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Researching Australia: Issues, Agendas (102-310)


How do you develop research expertise on Australia and so contribute to informed debate about issues facing the nation? This topic enables students to draw on their experience of the Australian Studies major to pursue research on an issue of contemporary concern to Australia. Areas for research will be identified at the start of semester, and students will develop research and writing techniques over the semester to produce a position paper on a specific issue, suitable for presentation to government, other organisatons or industry. Research questions can be developed in relation to topics such as national identity, international relations, the environment, various social and political movements or issues and the media.


500 word research proposal 15% (due mid-semester), and a 3500 word 'position paper' 85% (due during the examination period). Students must attend 75% of the seminars in order to be eligible for assessment.

Supplementary Texts

The broader reading list will include: Steven Angelides and Barbara Baird, Histories of Sexualities; Larissa Behrendt, Achieving Social Justice: Indigenous Rights and Australias Future; Judith Brett and Anthony Moran, Ordinary Peoples Politics; Susan Carruthers, The Media at War; David Carter, Dispossession, Dreams and Diversity; Inga Clendinnen, The History Question: Who Owns the Past?; Tim Flannery, Country; Patricia Grimshaw et al, Creating a Nation; Ghassan Hage, Against Paranoid Nationalism; Clive Hamilton, Affluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough; Peter A Jackson and Gerrard Sullivan, Multicultural Queer: Australian Perspectives; Phillip Knightley, The First Casualty; Mark Peel, The Lowest Rung; Richard White, Inventing Australia

Other Details

Contact subject coordinator for prescribed reading list.

Levels: Undergraduate