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Screening the Past: History on Film and Television - MHIS303

Recent surveys of popular historical awareness have demonstrated that most people find out about the past from film and television, yet visual histories are often criticised for the ways they present the past. This unit will consider the limitations and possibilities of history on screen. Films like Australia, Schindler's List, Hairspray, and The Help have all provoked tremendous controversy. Do these filmic histories represent a more 'authentic' engagement with the past, or do they peddle false versions of history to a gullible public? How might we read historical films and television programs carefully and critically to understand diverse historical interpretations? This unit will develop student's understandings of the critical study of history on film, examining the ways that all historical texts (including films) make arguments about the past. The unit will examine cinematic and televisual representations of Australian, American and British histories.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

S2 Day - Session 2, North Ryde, Day

S2 External - Session 2, External (with on campus sessions)

Staff Contact(s): Associate Professor Michelle Arrow

39cp at 100 level or above or (6cp in HIST or MHIS or POL units at 200 level including 3cp in HIST or MHIS units) Prerequisite Information


NCCW(s): MHIS101
Unit Designation(s):
Unit Type:
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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