Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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.

print version

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
Organisational UnitNational Centre For Australian Studies
OfferedClayton First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Rebecca Wheatley


Previously coded AUS2000


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.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. demonstrate a critical understanding of the history of Australia's involvement in war and the significance of that involvement, and have interrogated the mythologies that have grown up around Anzac;
  2. exhibit an in-depth understanding of the lived experience of war and an ability to interrogate personal testimonies.
  3. show an awareness 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;
  4. have built the capacity to research and critically evaluate topical and historiographical debates regarding the impact of war on Australian identity and society.
  5. have developed skills in constructing evidence-based arguments using a variety of primary and secondary sources, and demonstrated their ability to reflect critically on what they have learnt.
  6. have developed skills in written and oral presentation and communication.


Short essay (based on excursion) (1000 words): 20%
Major essay (2000 words): 40%
Seminar contribution: 20% Test (one hour): 20%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

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

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


First year Arts sequence or equivalent