This unit offers students the opportunity to put on 'a stout pair of boots' (R H Tawney) and discover 'the spirit of a place' (Manning Clark, 1980) to enable them to begin to more fully understand the lives of the people who walked the streets of our town before us. Each year the unit focuses on a pair of Melbourne suburbs through which we conduct walking tours. We 'read the city' to understand better its Indigenous history, the history of immigrants, and the story of those who left behind scant written evidence of their lives.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Analyse some pivotal landscapes and streetscapes of suburban Melbourne;  
  2. Evaluate the relevance and application of different historical approaches to central themes in the social history of Melbourne from colonial times to the present;  
  3. Critique accounts of existing suburban historical texts in light of their knowledge of historical approaches and concepts; and  
  4. Exhibit a range of historical skills, including the interpretation of primary and secondary sources, the cataloguing of change over time, and the explanation of different forms of historical causation so as to construct persuasive historical arguments.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Project Prosopographical exercise x 2 20%
Practicum Suburb Practicums x 2 20%
Essay Short Essay 30%
Test In-class test 30%

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