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AUS2000 - Anzac legends: Australians at war

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader(s): Professor Bruce Scates


Clayton First semester 2009 (Day)


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.


  1. a critical understanding of the history of Australia's involvement in war and the significance of that involvement; (2) an in depth understanding of the lived experience of war and an ability to interrogate personal testimonies; (3) a knowledge 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
  2. a familiarity with the major historiographical issues surrounding the impact of war on Australian identity and society; (5)an ability to conduct independent research; (6) an ability to write expressively and critically on the complex questions of involvement in human conflict.


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

Contact hours

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


First year Arts sequence or equivalent



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