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Unit outline_

HSTY3804: American History

Semester 2, 2021 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

American history is as contested as contemporary American culture and politics. This seminar will explore a key theme or debate drawn from more than four centuries of American history. In a setting that may be local or regional, inward- or outward-looking, you will develop advanced research skills to investigate critical relationships between the past and the present.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit History
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 2000 level in the History major
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Frances M Clarke,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Essay
2000wd essay
30% -
Due date: 13 Sep 2021 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Assignment Essay
4000wd essay
60% -
Due date: 06 Dec 2021 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Participation Participation
10% Ongoing n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas

Assessment criteria

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Seminar introduction: Examining the aftermath of modern American wars—problems and possibilities, course themes, and assignments. Seminar (2 hr)  
Week 02 The Ramifications of Empire Building Seminar (2 hr)  
Week 03 Reckoning with War-induced mobility in the wake of the Philippine-American War Seminar (2 hr)  
Week 04 Fighting WWI on the Homefront Seminar (2 hr)  
Week 05 Fighting for Democracy at Abroad and at Home Seminar (2 hr)  
Week 06 Rehabilitating and Compensating WWI Veterans Seminar (2 hr)  
Week 07 Mid-semester break Individual study (2 hr)  
Week 08 Planning for the End of WWIII Seminar (2 hr)  
Week 09 Creating the Military-Industrial-Academic Complex Seminar (2 hr)  
Week 10 The Environmental Costs of WWII Seminar (2 hr)  
Week 11 Remembering the Forgotten War Seminar (2 hr)  
Week 12 Drafted Civilians Seminar (2 hr)  
Week 13 Counting the Costs of War Seminar (2 hr)  

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Demonstrate expert knowledge of period, place or culture in American history
  • LO2. Demonstrate expert understanding of a variety of approaches to interpreting American history, and skilfully employ and manipulate such approaches in their own work
  • LO3. Skilfully analyse and interpret both primary evidence and secondary literature
  • LO4. Work both independently and collaboratively to develop and refine historical understanding and awareness
  • LO5. Demonstrate capacity to integrate Indigenous and non-Western perspectives on the past and understand how axes of inequality (such as gender and racial inequalities) have been historically constructed
  • LO6. Demonstrate the skills needed to construct an evidence-based argument or narrative in written, oral, visual, or digital form
  • LO7. Demonstrate sophisticated information and digital literacy in research

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

This is the first time this unit has been offered.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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