SOCI238-18S1 (C) Semester One 2018

Exploring the Past

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2018
End Date: Sunday, 24 June 2018
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 2 March 2018
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 18 May 2018


This course is a ‘hands-on’ introduction to public history and historical ethnography, taught through a combination of workshops, tutorials and field trips.

This course provides an introduction to historical inquiry taught through a combination of workshops, tutorials and field trips. There are four main sections or themes. In The Uses of the Past we attempt to find common ground between the disciplines of anthropology, sociology and history; reflect on the meanings associated with objects; and critically examine the ‘sacred myths’ that surround the commemoration of Anzac Day. In the sessions that follow, we explore three case studies: Death and Memory; Museums and Historical Representation; and Film and History.

Our focus here is on:
(a) ways we might approach the past, including the use of documentary sources, material culture, visual media, oral histories and
(b) the kinds of questions that confront those of us engaged in historical work (especially in museums). Who owns the past? Who may interpret the past? Whose story is it? Who should tell it?

This course aims to awaken students’ historical imagination and explore ways that we might represent the past.

Learning Outcomes

This course will enable each participant to:

 critically evaluate a range of theoretical, conceptual and empirical tools for making sense of the past
 reflect on course texts and learning experiences in a personal journal
 complete a concept description for an exhibition on an aspect of local history
 contribute effectively in group and cooperative work
 develop an appreciation for historical anthropology and social history

NOTE: The correct pre-requisites for this course are as follows - please ignore the ones below.

15 points of 100 level ANTH or HIST or SOCI with B grade or better; or 30 points of 100 level ANTH or HIST or SOCI; or students without 100 level ANTH or HIST or SOCI but with a B average or better in 60 points in related subjects may enter the course with the approval of the Head of Department.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


15 points of SOCI or
ANTH at 100 level; OR 45 points in related subjects with the approval of the Head of Department.


Equivalent Courses

Course Coordinator

Lyndon Fraser


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Structured Controversy Exercise 20%
Learning Journal 40%
Museum Concept Description 40%

Textbooks / Resources

The required readings for the course will be available on LEARN.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $746.00

International fee $3,038.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences.

All SOCI238 Occurrences

  • SOCI238-18S1 (C) Semester One 2018