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
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Dr Susie Protschky


From the medieval period onwards, expansion brought Europeans increasingly into contact with diverse cultures and civilizations. This unit explores how encounters between Europe and the world were transformed from the tentative and uncertain contacts that characterised earlier periods to the self-confident imperialism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Rather than analysing the broad sweep of political history, we are interested in the leading edge of cross-cultural encounters: in travellers, diplomats, and slaves who 'crossed-over' to engage with new cultural worlds, in the tools that made these encounters possible and in the commodities that underpinned global exchange.


On successful completion of this unit, students will:

  1. gain a broad understanding of the historical timeline of European expansion
  2. gain a clear understanding of key historical debates about the rise of the West
  3. gain a thorough understanding of how cross-cultural encounters changed over time
  4. gain a clear understanding of different theoretical approaches that historians have used to conceptualise Europe's encounters with the world
  5. explore the evolution of historical debates over Orientalism
  6. be able to recognize and analyse key historical themes in the history of cross-cultural encounters
  7. learn how to work with archival sources
  8. learn how to use visual sources (such as maps) effectively in research
  9. have further developed their oral and written communication skills
  10. have acquired independent research skills across a range of historical source areas.


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 second-year Arts units.