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10 cp from 200-level units in History

Unit rationale, description and aim

Over the past three decades, historians have increasingly interrogated the power of memory in shaping ideas and knowledge about the past. This unit teaches students about the relationship between history and memory, with a particular focus on local and international case studies. The unit is designed to offer students an understanding of the often controversial relationship between historians and other key stakeholders, such as politicians, cultural institutions, the media and the public. Central themes explored are: the link between history and nation-building, as seen in monuments and commemorative practices; the role of history in 'identity politics' of minority groups; and the difficulties of exhibiting and displaying history and heritage in museums and historic sites. Students will develop historical skills using primary and secondary sources to research the key debates in relation to how the past is remembered. Students will apply the theories and methods of historians to case studies from various regional settings and reflect on the different ways in which the past is presented, interpreted and used by individuals, groups and communities. The aim of this unit is to provide students with a knowledge of the connections between past and present, the politics of remembering, and the use and abuse of history.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Discuss broad and deep theoretical and factual knowledge of the relationship between history and memory, and apply this to a variety of key conceptual approaches historians use to shape and debate interpretations of the past (GA5, GA6) 

LO2 - Explain ideas and concepts to a specified audience using audio, digital, oral, visual or written form as appropriate (GA9) 

LO3 - Locate, evaluate and appropriately reference a variety of primary and secondary materials and use them to sustain a nuanced evidence-based narrative or argument (GA3, GA8, GA10) 

LO4 - Critically analyse historical evidence, synthesise scholarship and changing representations of the past according to the methodological and ethical conventions of the discipline through an independently formulated research task related to current historical debates (GA3, GA7, GA9, GA10)

LO5 - Interpret and reflect on key historical theories and concepts and relate them to real-world situations/case studies where the relationship between history and memory has been contested (GA4, GA5, GA6). 

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics may include: 

  • Local case studies will be developed in collaboration with the cultural institutions in each state 
  • Contemporary expressions of past events in monuments and exhibitions  
  • Theories of memory and history 
  • Memory and trauma 
  • Memories and counter-memories 
  • Individual and group memory 
  • Community groups and local memory 
  • Museums, monuments and material culture 
  • Commemoration of war and violence  
  • Identity politics 
  • Gender and memory 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. 

To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support your learning such as lectures and tutorials or workshops, supported by film/video screenings webinars, podcasts or online materials, when appropriate. The balance of the hours then becomes private study to prepare for class activities and complete set readings and assignments for this unit. 

This unit embraces active learning by taking the form of a face-to-face class containing activities through which students will:  

1) gain a deep understanding of the content covered in the unit.  

The active learning activities in this unit include reading, writing, discussion and problem-solving aimed at promoting analysis and synthesis of class content, paying particular attention to the dynamics of historical and ethical debate about relevant topics. Students will also use case studies to assist them in this process, exploring how what they have learned applies to real world situations.  

2) develop and hone skills fundamental to the discipline of history, including the development of methods for working with and interpreting primary sources; the ability to identify relevant and high-quality secondary sources and incorporate them into their own research and analysis; the ability to process extensive amounts of historical information and identify what is most relevant and valuable; and to communicate their findings in a style appropriate to their audience. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

Students will develop their research and writing skills though an investigative task where they will locate and analyse primary and secondary sources on key debates in relation to history and memory. This first task will hone students’ ability to work with and interpret evidence in primary and secondary sources and assesses learning outcomes 1 and 2. 

The investigative task will lay the groundwork for the research task where students will build on the techniques and knowledge of using primary and secondary sources. In the independent research task students will analyse and critically discuss evidence related to interpretations and presentations of the past. This may take the form of a research essay or another form, such as an exhibition, oral presentation or debate and will assess learning outcomes 1-4. 

The final summative task allows students to synthesise the key theories and debates of history and memory. It assesses how well students are able to draw together the skills developed in the investigative task, the research task and their knowledge of how the past is represented and interpreted by various stakeholders. The summative task assesses learning outcomes 2-5. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Investigative Task: The purpose of this task is for students to develop skills in using primary sources and locating and analysing high-quality secondary sources to investigate a topic relevant to history and memory.


LO1, LO2 

GA5, 6, 9

Research Task: The purpose of this assignment is for students to further develop their research, writing and analytical skills to produce an evidence-based argument that demonstrates their critical reading skills and awareness of the key debates in relation to the presentation and interpretation of the past. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Summative Task: The purpose of this assignment is to assess students’ understanding of the key theories in relation to history and memory and to reflect on the key debates about how the past is remembered. 

The lecturer may designate this task to be in the form of short answer responses, test/s, take-home exam, exam, reflective essay/poster or simulation exercise. 


LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 


Representative texts and references

Connerton, Paul. How Societies Remember. 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014). 

Cubitt, Geoffrey. History and Memory (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007). 

Darian-Smith, Kate and Paula Hamilton (eds). Memory and History in Twentieth-Century Australia (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1994). 

Jordanova, Ludmilla. History in Practice (London: Bloomsbury, 2006). 

Kunnie, Julian, and Nomalungelo Ivy Goduka, (eds). Indigenous Peoples' Wisdom and Power: Affirming Our Knowledge Through Narratives. (Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006). 

Logan, William and Keir Reeves (ed.), Places of Pain and Shame: Dealing with ‘Difficult Heritage’ (New York: Routledge, 2009). 

Lowenthal, David. The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). 

Macmillan, Margaret. The Uses and Abuses of History, (London: Profile Books, 2009). 

Misztal, Barbara A. Theories of Social Remembering (Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2003). 

Olick, Jeffrey K. Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi and Daniel Levy, The Collective Memory Reader (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). 

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