Weldon Associates, Broadway (NSW), 1987, pp. 1-29. Bridge, Carl and Kent Fedorowich, ‘Mapping the British World’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2003, pp. 1-15. Activity: Investigate ONE of the following historians. Half the group will be asked to report back to the class on their work (5 minutes maximum): (i) W.C. Wentworth (ii) James Bonwick (iii) John West (iv) G.W. Rusden (v) H.G. Turner (vi) G.A. Wood (vii) C.E.W. Bean (viii) W.K. Hancock (ix) Myra Willard (x) Marion Phillips (xi) Ernest Scott (xii) S.H. Roberts Further Reading: You will find biographical entries on these historians in: Australian Dictionary of Biography Online: http://adb.anu.edu.au/ There have been full-length biographies of Wentworth, Lang, West, Wood, Bean, Hancock and Scott as well as many other books dealing with particular aspects of their lives. Belich, James, Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-World, 1783-1939, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 2009. Crawford, R.M., ‘A Bit of a Rebel’: The Life and Work of George Arnold Wood, Sydney University Press, Sydney, 1975. Davidson, Jim, A Three Cornered Life: The Historian WK Hancock, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2010. Fletcher, Brian H., Australian History in New South Wales 1888-1938, University of New South Wales Press, Kensington, 1993, La Nauze, J.A., ‘The Study of Australian History, 1929-1959’, Historical Studies: Australia and New Zealand, Vol. 9, No. 33 (Nov. 1959): 1-11. Laidlaw, Zoë, Colonial Connections 1815-45: Patronage, the Information Revolution and Colonial Government, Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2005. Low, D.A. (ed.), Keith Hancock: The Legacies of an Historian, Melbourne University Press, Carlton South, 2001. Macintyre, Stuart, History for a Nation: Ernest Scott and the Making of Australian History, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 1994. Macintyre, Stuart and Julian Thomas (eds), The Discovery of Australian History 1890-1939, Melbourne University Press, Carlton South, 1995. Magee, Gary B., and Andrew S. Thompson, Empire and Globalisation: Networks of People, Goods and Capital in the British World, c.1850–1914, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2010. Meaney, Neville, ‘Britishness and Australian Identity: The Problem of Nationalism in Australian History and Historiography’, Australian Historical Studies, Vol. 32, No. 116, April 2001, pp. 76-90. Moses, John A., Prussian-German Militarism, 1914-18 in Australian perspective: The Thought of George Arnold Wood, P. Lang, Bern and New York, 1991. Schreuder, Deryck M. and Stuart Ward (eds), Australia’s Empire, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008. Walsh, Gerald, Australia: History and Historians, Australian Defence Force Academy, the University of New South Wales, Canberra, 1997. Ward, Stuart, Australia and the British Embrace: The Demise of the Imperial Ideal, Melbourne University Press, Carlton South, 2001.
4 Making Australian History A Sense of Place **Please note that this class will be held at Manning Clark House, 11 Tasmania Circle, Forrest** This week, we consider the ways that historians have sought to write about nation, place and country from different perspectives, and using a variety of methods, approaches and sources, since 1939. Beginning with the radical nationalist historians such as Brian Fitzpatrick, we go on to consider Manning Clark, whose monumental six-volume A History of Australia began as a critique of the radical nationalist school but ended by reprising many of that school’s key ideas and themes. We then go on to consider more recent writing on the history of place, and the ways it has been shaped by a post-Mabo sensibility about the paradoxes of settler belonging to a country taken from Indigenous people. Questions for consideration: Who were the radical nationalist historians and what were their main ideas? What was Manning Clark’s role in Australian historiography? What have been the major concerns of the history of place? Has have new understandings of Indigenous society, culture and experience reshaped historical writing on country? Activity: Investigate ONE of the following historians. Half the group will be asked to report back to the class on their work (5 minutes maximum): (i) Brian Fitzpatrick (ii) Russel Ward (iii) Geoffrey Serle (iv) Ian Turner (v) Tom Griffiths (vi) Mark McKenna (vii) Bruce Pascoe (viii) Bill Gammage (ix) Peter Read (x) Rebe Taylor Read: Curthoys, Ann, ‘An Historiographical Paradox: Brian Fitzpatrick, the British Empire, and Indigenous Histories’, in Stuart Macintyre and Sheila Fitzpatrick (eds), Against the Grain: Brian Fitzpatrick and Manning Clark in Australian History and Politics, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 2007, pp. 70-87. Bongiorno, Frank and Erik Eklund, ‘The Problem of Belonging: Contested Country in Australian Local History’, New Scholar: An International Journal of the Humanities, Creative Arts and Social Sciences, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2014, pp. 39-53. Activity: Read one chapter from C.M.H. Clark, A History of Australia, and report back to the class on what you see as its most distinctive qualities. Further Reading: Atkinson, Alan, J.S. Ryan, Iain Davidson and Andrew Piper (eds), High Lean Country: Land People and Memory in New England, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2006. Bongiorno, Frank and David Andrew Roberts (eds), Russel Ward: Reflections on a Legend, Journal of Australian Colonial History, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2008. Bridge, Carl (ed.), Manning Clark: Essays on his Place in History, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 1994. Bonyhady, Tim and Tom Griffiths (eds), Words For Country: Landscape & Language in Australia, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2002. Byrne, Denis, ‘Deep nation: Australia’s acquisition of an indigenous past’, Aboriginal History, Vol. 20, 1996, pp. 82-106. Clark, C.M.H., A Discovery of Australia, Australian Broadcasting Commission, Canberra, 1976. Clark, Manning, Occasional Writings and Speeches, Fontana/Collins, Sydney, 1980. ----------------- Speaking Out of Turn: Lectures and Speeches 1940-1991, Melbourne University Press, Carlton South, 1997. ---------------- A Historian’s Apprenticeship, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 1992. ---------------- The Puzzles of Childhood, Viking, Ringwood, 1989. ---------------- The Quest for Grace, Viking, Ringwood, 1990. Davison, Graeme, The Use and Abuse of Australian History, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2000. Davison, Graeme, ‘Rethinking the Australian Legend’, Australian Historical Studies, Vol. 43, Issue 3, 2012, pp. 429-51. Docker, John, In a Critical Condition: Reading Australian Literature, Penguin, Ringwood, 1984. Gammage, Bill, The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia, Allen & Unwn, Sydney, 2011. Griffiths, Tom, ‘Social History and Deep Time’, Public History Review, No. 8, 2000, pp. 8-26. Holt, Stephen, A Short History of Manning Clark, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, 1999. ----------------- Manning Clark and Australian History 1915-1963, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1982. Macintyre, Stuart, ‘Manning Clark’s Critics’, Meanjin, Vol. 41, No. 4, December 1982, pp. 442-52. Macintyre, Stuart, ‘Radical History and Bourgeois Hegemony’, Intervention, No. 2, October 1972, pp. 47-73. Macintyre, Stuart and Sheila Fitzpatrick (eds), Against the Grain: Brian Fitzpatrick and Manning Clark in Australian History and Politics, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 2007. McKenna, Mark, An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark, Melbourne University Publishing, Carlton, 2011. McKenna, Mark, Looking for Blackfellas' Point: An Australian History of Place, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2002. McLaren, John, Free Radicals of the Left in Postwar Melbourne, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2003. McQueen, Humphrey, Suspect History, Wakefield Press, Kent Town, 1997. Martin, A.W., ‘The ‘Whig’ View of Australian History: A Document’, in A.W. Martin, The ‘Whig’ View of Australian History and other essays, JR Nethercote (ed.), Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 2007, pp. 1-27. Matthews, Brian, Manning Clark: A Life, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2008. Nettelbeck, Amanda and Robert Foster, ‘Commemorating Foundation: A Study in Regional Historical Memory’, History Australia, Vol. 7, No. 3, December 2010, 53.1-53.18. Pascoe, Bruce, Dark Emu: Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident?, Magabala Books, Broome, 2014. Read, Peter, Belonging: Australians, Place and Aboriginal Ownership, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2000. ------------------ Haunted Earth, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2003. ------------------ Returning to Nothing: The Meaning of Lost Places, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996. Roberts, David, ‘Bells Falls Massacre and Bathurst’s History of Violence: Local Tradition and Australian Historiography’, Australian Historical Studies, Vol. 26, No. 105, 1995, pp. 615-633. Russell, Roslyn (ed.), Ever, Manning: Selected Letters of Manning Clark 1938-1991, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2008. Taylor, Rebe, Unearthed: The Aboriginal Tasmanians of Kangaroo Island. Second Revised Edition, Wakefield Press, Kent Town, 2008. Thompson, John, The Patrician and the Bloke: Geoffrey Serle and the Making of Australian History, Pandanus Books, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra, 2006. Turner, Ian, Room for Manoeuvre: Writings on History, Politics, Ideas and Play, Drummond, Richmond (Vic.), 1982. Ward, Russel, A Radical Life: The Autobiography of Russel Ward, Macmillan, South Melbourne, 1988. Watson, Don, Brian Fitzpatrick: A Radical Life, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney, 1979. Wells, Andrew, ‘The Old Left Intelligentsia 1930-1960’, in Brian Head and James Walter, Intellectual Movements and Australian Society, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1988, pp. 214-34.
5 Making Australian History History for Everyone In this topic, we consider how Australian history has been democratised since the Second World War. We examine how the voices, lives and agency of some groups have figured in labour and social histories. You should be attentive to the processes of both inclusion and exclusion as history was reimagined in the 1960s and early 1970s: who was brought to centre-stage, and who remained on the margins? We also examine the more recent interest in the historical consciousness of ‘ordinary people’, and the challenges faced by professional historians in presenting their research to the public. Questions for consideration: How did labour history and social history influence Australian historical practice? How do ‘ordinary people’ understand the Australian past and what are the principal sources of their knowledge and understanding? What has been the role of public history? What kinds of challenges to historians face in presenting histories to the public? Read: Arrow, Michelle, ‘“I want to be a TV historian when I grow up!”: On Being a Rewind Historian’, Public History Review, Vol. 12, 2006, pp. 80-91. Bongiorno, Frank, “Real Solemn History” and its Discontents: Australian Political History and the Challenge of Social History’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, [Special Issue: The Rebirth of Political History], Vol. 56, Issue 1, March 2010, pp. 6–20. Clark, Anna, ‘Ordinary People’s History’, History Australia, Vol. 9, No. 1, December 2012, pp. 201-16. Further Reading: The Public History Review, which commenced publication in 1992, contains many articles relevant to this topic. See also: Ashton, Paul and Paula Hamilton, History at the Crossroads: Australians and the Past, Halstead Press, Ultimo, 2010. Atkinson, Alan, The Commonwealth of Speech: An Argument About Australia’s Past, Present and Future. Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2002. Bongiorno, Frank, ‘Australian Labour History: Contexts, Trends and Influences’, Labour History, No. 100, May 2011, pp. 1-18. Burgmann, Verity, ‘The Strange Death of Labour History’, in Bede Nairn and Labour History, Pluto Press in association with the NSW Branch of the Australian Labor Party, Leichhardt, 1991, pp. 69-82. ------------------------‘The Revival of Labour History’, David Palmer, Ross Shanahan and Martin Shanahan (eds), Australian Labour History Reconsidered, Australian Humanities Press, Unley, 1999, pp. 240-4. Clark, Anna, History's Children: History Wars in the Classroom, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2008. ------------------------Private Lives Public History, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 2016. Condé, Anne-Marie, ‘A “vigorous cultural movement”: The Pigott inquiry and country museums in Australia, 1975’, reCollections, Vol. 6, No. 2, http://recollections.nma.gov.au/issues/vol_6_no_2/papers/vigorous_cultural_movement Connell R.W., and T.H. Irving, Class Structure in Australian History: Documents, Narrative and Argument, Longman Cheshire, Melbourne, 1980. Farrell, Frank, ‘Labour History in Australia’, International Labor and Working-Class History, Vol. 21, Spring 1982, pp. 1-17. Frances, Raelene and Scates, Bruce, ‘Is Labour History Dead?’, Australian Historical Studies, Vol. 25, No. 100, 1993, pp. 470-81. Fry, Eric, ‘The Labour History Society (ASSLH): A Memoir of its First Twenty Years’, Labour History, No. 77, November 1999, pp. 83-96. ------------ ‘The Writing of Labour History in Australia’, in Eric Fry (ed.), Common Cause: Essays in Australian and New Zealand Labour History, Allen & Unwin/Port Nicholson Press, Sydney and Wellington,1986, pp. 139-55. Fry, E.C. et al., ‘Symposium: What is Labour History?’, Labour History, No. 12, May 1967, pp. 60-81. Griffen-Foley, Bridget, Broadsheets, Broadcasts & Botany Bay: History in the Australian Media, Trevor Reese Memorial Lecture, Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King’s College London, London, 2011. --------------------------‘Digging Up the Past: Frank Clune, Australian Historian and Media Personality’, History Australia, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2011, pp. 127-52. Griffiths, Tom, Hunters and Collectors: The Antiquarian Imagination in Australia, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996. Hamilton, Paula and Paul Ashton, ‘At home with the past: initial findings from the survey’, Australian Cultural History No. 22, 2003, pp. 5-30. Healy, Chris, From the Ruins of Colonialism: History as Social Memory, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1997. Irving, Terry (ed.), Challenges to Labour History, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 1994. ----------------------‘Rediscovering Radical History’, 2011, http://radicalsydney.blogspot.com.au/p/rediscovering-radical-history-essay-by.html\ Janson, Susan and Stuart Macintyre (eds), Making the Bicentenary [special issue of Australian Historical Studies, Vol. 23, No. 91, October 1988]. Macintyre, Stuart and Anna Clark, The History Wars, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 2003. McLennan, Nicole, ‘Eric Dunlop and the Origins of Australia’s Folk Museums’, reCollections, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2006, pp. 130-51. Merritt, John, ‘R. A. Gollan, E. C. Fry, and the Canberra Years of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History’, Labour History, No. 94, May 2008, pp. 17-23. Osborne, G. and W.F. Mandle (eds), New History: Studying Australia Today, George Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1982. Patmore, Greg, Australian Labour History, Longman Cheshire, South Melbourne, 1991. Rickard, John and Peter Spearritt (eds), Packaging the Past? Public Histories, Melbourne University Press/Australian Historical Studies, Melbourne, 1991 [special issue of Australian Historical Studies, Vol. 24, No. 96, April 1991]. Waterhouse, Richard, ‘Locating the New Social History: Transnational Historiography and Australian Local History’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 95, No. 1, 2009, pp. 1-17.
6 Making Australian History 'Unsettling' Histories By ‘unsettling’ histories, I mean histories that have disturbed conventional settler understandings of the scope, nature and purpose of history. Indigenous understandings have unsettled linear narratives of development and progress. Feminist histories have unsettled male-centred narratives. Gay and lesbian history has unsettled heteronormativity. All have unsettled, even as they have sometimes also affirmed, the place of the nation in Australian historiography. Questions for consideration: How have Indigenous understandings of the past challenged Western conceptions of history? How and why have historical understandings of settler colonialism changed? How has feminist history challenged a historical practice dominated by men? What has been the contribution of gay and lesbian history? Read: Danaiyarri, Hobbles (as told to Deborah Bird Rose), ‘The Saga of Captain Cook’, in Deryck M. Schreuder and Stuart Ward (eds), Australia’s Empire, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008, pp. 27-32. Lake, Marilyn, ‘Mission Impossible: How Men Gave Birth to the Australian Nation — Nationalism, Gender and Other Seminal Acts’, Gender and Nation, Vol. 4, No. 3, Autumn 1992, pp. 305-22. Moore, Clive, ‘The Frontier Makes Strange Bedfellows: Masculinity, Mateship and Homosexuality in Colonial Queensland’, in Garry Wotherspoon (ed.), Gay and Lesbian Perspectives III: Essays in Australian Culture, Department of Economic History with The Australian Centre for Lesbian and Gay Research, University of Sydney, Sydney, 1996, pp. 17-44. Veracini, Lorenzo, ‘Introducing Settler Colonial Studies’, Settler Colonial Studies, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 2011, pp. 1-12. Further Reading: Allen, Judith, ‘“Mundane” men: historians, masculinity and masculinism’, Historical Studies, Vol. 22, No. 89, October 1987, pp. 617-28 [Debate between Lake, Allen and McConville] Attwood, Bain, Telling the Truth about Australian History, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2005. Attwood, Bain and S.G. Foster (eds), Frontier Conflict: The Australian Experience, National Museum of Australia, Canberra, 2003. Attwood, Bain and Tom Griffiths (eds), Frontier, Race, Nation: Henry Reynolds and Australian History, Australian Scholarly Publishing, North Melbourne, 2009. Bongiorno, Frank, The Sex Lives of Australians: A History, Black Inc., Collingwood, 2012. Chakrabarty, Dipesh, Provincializing Europe, Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2000. Chesser, Lucy, Parting With My Sex: Cross-dressing, Inversion and Sexuality in Australian Cultural Life, Sydney University Press, Sydney, 2008. Clendinnen, Inga, Dancing with Strangers, Text Publishing, Melbourne, 2003. Clendinnen, Inga, ‘Spearing the Governor’, Australian Historical Studies, Vol. 33, No. 118, 2002, pp. 157-74. Dening, Greg, Performances, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 1996. Curthoys, Ann, 'Historiography and Women's Liberation', Arena, No. 22, 1970, pp. 35–40. Dixson, Miriam, The Real Matilda: Woman and Identity in Australia 1788-1975, Revised Edition, Penguin Books, Ringwood, 1976. Featherstone, Lisa, Let’s Talk About Sex: Histories of Sexuality in Australia from Federation to the Pill, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2011. Griffiths, Tom, ‘The Frontier Fallen’, Eureka Street, Vol. 13, No. 1, March 2003, pp. 24-30. https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/the-frontier-fallen Grimshaw, Patricia, Marilyn Lake, Ann McGrath and Marian Quartly, Creating a Nation, McPhee Gribble, Melbourne, 1994. Kenny, Robert, The Lamb Enters the Dreaming: Nathanael Pepper & the Ruptured World, Scribe Publications, Carlton North, 2007. Lake, Marilyn, ‘The Politics of Respectability: Identifying the Masculinist Context’, Historical Studies, Vo. 22, No. 86, 1986, pp. 116-31 [Debate between Lake, Allen and McConville]. Lake, Marilyn and Henry Reynolds, Drawing the Global Colour Line: White Men's Countries and the Question of Racial Equality, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 2008. Lydon, Jane, Eye Contact: Photographing Indigenous Australians, Duke University Press, Durham, North Carolina, 2005. McConville, Chris, ‘Rough women, respectable men and social reform: a response to Lake’s “masculinism”’, Historical Studies, Vol. 22, No. 88, pp. 432-40 [Debate between Lake, Allen and McConville]. McGrath, Ann, Born in the Cattle: Aborigines in Cattle Country, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1987. Magarey, Susan, Sue Rowley and Susan Sheridan (eds), Debutante Nation: Feminism Contests the 1890s, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, 1993. Matthews, Jill Julius, Good and Mad Women: The Historical Construction of Femininity in Twentieth-Century Australia, George Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1984. Nugent, Maria, Botany Bay: Where Histories Meet, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2005. --------------------- Captain Cook Was Here, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2009. Reekie, Gail, ‘Contesting Australia’, in Gillian Whitlock and David Carter (eds), Images of Australia: An Introductory Reader in Australian Studies, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1992, pp.145-55. Reynolds, Henry, The Other Side of the Frontier: Aboriginal Resistance to the European Invasion of Australia, Penguin Books, Ringwood, 1982. Reynolds, Henry, Why Weren't We Told? A Personal Search for the Truth about our History, Viking, Ringwood, 1999. Rickard, John, ‘Sentimental Blokes?’, Meanjin, Vol. 66, No. 1, 2007, pp. 38-46. Rose, Deborah Bird, Hidden Histories: Black Stories from Victoria River Downs, Humbert River and Wave Hill Stations, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 1991. Rose, Deborah Bird, ‘Ned Kelly Died for our Sins’, Oceania, Vol. 65, No. 2, 1994, pp. 175-86. Shellam, Tiffany, Shaking Hands on the Fringe: Negotiating the Aboriginal World at King George's Sound, University of Western Australia Press, Crawley, 2009. Stanner, W.E.H., After the Dreaming: Black and White Australians--an anthropologist's view, Australian Broadcasting Commission, Sydney, 1969. --------------------The Dreaming & Other Essays, Black Inc. Agenda, Melbourne, 2009. Summers, Anne, Damned Whores and God's Police: The Colonization of Women in Australia, Penguin Books, Melbourne, 1975. Wolfe, Patrick, Settler Colonialism and the Transformation of Anthropology: The Politics and Poetics of an Ethnographic Event, Cassell, London and New York, 1999. --------------------Traces of History: Elementary structures of Race, Verso, London, 2016.
7 No class: Easter Monday Public Holiday Research Essay Draft DUE 18th April
8 Module Two The Biographical Turn Chris Wallace Biography is a longstanding research methodology within the discipline of history subject to fluctuating fortunes. After languishing for most of the twentieth century when consideration of structural forces dominated questions of agency, it revived in a biographical turn dated variously from the 1980s through to the turn of the twenty-first century. Biography has been a particular strength of the ANU School of History which, under W. K. (Keith) Hancock’s inclusive influence, saw it flourish. As early as the 1960s Hancock dismissed ‘fanatical’ views that historians not write biography: The methodological controversy irritates me; one party tells me to have no truck with chaps; the other party tells me to have truck with chaps but with nothing else. I reject that dilemma… Live and let live ought to be our motto. It is beginning to happen… Nobody nowadays is fighting very hard to keep individual persons out of history.’ Earlier again, Melbourne University’s R. M. (Max) Crawford said in a 1947 survey of the state of history in Australia commissioned by Hancock as part of the planning for the ANU’s establishment, ‘I do not need to labour the point that biographical study will teach us about much more than the persons studied.’ Biography is part of the broad tradition of academic history in Australia, nowhere more so than at the ANU. In this module biography as a research methodology will be systematically explored. In Week 1 students should bring to class one or two issues or topics of prior historical research (eg former essays) which, over the course of the four week module, can be re-examined and reworked from a biographical perspective, and be prepared to discuss them in class. The background reading may be drawn on selectively depending on each student’s particular interests. Reading: AHR Roundtable: ‘Historians and Biography’, American Historical Review, 3, 114, June 2009, 573-661. Malcolm Allbrook and Melanie Nolan, ‘Australian historians and biography’, Australian Journal of Biography and History, 1, 2018, 3-21; http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/n4630/pdf/article01.pdf, accessed 4 February 2019. Krista Cowman, ‘Collective Biography’ in Simon Gunn and Lucy Faire (eds.), Research Methods for History (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012), 83-100. Sheila Fitzpatrick, A Spy in the Archives (Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 2013). Jan Goldstein, ‘Hannah Arendt Turns Public Historian: On Margarethe von Trotta’s Film Hannah Arendt’, Perspectives on History, 1 February 2014, https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/february-2014/hannah-arendt-turns-public-historian-on-margarethe-von-trottas-film-hannah-arendt, accessed 4 February 2019. Tom Griffiths, The Art of Time Travel: Historians and Their Craft (Carlton: Black Inc., 2016). Sabina Loriga, ‘The plurality of the past: Historical time and the rediscovery of biography’ in Hans Renders, Binne de Haan and Jonne Harmsma (eds.), The Biographical Turn: Lives in History (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017), 31-41. Sigurdur Gylfi Magnússon, ‘The life is never over: Biography as a microhistorical approach’ in Hans Renders, Binne de Haan and Jonne Harmsma (eds.), The Biographical Turn: Lives in History (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017), 42-52. Alistair Thomson, ‘Life Stories and Historical Analysis’ in Simon Gunn and Lucy Faire (eds.), Research Methods for History (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012), 101-117. Virginia Woolf, ‘The New Biography’ in Virginia Woolf, Granite and Rainbows: Essays by Virginia Woolf, (London: Hogarth Press, 1958), 149-155; https://archive.org/details/graniterainbowes00wool/page/148, accessed 4 February 2019. Viewing: Hannah Arendt, directed by Margarethe von Trotta (2012). The Favourite, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (2018). Vice, directed by Adam McKay (2018). Biography: Why? Biography’s fluctuating fortunes within the discipline of history. Structure versus agency. Kinds of biography. Decisions about focal length and the implications of those decisions. Bring to class one or two issues or topics you are or have worked on using a non-biographical historical approach which over the course of this four-week module can be re-examined and reworked from a biographical perspective, and be prepared to discuss them.
9 Biography: Who? Who gets written about? Why? Who gets left out? Does it matter? How has this changed over time? How is it changing now? Are there extra-disciplinary (ie beyond History as a discipline) issues to be considered? Discussion of preliminary thoughts and problems in the re-examination and biographical reworking of the historical issue or topic you selected in Week 1.
10 Biography: How? What are the materials brought to the task? What is missing? As historians, how do we handle that? Are there materials to hand that historians ignore? What are our disciplinary blindspots? What forms does biography take? Does it matter? Discussion of preliminary thoughts and problems in the re-examination and biographical reworking of the historical issue or topic you selected in Week 1.
11 Different Lenses, Different Views Strengths and weaknesses of biography as an historical method. Strengths and weaknesses of different kinds of biography and different forms of biography. Discussion of conclusions drawn from the re-examination and reworking of the historical issue or topic you selected in Week 1. Reflection on how using biography as a historical method has influenced you as an historian. The future of biography.
12 No class: Reconciliation Day Public Holiday Research Essay Final DUE 7th JUNE

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Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Learning Journal (10%) 10 % 25/02/2019 31/05/2019 3
Research Essay – draft version (20%) 20 % 18/04/2019 02/05/2019 1, 2, 3, 4
Research Essay – final version (60%) 60 % 07/06/2019 21/06/2019 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Class Participation 10 % 25/02/2019 31/05/2019 1, 2, 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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 25/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3

Learning Journal (10%)

1 journal entry of 1000 words

Due: Within a week after the related seminar 

This task requires students to submit a response to the content of the course, demonstrating an understanding of the historiographical issues arising from their readings and class discussions. The journal will also provide students the opportunity, where appropriate, to apply key concepts and frameworks to examples arising in their thesis development.


The tone of the journal is informal (personal pronouns are fine). It is an opportunity to reflect on the seminar and discussions that followed. Students will be allocated a seminar to cover.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 18/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 02/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Research Essay – draft version (20%)

2000 words

Due: 18 April 5pm

The Research Essay is an in-depth exploration of issues arising from one of your modules. You are encouraged to decide early in the semester which module and which essay question you would like to focus on. There is scope to modify a question or design your own question with permission from the course convenor. The Research Essay is the product of your research, critical thinking, and imaginative use of sources. Unlike essays you may have written in other courses, please be sure to:


  • head your first page with your specific research question as well as a proposed title, as if you were writing an article for publication (Sometimes a question will work well as a title; sometimes not).


In terms of its writing, it should otherwise be as finished as any essay you would submit in other courses and should therefore:

  • append a full bibliography.
  • follow referencing conventions.


This version of your essay is the one you and your seminar colleagues will be working on in the writing sessions. It’s particularly important to submit this essay on time so I can grade it and return it to you with sufficient time to complete your final essay.




If each of the following two conditions is met, students may include in their thesis material that has been submitted for assessment in other 4000 or 8000-level courses that are available in the honours or Master’s (Advanced) plan for which they are enrolled:


1.     the course from which material is being recycled states that material submitted in that course may be incorporated into the assessment for THES410X or THES810X Thesis; AND

2.     the acknowledgements or introduction of the thesis clearly identifies the title of the assessment/s and name of the course/s from which material is being recycled, and an indication of the extent of the recycling.


Essay Questions

Module 1

  1. What did colonial and imperial historians notice and what did they miss?
  2. What did radical-nationalist historians notice and what did they miss?
  3. To what extent did the writing of Australian history ‘decolonise’ from 1970?
  4. Is it valid to distinguish pre-Mabo and post-Mabo Australian historiographies?
  5. In what ways has the research, writing and presentation of Australian history been democratised since 1960?
  6. What do ‘ordinary Australians’ think about their own history and how have they formed their ideas and impressions?
  7. Choose a historian of Australia and explain how their writing is related to their own life and times, as well as how it has contributed to Australian historiography. (You should check with a lecturer in this course to ensure that your selection is appropriate to this task.)


Module 2

  1. In A Spy in the Archives, Sheila Fitzpatrick applies the tools of the academic historian to write a memoir a period of her life as a doctoral student at Oxford, incorporating extensive archival research in Moscow. Evaluate her interrogation of the personal archival material (diaries, letters) she draws on in writing A Spy in the Archives. Does the biographical form illuminate or obscure understanding of the larger historical themes and period canvassed in the book?
  2. Choose one of the three films from the Background Reading. To what extent was the work of the screenwriter, director and/or producer informed by biographical research? Is the film good biography?  Is it good history? Use specific examples to explain your assessment. What difference does it make that the biographical work is in the form of a film rather than a book?
  3. What is distinctive about a biographical entry in a dictionary of national biography like the Australian Dictionary of Biography and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography compared to a biographical entry in Wikipedia? Using actual biographical subjects, demonstrate the differences and discuss their significance.
  4. Individual biographies are problematic. Collective biography solves the problems. Discuss using examples.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 07/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Research Essay – final version (60%)

5000 words

Due: 7 June 5pm

This should be a more polished and extended version of your draft essay. For this version, you should aim for a paper demonstrating that you have incorporated, or at least considered, the suggestions from feedback on the draft.


The process of polishing is one of paying attention to how you have written your account. It is not unusual for essays to change significantly at this stage, especially in terms of structure, style, and explanation. By contrast, much of your raw content/sources will remain the same. You might occasionally dip back into your primary evidence for a better or extended example in support of your argument, but you should not be spending too long back in the archives doing more research at the coal-face.


Please ensure that your submitted work does the following in this order:

  •  include the research essay question
  • gives the essay a title at the top of the first page.
  • provides a 200-300 word statement (part of the word limit) on how your work has changed since the draft version. Be as specific as possible and be certain to note how, if at all, your argument and presentation has changed.
  • offer a complete and carefully arranged bibliography, which of course forms the basis for complete and accurate footnotes.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 25/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 5

Class Participation

Participation in fewer than six seminars will result in a lower grade. 10% of final grade.

Contributions can include, but are not limited to, informed discussion of the week’s readings during the seminars and debriefs; critique of the readings; comment on independent reading in historiography.

Given the emphasis on participation, you may compensate for two absences by providing written evidence of engagement with the week’s readings. If your circumstances (e.g. a chronic medical condition) otherwise prevent regular attendance and participation, we should discuss alternative arrangements that might, for example, make use of a Wattle forum.

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

Online submission only is required. For this, you use the Wattle course site. On its main page you will see:

  • instructions regarding the use of Turnitin for all assessable coursework submissions, and links to Turnitin dropboxes for each of the assignments.
  • please remember to omit coversheets and any references to your name or student ID. Turnitin generates a coversheet with unique identifiers for you.

Any student wishing an exemption from the use of Turnitin should: 

  • write to the course convenor at least 2 weeks prior to the submission date for the assignment.
  • be prepared to submit hard copies of all references cited in their essay and/or research notes in the case of archival sources.

Submissions should be submitted:

  • double-lined spaced on numbered A4-sized pages.
  • in Word .doc/.docx format (export to this format if using Apple’s Pages).

Please be sure to retain copies of your essay notes, drafts, and the final proofs for your own records. 

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 use the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

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.

Returning Assignments

Graded essays will be returned in class or in wattle.

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.

Resubmission of Assignments

With the exception of the draft research essay, graded coursework cannot be amended and resubmitted for reassessment. 

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).

Ben Silverstein

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Ben Silverstein
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