1 x 2-hour lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
Topic description

Introducing students to the social, economic and political history of occupied settler South Australia from its first appearance in UK parliamentary debates in 1833, to the present, the topic examines the changing interpretations of the colony/province/state's past. It asks: is South Australia truly distinctive? And, if so, what made it distinctive? If not, then what? In exploring these questions, the topic reveals changing preoccupations with race, class, gender and nationality, against a background of evolving ideas and practices in popular participation and public accountability.

The topic introduces students to primary historical research and encourages them to follow their own interests in learning activities and assessment.

Issues to be investigated may include: South Australia as an indigenous-settler frontier; gerrymandered elections; international war; education structures and functions; the State Bank collapse and other economic crises; changing attitudes to immigration; temperance movements and other forms of 'wowserism'; mining; 'new towns' such as Elizabeth and Whyalla; religion; water shortage and other environmental catastrophes; Adelaide as a minor city in a minor power; work; changing perspectives on women and other 'others'; or, involvement in the weapons industry.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Provide students with opportunities to gain a general knowledge of South Australia's distinctive social, economic and political history
  • Guide an introduction to appropriate literature
  • Introduce students to primary sources relating to South Australian history
  • Provide students with opportunities to develop understanding of different kinds of historical evidence and the complexity of historical explanation
  • Develop students' research and communication skills
  • Encourage students to develop as independent learners with collaborative capacity
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Identify significant themes in South Australian history, recount significant events and analyse their probable causes and consequences, and demonstrate familiarity with relevant scholarly perspectives
  2. Comprehend, critically analyse and use historical evidence of various kinds in constructing a reasoned and coherent argument
  3. Communicate ideas and arguments, verbally and in writing, both in discipline-specific ways and as a basis for transferrable, durable communication skills

  4. Plan and evaluate their own learning