Department of History
HSTY1001 History Workshop Making history, making historians
In History’s workshop, you’ll work with the raw materials of history – books, charts, newspapers, diaries, artefacts, memories and more. In a small seminar group run by an experienced historian, you'll get a real sense of how history happens. You'll sift through traces of the past, working together to look, listen, compare, speculate, and extract meaning from odd fragments.

Gradually, out of the fragments, you will recreate a past world. Designed to spark your curiosity and build your expertise, these seminars have something for everyone, whether you are new to history, wanting to hone your skills, or just keen to plunge deep into a new place and time.

Whether it's amid the chaos of fire in New York’s financial district in 1835, surveying the Empire with Queen Victoria from the vantage point of Windsor Castle in 1897, joining hunger strikers in Pelican Bay State Prison in 2013, in the thick of local politics in Charleston in 1780, where the American Revolution seems on the verge of collapse, or lost in the polar wastes with Sir John Franklin in 1847, searching for a mythic Northwest Passage – by the end of Semester 2 you’ll have deep knowledge of an absorbing period of history, a fresh understanding of how historians approach their craft, and hands-on experience making history yourself.


NWP: Northwest Passage, 1847
Penny Russell – Tues, 11am-1pm
In 1847-48 140 British mariners died while attempting to navigate the ‘Northwest Passage’. Efforts to rescue the expedition produced new maps of the Arctic and a new sense of its horrors.

CALIF: Crescent City, California, 2013
Chin Jou – Tues, 12-2pm
Crescent City is the site of the Pelican Bay State Prison in the US state of California. In 2013, inmates of this ‘supermax’ facility launched a two-month hunger strike to protest long-term solitary confinement.

NYC: New York, 1835 
Shane White –  Tues, 1-3pm
In December 1835, in freezing temperatures, a great fire levelled the thriving business district of lower Manhattan.

WINDS: Windsor Castle, 1897 
Cindy McCreery – Wed, 9-11am
Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee provides a rich focal point for a study of London and the British empire at – or near – the peak of its global influence.

CHARL: Charleston, South Carolina, 1780 
Michael McDonnell – Wed, 10am-12pm
The American Revolution is on the brink of collapse as American patriots jostle with loyalists, African slaves, and Native Americans when British forces threaten to retake all of the American south.

For more information please contact the Semester 2 Unit Coordinator.

Coordinator: Penny Russell
Phone: +61 2 9351 2362