• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest History
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Angela Woollacott
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

In the 1960s-1970s Australia fought the Vietnam War, enacted civil rights for Aborigines, ended the White Australia policy and curtailed discrimination, including against women and homosexuals. Australians overcame 'cultural cringe', took to Australian films, literature and music, reached out to Asia and embraced multiculturalism. They also took to the streets to protest against the Vietnam War, uranium mining and the nuclear threat, and Aboriginal oppression, while demanding legal abortions and gay rights. It was a time of ferment, and radical social and legal reform. Charismatic political leaders galvanised public attention and raised the level of debate. Censorship was challenged, rock music was everywhere, and sex seemed to be too. This course will take a wide view of Australian politics, involvement in and withdrawal from the Vietnam War, and social change. It will consider why these were such decades of change and what we can learn about processes of change and reform, using texts, photographs, music and films from the period. It will introduce students to a range of historiographical interpretation of this key period.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify the major political, legal and social changes in Australia in the 1960s and 70s, and reflect on causes and consequences.
  2. Analyse and discuss Australia's participation in and withdrawal from the Vietnam war.
  3. Formulate arguments about the connections between political change and social change, both orally and in writing.
  4. Analyse primary sources as historical evidence and use them to discuss secondary sources critically.
  5. Appraise and discuss varying historiographical interpretations of the 1960s-70s.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Research essay incorporating primary source analysis on topic of choice agreed with course convenor (3,000 words; 50%)- linked to LOs 1, 3 and 4. (50) [LO null]
  2. Historiographical essay on topic other than that of research essay, to be agreed with course convenor (3,000 words; 50%) - linked to LOs 1, 3 and 5. (50) [LO null]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: combination of lectures, tutorials and workshops; and b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed HIST2239.

Prescribed Texts

None specified


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

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.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $3570
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7988 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person N/A

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