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HSY2325 - Becoming Australians: Nineteenth Century Subjects

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Marian Quartly


Not offered in 2007


What did it mean to be an Australian before the birth of the Australian state? What did it mean to be a British subject in Australia? This unit looks at Australia before federation. It asks how different groups in colonial society defined themselves, and were defined by colonial and imperial institutions. And it asks how the idea of the nation grew (and sometimes faltered) within the imperial frame. Particular objects of study include convicts, dispossessed Aboriginal communities, the colonial middleclass, colonial democracy, the Irish and Chinese communities, unionists, rural communities, the 'urban poor', suburbanites, liberal democrats, and republicans and other nationalists.


Upon successful completion of this subject students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. A broad knowledge of the major social and cultural developments in nineteenth century Australia.
  2. Familiarity with the concepts of imperialism, colonialism, and nationalism.
  3. Familiarity with the scholarly debates about the transference of metropolitan culture and institutions to colonial Australia, and about the emergence of distinctive local and national forms.
  4. Familiarity with scholarly debates about the reading and evidential use of various kinds of historical sources.
  5. Advanced skills of critical analysis in relation to written and visual texts.
  6. Fluency in oral and written communication.


Class participation: 10%
Tutorial paper (500 words): 15%
Book review (750 words): 15%
Research essay (2250 words): 35%
Examination (1 hour): 25%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 lecture and 1 tutorial) per week


A first year sequence in History or permission