The majority of Arts Majors require 100 points of study for attainment. This means out of the 300 point program, you have the opportunity to achieve two Majors in your course. Along with this, the Faculty of Arts offers a variety of Breadth Subjects designed to enhance your learning with options from a variety of fields.
Students completing a Major in History must complete:
- One Level 1 Elective subject
- One Arts Foundation subject
- 37.5 points of Level 2 Elective subjects
- 37.5 points of Level 3 Elective subjects
- One Level 3 Capstone subject
Students completing a Minor in History must complete:
- One Level 1 Elective subject
- One Arts Foundation subject
- 25 points of Level 2 Elective subjects
- 25 points of Level 3 Elective subjects
This is a sample subject list only. Subjects offered may change from year to year. Current and commencing students must refer to the University Handbook for enrolment purposes.
Sample Study Plans
|Level 1 - Elective Subjects|
|Medieval Plague, War and Heresy||12.5|
Medieval Plague, War and Heresy
The period from 1300-1450 has been described as a 'calamitous' one in European history; it saw the deaths of 25 million people from plague; the ravages of the 100 Years War between France and England; Schism in the Church; heresy and the inquisition; the demise of the Templars; rebellion from peasants in England and wool workers in Italy; and the persecution and expulsion of millions of Jews. Despite these calamities, or perhaps because of them, the period was also one of extraordinary cultural innovation and social transformation. Through detailed case studies, students will be guided through one of the most turbulent and fascinating periods of European history.
Detailed Information HIST10007
|The Great War 1914 to 1918||12.5|
The Great War 1914 to 1918
The Great War, the ‘seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century,’ now lies a century behind us, but its aftershocks continue to reverberate down to the present. This subject will provide a global history of the war with special attention devoted to Australia’s role. Issues to be addressed include: Who was responsible for the war? Was WWI the first total war? To what extent did the war transform social and moral norms, gender, race and class relations, and the relationships within the global economy? What were the war aims of the belligerent nations? How did soldiers experience the war? Why did they keep fighting for so long? How did the war affect civilians? Did the war achieve anything ...
Detailed Information HIST10014
|Age of Empires||12.5|
Age of Empires
This subject is a history of various empires established throughout the world from the mid-eighteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century. It outlines the nature of empire, discusses the effect of the Age of Revolutions on imperialism, engages with the notions of colonialism and post-colonialism and concludes with understanding the start of World War I within an imperial context.
Detailed Information HIST10010
|The World Since World War II||12.5|
The World Since World War II
The subject examines social, economic and political change in the world from Hiroshima to September 11, using case studies to explore topics and themes such as the Cold War, the population explosion, civil rights, decolonisation, fundamentalism and global warming. Key concepts developed during the period under study (second-wave feminism, post-industrialisation, imagined communities, Orientalism, postcolonialism, the clash of civilisations, globalisation) are introduced and discussed in the context of the history that produced them. Students will be encouraged to develop a command of major developments in recent world history, and invited to consider and analyse changing ideas of the worl...
Detailed Information HIST10012
|Level 2 - Elective Subjects|
|American History: Revolution to WWII||12.5|
American History: Revolution to WWII
In its first 170 years the US grew from a disparate collection of east-coast colonies to a major world power. This subject examines American society through these years, exploring the intertwined themes of slavery, freedom and growth. The first part focuses on the consequences of the existence of slavery in a free society, including fighting of a terrible civil war. The second part examines the dynamics and consequences of growth; topics include the emergence of a market economy, the frontier and the fate of indigenous Americans during the decades of westward expansion, and expansion overseas at the end of the 19th century. The third part examines visions of and debates about the emergenc...
Detailed Information HIST20059
|Total War: World War II||12.5|
Total War: World War II
This subject will focus on the second total war of the twentieth century and will explore questions about the causes of armed conflict, the nature of total war, and some of the consequences (social, economic, cultural and political) of total war for modern European and global history. Among the topics we will examine this semester are the following: the situation of Europe and Japan after World War I, the rise of facism in Italy and Germany, interwar diplomacy and its failure to preserve peace, the origins of WWII in Aisa and Europe, the barbarism of warfare, the home front experiences in the conditions of total war, the Holocaust, and the legacy of total war.
Detailed Information HIST20060
|Modern European History 1789 to 1914||12.5|
Modern European History 1789 to 1914
This subject offers an introduction to modern European history from the French Revolution to the beginning of World War One. It outlines the key events, movements and ideologies that have shaped the modern world, including the Industrial Revolution, the Romantic movement, and the rise of nationalism, and explores the interconnections between cultural, political and social developments. Core lectures offering broad thematic introductions to key subjects are combined with in-depth investigations of specific European countries and events.
Detailed Information HIST20069
|Britain in the Wider World 1603-1815||12.5|
Britain in the Wider World 1603-1815
This seminar-based subject, which includes a substantial addition of on-line leaning material, examines the social, political, economic and cultural history of Britain (including Ireland and the British Empire) from the death of Elizabeth I in 1603 and the subsequent union of England, Wales and Scotland through to the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. It covers major events in British history such as the War of Three Kingdoms (the Civil War) in the 1640s, the Glorious Revolution in 1688, the Second Hundred Years’ War between France and Britain (including the Seven Years’ War and the Napoleonic Wars), the Industrial Revolution and the Battle of Waterloo.
Detailed Information HIST20077
|The Holocaust & Genocide||12.5|
The Holocaust & Genocide
The twentieth century has been labelled the "Age of Genocide". This subject will provide a detailed examination of the Holocaust, the archetype of modern genocide, and seek to place it within the broader comparative history of genocide and mass violence with case studies from Africa and the Asia Pacific region. The subject will also investigate the genesis and contested nature of the concept of genocide and examine key histographical debates related to studies of the Holocaust, genocide and mass violence.
Detailed Information HIST20013
|Reacting to the Past||12.5|
Reacting to the Past
This subject introduces students to 'Reacting to the Past' historical role-playing games. Students are given elaborate game books which place them in moments of historical controversy and intellectual ferment. The class becomes an historical arena; students, in role, become particular persons from the period, often as members of a faction. Their purpose is to advance a policy agenda and achieve their faction's objectives. To do so, they will undertake research and write speeches and position papers; and they will also give formal speeches, participate in informal debates and negotiations, and otherwise work to win the game.
Detailed Information HIST20081
|Rebels and Revolutionaries||12.5|
Rebels and Revolutionaries
Rebels and revolutionaries make history. How do they do so? And with what consequences? This subject surveys the modern history of rebellion over more than 200 years. It is structured around the career of significant rebels, from Lenin to Gandhi, from the Suffragettes to Julian Assange. Attention is directed to three major issues: the historical context that incites rebellion; the political techniques rebels adopt and perfect; and the influence of rebels on later struggles. Because the course is organised chronologically, students engage not only with individual struggles, but also learn about the changing forms of political action over time.
Detailed Information HIST20065
|The French Revolution||12.5|
The French Revolution
In 1789 huge numbers of French peasants, urban workers and middle-class people successfully rebelled against absolute monarchy and the privileges of the nobility. But the struggle over what social and political system should replace the 'Old Regime' was to divide French people and finally the whole of Europe. This subject examines the history of the French Revolution from its origins to 1795. It then examines its significance. Was this really a revolutionary age? What were its consequences for ethnic minorities, women, and slaves in French colonies?
Detailed Information HIST20068
|Modern Southeast Asia||12.5|
Modern Southeast Asia
From the growing influence of Islam and contemporary efforts to deal with past violence, this subject explores the history and lasting legacies of political, social and cultural change in modern Southeast Asia. Using case studies from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, East Timor and the Philippines from the 19th and 20th centuries we will explore European colonisation, anti-colonial resistance, the Japanese occupation, the Cold War and their impact on the societies of Southeast Asia. We will also examine nationalism, decolonisation, and contemporary issues ranging from ethnic tensions, separatist movements, religious revival, economic globalisation and human rig...
Detailed Information HIST20034
|Australia in the World 1914 to 2014||12.5|
Australia in the World 1914 to 2014
What is Australia’s place in the world? Has it shifted over time? If so, how? And why? This subject seeks answers to these questions. If offers a broad overview of Australia’s place in the world in the twentieth century. The subject will be of interest not only to students drawn to Australian history, but also to those concerned with the power of transnational relationships and their influence on domestic events. With these general questions in mind, we traverse key moments in the twentieth century: World War I; the Great Depression; World War II; the Cold War; mass immigration and multiculturalism; the protest movements of the sixties; the changing relationships between Australia and Asi...
Detailed Information HIST20070
|American History from JFK to Obama||12.5|
American History from JFK to Obama
Covering the most significant issues and debates in American history since 1945, but with emphasis on the period since 1960, this subject aims to develop a deeper understanding of American political and social controversies that remain relevant today. It charts key developments: from McCarthyism to the Patriot Act; from civil rights to a post-racial society; from liberalism’s apogee to the rise of conservatism. It examines the legacies and controversies surrounding the presidencies of JFK, Nixon, LBJ, Clinton, Reagan, and George W. Bush. With an emphasis on domestic rather than foreign affairs, the subject surveys the Sixties and the New Left, the civil rights movement, social activism in...
Detailed Information HIST20071
|Witch-Hunting in European Societies||12.5|
Witch-Hunting in European Societies
Why were c. 50,000 people executed for witchcraft in late medieval and early modern Europe? In this subject we will test different historical models for explaining the shocking rise and ultimate decline of witchcraft as a crime with dramatic social repercussions. Along the way we will encounter accused female and male witches of all ages and all social levels, as well as inquisitors, judges, torturers, accusers and victims. Throughout the subject, we will explore the ways that historians might recover the fears and beliefs of individuals and communities in the past. We will assess the social, political, religious, legal, environmental and cultural underpinnings of witchcraft panics in loc...
Detailed Information HIST20080
|Migrant Nation: Culture and Identity||12.5|
Migrant Nation: Culture and Identity
What does it mean to live in a nation that has been built on immigration? What histories, policies and attitudes underpin this experience? And what key issues, challenges and opportunities face Australia and other nations as a result? This subject encourages students to engage critically with the history of Australia as a migrant nation through a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Topics covered include migration and refugee histories, the politics of immigration, the development of multicultural policies, critical debates about multiculturalism, racial politics, refugee issues, case studies of migrant communities and ethnic/national identities. Taught by specialists in the field, the ...
Detailed Information HIST20075
|Level 3 - Elective Subjects|
|A History of Sexualities||12.5|
A History of Sexualities
How have sexual practices and identities evolved, been represented and expressed from prehistory to the present? This subject will interrogate ideas about sexualities, with particular attention to developments from nineteenth century sexologists and psychoanalysis to feminism, queer theory and intersectionality. Categories of classification and identity including transgender, cisgender, heterosexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality will be examined alongside the history of political activism around sexuality. By charting a historical genealogy of sexual practices and ideas about sexual practices, the subject will show how the gendered body and sex have been simultaneously linked to socia...
Detailed Information HIST30004
|Cold War Cultures in Asia||12.5|
Cold War Cultures in Asia
This subject explores how the Cold War shaped culture and ideology in Asia, and how cultural and ideological production influenced Asia’s Cold War. Employing global and cultural approaches to studying the Cold War, you will examine case studies from China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia: China’s revolution of 1949, the Americanisation of Japan, war and ongoing tensions on the Korean peninsula, Indonesia's strident anti-imperialism under Sukarno, and more. The subject will explore how Cold War ideologies of capitalism, communism and anti-imperialism were embraced and contested in daily life, cultural performance, sport, films, newspapers and propaganda. We will interrogate how fears about...
Detailed Information HIST30066
|Controversies in Australian History||12.5|
Controversies in Australian History
This subject examines controversial episodes in the Australian past that commanded public attention, gave rise to heated argument and exposed national divisions. Controversies such as the Myall Creek Massacre, the Eureka rising, the campaign for female suffrage, the conscription referenda in World War One, the Wave Hill walk-off, the Dismissal of 1975 and Pauline Hanson's maiden parliamentary speech threw up competing interests and generated alternative notions of entitlement. The outcomes had lasting consequences. By studying a number of controversies over 200 years of white occupation of Australia, the subject also reveals changing preoccupations of race, class, gender, nationality, as ...
Detailed Information HIST30064
|USA and the World||12.5|
USA and the World
The subject examines the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world in the 20th century. The subject explores America's rise to global power, the ideological foundations of U.S. foreign policy, and how, why, and with what effects the United States has exercised its power. We cover key events, including the two world wars, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and CIA interventions in Latin America and the Middle East. We also explore different facets of American power - political, military, economic, and cultural. We look at whether the United States should be considered an "empire" and at the role of morality in foreign policy. A central aim is to understand the roots of A...
Detailed Information HIST30065
|Magic, Reason, New Worlds, 1450-1750||12.5|
Magic, Reason, New Worlds, 1450-1750
This subject is a history of the intellectual, social, political and economic processes that produced the 'modern world' of the late eighteenth century. With a focus that is global rather than local, the subject deals with the European encounter with other parts of the world and the way encounters, conflicts, and colonisation related to the rise of modern science. It explores the many ways in which different peoples in different worlds interacted and asks how important these encounters were in shaping the making of the modern world, from immediately before Columbus went to the Americas in 1492 to just before the Seven Years' War and the beginning of the Age of Revolutions. It puts special...
Detailed Information HPSC30034
|Global Histories of Indigenous Activism||12.5|
Global Histories of Indigenous Activism
This subject examines the history of Indigenous peoples' resistance to colonialism in Australia, the Pacific and the Americas. In addition to covering the key protests of the last one hundred years, we see activism as more than just a twentieth-century phenomenon and explore the diverse forms that it took across the last three centuries. What is activism? What is resistance? And how big or small do actions have to be to enter the historical record? From political protest to music, sport, art, environmental activism, imperial literacy, feminism, space, land, mobility, sovereignty, refusal and silence, this subject will broaden students' understanding of the history of the many ways Indigen...
Detailed Information HIST30074
|The Modern Middle East||12.5|
The Modern Middle East
This subject is a historical survey of the major events, movements and relationships underlying the making of the modern Islamic and Arab Middle East since the end of the First World War. The subject enables students to understand: the interplay of religion and foreign rule and intervention in shaping the politics and society of the modern Middle East; the development of the different states of the region; the differences between local points of view and those of outside commentators, historians and rulers; and the effects of these changes on the wider population of the various countries.
Detailed Information HIST30015
|The Renaissance in Italy||12.5|
The Renaissance in Italy
This subject examines the social, political and cultural history of the many central and northern Italian cities which participated in the culture of the Renaissance, with special case studies of Florence and Venice. Major themes explored are: politics and urbanisation; art, architecture and patronage; religion and popular beliefs; the family and gender roles; luxury and consumption; humanism and education. Throughout students will be encouraged to reflect on the meaning and usefulness of the term ‘Renaissance’ as an historical construct. Students should complete this subject with a well-rounded picture of the Renaissance as a social and cultural context, which has left a profound impact ...
Detailed Information HIST30006
|Race in America||12.5|
Race in America
The American understanding of race has changed over time, but in different ways race has been a crucial line of division in American society since the seventeenth century.The subject begins and ends in the present, but circles back to survey the history of race in America over centuries. The history of African Americans from slavery through the eras of legal segregation, the civil rights era and beyond, forms a central strand in the subject, both because of its own importance and because the black experience has at many times affected how other racial minorities have been understood and treated in US history. We will also study Native American history, from the treaty-making frontier to t...
Detailed Information HIST30059
|A History of Violence||12.5|
A History of Violence
Every act of violence has a history. In order to more fully understand how and why violence recurs, how it has changed over time, and how it has been a driving force in history, we need to develop a more sophisticated and complex understanding of its historical origins. This subject will explore the manner in which violence has been used by individuals, communities and the state over time, as well as the way in which that use has been perceived and portrayed in the modern world, from the sixteenth century to the present. It will be organised around three key themes. First, the power and practice of violence will explore the origins, causes, and experience of violence through changing tech...
Detailed Information HIST30068
|Crime, Punishment and Media 1500 - 1800||12.5|
Crime, Punishment and Media 1500 - 1800
In this subject students will examine the social and cultural dimensions of law, crime and punishment in early modern Europe. The early modern period is usually characterized as a period of spectacular displays of punishment, but to understand this brutality we need to be aware of the social and communal nature of the penal system. This subject therefore examines the ways in which the developing news media disseminated information about crime and punishment to the public. Students will explore how crime, criminals and the legal system were represented in popular and official texts and how the public perception of crime was developed and manipulated.
Detailed Information HIST30073
|Urban Legends: Melbourne Intensive||12.5|
Urban Legends: Melbourne Intensive
How are Australian histories and identities expressed in the urban landscape of Melbourne, and Australian cities more generally? Urban Legends offers an exciting look at the role of space, including the inner city and the suburbs, in the development of the Australian nation and the diversity of its peoples. This cross-disciplinary subject is taught intensively, with lectures by academics and industry professionals. It explores meanings of 'places', both real and imagined: from the city to the suburbs to the bush. Much of our learning involves site visits outside the campus. We will explore Melbourne’s ethnic precincts, such as Chinatown, as well as the city’s famous laneways with their in...
Detailed Information HIST30071
|Level 3 - Capstone Subject|
This subject brings all students majoring in History together in a culminating experience to reflect on the past and current state of History as a discipline, as well as on its contemporary relevance and importance. Students will undertake an archivally-based research project, and will engage with issues to do with the history, politics and culture of the archival sources of historical knowledge. Emphasis will be placed on current debates in historical studies, as well as on the uses of history in the community beyond the classroom. We will consider the impact of the digital revolution on historical studies and students will undertake some basic tasks in digital history. Students will als...
Detailed Information HIST30060