Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton Second semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Nick Dyrenfurth


Previously coded AUS3000


Why is war central to the shaping of Australian identity? How has it defined our place in the region and the world? This unit explores the experience of Australians at war, from the colonial period to the Landing at Gallipoli and through the major conflicts of the twentieth century. It focuses on the 'face of battle' and how human conflict affected men and women on the front line. 'Anzac Legends' will examine the role of war in both consolidating and challenging definitions of gender, national and racial identity. It will explore the changing representation of war memory in film and literature and includes excursions to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and/or Melbourne's Shrine.


  1. a critical understanding of the history of Australia's involvement in war and the significance of that involvement; (2) an in depth understanding of the lived experience of war and an ability to interrogate personal testimonies; (3) a knowledge of the historical and social context of Australia's involvement in particular campaigns and how these have redefined Australia's relationship with the region and the world
  2. a familiarity with the major historiographical issues surrounding the impact of war on Australian identity and society; (5)an ability to conduct independent research; (6) an ability to write expressively and critically on the complex questions of involvement in human conflict; (7)an understanding of different theoretical approaches to the writing of history and the history of warfare in particular (third year students would be expected to acquire and demonstrate a greater degree of sophistication in applying critical and theoretical approaches).


Short essay (based on excursion) (1000 words): 20%
Major essay (3000 words): 40%
Seminar contribution: 20% Test (one hour): 20%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Nick Dyrenfurth

Contact hours

2 hours (1 hour lecture
1 hour seminar) per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Australian studies


First year Arts sequence or equivalent