- Code HIST8011
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of History
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject History
- Areas of interest Australian Studies, History, Heritage Studies
- Academic career PGRD
- Dr Malcolm Allbrook
- Mode of delivery In Person
First Semester 2024
See Future Offerings
Biography is many things. It is the study of significant and ordinary individuals; it is the study of families and groups; it can shed light on specific historical periods and problems; it can provide a way of accessing individual and collective experience; it can illuminate the whole process of social and historical change. This course challenges students to think critically and creatively about the writing of biography in all its forms. What is the relationship between biography and history, biography and theory, biography and fiction? How do biographical studies incorporate theory? Should historians use different approaches to biography depending on the culture and/or gender of their subjects? How important is the relationship between biographers and their subjects? What special problems face the biographer of living subjects, or subjects in living memory? Through exploring questions such as these, students will develop a critical understanding of the complex issues surrounding the writing of biography.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- describe and assess various approaches to researching and writing biography;
- understand the relationship between biography, history and fiction;
- evaluate new forms of biography and life writing such as those developed through feminist, postcolonial and Indigenous theories and approaches;
- understand the uses of biography and life story in the humanities and social sciences; and
- demonstrate skills in researching and writing short critical biographical studies.
- Class participation (10) [LO 1,2,3]
- Essay 1, 2000 words (30) [LO 1,5]
- Essay 2, 3000 words (60) [LO 2,3,4,5]
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130 hours of total student learning time made up over 12 weeks from
a) 36 hours of contact: lectures/seminar discussion.
b) 94 hours of independent student reading, research, and writing.
None. Readings will be provided at the beginning of the course.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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