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Handbooks Courses Units

HYM4560 - The Past Around Us

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Dr Sarah Pinto


Clayton First semester 2008 (Off-campus)


This unit introduces various ways in which history is utilised to inform debates both inside and outside universities, in schools, and in the general community. It introduces the importance of history in current political and social debates about the nation, communities, families and individuals, and how the use and abuse of beliefs about the past can be used to inform debates about the future. Topics covered include: An introduction to Public History, heritage issues, national history, the role of museums and other public and private institutions devoted to preserving and presenting the past, and more generally the idea of the uses and possible abuses of history in Australia and elsewhere.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. Have been introduced to a variety of the uses of history in a range of contexts.

  1. Have been introduced to a variety of historical approaches and methods.

  1. Have been introduced to a range of debates about the role of the past in shaping contemporary debates.

  1. Have acquired skills in using history methods in a range of contexts including teaching, research and writing.

  1. Have improved their skills in researching and writing history essays and reports.

  1. Have developed skills in using new media technologies for research, writing and presenting ideas to a variety of audiences.


On-line journal and contribution to on-line discussion: 30%
Essay (3000 words): 30%
On-line presentation (1500 words): 20%
Practical task (eg heritage study, archival or local museum study, oral history interview, etc. )(1500 words): 20% OR (optional for Graduate History Education students) A classroom teaching activity (1500 words): 20%

Contact hours

On-line discussion (2 hours per week)


An undergraduate degree with a major in History or permission


HSY3060, HYM4065

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