Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitHistory
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2015 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Kate Murphy


Throughout the ages and across the world, human beings have struggled for justice by rebelling, resisting and revolting against authority. This unit examines this phenomenon from the uprisings of peasants in Europe in the early sixteenth century to the protests of students at Tiananmen Square in 1989, focusing in particular on what has famously been called 'the weapons of the weak'. We will trace both changes and continuities across time by paying special attention to the causes of rebellion, resistance and revolt, the motives of subordinate individuals and groups, the ways they defined and legitimised their struggle, and the tools they have adopted to wage their battle against authority.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will be expected to have:

  1. gained broad knowledge of the historical timeline of the struggle for justice
  2. gained a clear understanding of the reasons for rebellion, resistance and revolt over time
  3. gained a thorough knowledge of changes and continuities in the history of rebellion, resistance and revolt
  4. gained a deep understanding of the weapons employed by those rebelling, resisting and revolting
  5. a clear understanding of the main historiographical debates in the field of study
  6. an ability to analyse carefully and critically key texts in the history of struggle
  7. an ability to consider the subject matter both empathetically and objectively
  8. developed their oral communication skills
  9. improved their written communication skills


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.