Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Postgraduate - 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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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 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
OfferedNot offered in 2012
Coordinator(s)Professor Alistair Thomson and Professor Bain Attwood


Previously coded HYM4200


This unit introduces the theoretical and conceptual frameworks deployed in the analysis of various forms of history that involve memory. In particular it considers oral history, life stories and autobiography, and commemoration, and explores the relationship between these forms of memory and history. Specific topics include oral history and social history, private and public memory, myth and history, war and remembrance, popular memory and nostalgia, psychoanalysis and history, memory and collective identity, and trauma and memory.


This subject aims to:

  1. Introduce key conceptual and theoretical issues in the relationship between memory and the writing of history.
  2. Introduce students to a range of past and present 'memory-work' particularly as it relates to the development of shared understandings of the past, including the production of oral histories and life stories and various forms of public and private commemoration.
  3. Provide students interested in exploring research tools such as oral history or life story reconstruction with a coherent and thorough grounding in the relevant historical scholarship and critical literature.
  4. Introduce students to key questions about the ethical dimensions involved in producing and using various forms of memory as historical evidence.
  5. Provide supervised practical experience in research techniques involving the use of memory in the writing of history.


Written work: 100% (9000 words)

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Alistair Thomson and Professor Bain Attwood

Contact hours

Regular seminars totalling 24 hours per semester


ATS4305, APG5305