• Class Number 3182
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Laura Rademaker
    • Dr Laura Rademaker
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
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.

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Module 1, Part 1: Colonial and Imperial Histories Making Australian History Module Leader: Frank Bongiorno, frank.bongiorno@anu.edu.au
2 Module 1, Part 2: A Sense of Place Making Australian History
3 Module 1, Part 3: History for Everyone? Making Australian History
4 Module 1, Part 4: ‘Unsettling’ Histories Making Australian History
5 Module 2, Part 1: Why has Australia prospered? Australia as a settler capitalist society Module Leader: Tim Rowse, t.rowse@westernsydney.edu.au
6 Module 2, Part 2: Settler Capitalism Australia as a settler capitalist society
7 Module 2, Part 3: Taming market society: The Australian settlement Australia as a settler capitalist society
8 Module 2, Part 4: Global and national histories of income inequality Australia as a settler capitalist society
9 Module 3, Part 1: The Scale of History in the Anthropocene Deep History Module Leader: Ann McGrath, ann.mcgrath@anu.edu.au
10 Module 3, Part 2: Deep Hominid History Deep History
11 Module 3, Part 3: Geological History, DNA and the Human Genome Deep History
12 Module 3, Part 4: Aboriginal Memory—Contemporary and Ancient; Science, Literacy and the West Deep History

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Learning journal 10 % * * 3
Research essay—draft version 20 % 19/04/2021 03/05/2021 1,2,3,4
Research essay—final version 60 % 04/06/2021 18/06/2021 1,2,3,4,5
Participation 10 % * * 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 Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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 %
Learning Outcomes: 3

Learning journal

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. Learning journals will then be made available to the class via Wattle to produce a set of shared notes/responses for the course.

Word limit: 1000 words

Value: 10%

Due date: 7 days after related seminar

Estimated return date: 2 weeks after submission


GradeCriteria 1Criteria 2Criteria 3


Demonstrated an outstanding grasp of the main concepts rising from the readings and an exceptional understanding of the relevant historiographical issues.

An exceptionally skilled and thoughtful reflection on the discussions in the seminar. Clear evidence of engagement with and understanding of the issues raised.

Journal is presented in a clear and fluent style. Grammar and spelling are accurate. Able to critically and succinctly report on the seminar within the word count.


Demonstrated a superior understanding of the main concepts arising from the readings and the historiographical issues.

A highly skilled and thoughtful reflection on the discussions in the seminar. Clear evidence of engagement with and understanding of the issues raised.

Journal entry is fluent. Grammar and spelling are accurate. Report is clear, succinct and within the word count.


Demonstrated a good understanding of several concepts from the readings and how they relate to historiography.

A sound reflection which demonstrates engagement with and understanding of the issues raised in the discussion.

Communication and language mainly clear, fluent & accurate. Grammar and spelling mainly accurate. Close to word count.


Demonstrated a satisfactory understanding of some of the main concepts from the readings.

Some evidence of engagement with and understanding of the issues raised in the discussion.

Meaning and communication apparent but language not always fluent and coherent. Some grammar and/or spelling errors. Not necessarily within word count.


Limited range of understanding and reference to main concepts from the readings.

Limited evidence of engagement with and understanding of the issues raised in the discussion.

Communication and presentation unclear. Meaning unclear and/or grammar and/or spelling contain frequent errors. Not necessarily within word count.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 19/04/2021
Return of Assessment: 03/05/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Research essay—draft version

The Research Essay is an in-depth exploration of the work of one of the three module leaders: Frank Bongiorno, Tim Rowse or Ann McGrath.

Choose ONE of these historians’ major works (book-length or equivalent). Situate this work in its historiographical context and outline its contribution to the discipline. Note how it relates to the chosen historian’s earlier work and how it underpinned future directions in their work. In this essay, you may wish to consider:

-      How did this work make an intervention in its field?

-      What were the key methodological questions at the time?

-      What were the recent ‘turns’ or new developments in history related to this work?

-      How did this work speak to contemporary issues in Australian society and beyond?

-      What works did the historian draw on, and who did they influence?

The Research Essay is the product of your research, critical thinking, and imaginative use of sources. It should also demonstrate your engagement with the themes of the course and class discussions.

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). Subheadings throughout the essay are allowed.

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 (which does not count towards the word limit).

·     follow referencing conventions.

The purpose of the draft essay is to demonstrate how your thinking is progressing and how you plan to tackle the final essay. It is designed to give you an opportunity to write a draft which will be the subject of close feedback, and subsequently use this feedback to improve on the draft.

The essay draft should be structured in two sections:

1.   1,500 words of draft essay writing that will form part of the final research essay. There is scope, in the 1500 words, to produce either an introduction and a small part of the body of the final essay, or alternatively an in-depth exploration of an issue but without the framing that will be provided in the introduction or conclusion to the final essay.

2.   500 words that explain and map out how they will get from this draft to the final essay.

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

The marking criteria are as follows:

1.   Comprehensive analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of the relevant literature.

2.   Argument is clearly articulated and logically structured.

3.   Sound understanding of the historiographical issues relevant to the essay subject-matter.

4.   Evidence of wide research.

5.   Clear writing style and correctly referenced.

Word limit: 2000 words

Value: 20%

Due Date: 19 April 2021

Estimated return date: 3 May 2021

Assessment Task 3

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 04/06/2021
Return of Assessment: 18/06/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research essay—final version

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:

·     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.

Word limit: 5,000 words

Value: 60%

Due date: 4 June 2021

Estimated return date: 18 June 2021

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,5


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.

Value: 10%

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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) 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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Late submission permitted. 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. Extensions may be granted 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).

Dr Laura Rademaker

Research Interests

Dr Laura Rademaker

By Appointment
Dr Laura Rademaker

Research Interests

Dr Laura Rademaker

By Appointment

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