1 x 1-hour lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
4.5 units of Second Level HIST topics
Assumed knowledge
Familiarity with the kind of knowledge, conceptual understanding and skills that would be acquired by the completion of at least 9 units of second year level undergraduate topics from History major.
Topic description

In August 1914, tens of millions of men were mobilised as European nations declared war on one another. As most of these nations were imperial powers, their colonies were also drawn into the conflict. How could Senegalese, Australians, Malians and South Africans could find themselves fighting Germans or Ottomans they had previously no contact with? How could European populations consent to total warfare for so long and at huge costs? Millions of the men who marched to the front in 1914 later died as a result of a type of industrial warfare few had foreseen. And for what?

This topic focuses on the global dimension of the First World War. Drawing from up-to-date transnational and comparative historiography, the topic provides an understanding of a war that, in many ways, shaped the 20th century. It provides an opportunity to approach new ways of thinking about the conflict, outside of the national framework.

The topic will provide you with an understanding of the origins of the First World War taking you back to mid-19th century Europe and the rise of nationalisms right through its consequences and its long lasting effects on the 20th century. Taking you through the conflict, a wide array of topics will be explored such as trench combat, violence, shell shock, home-fronts, arts, reconstruction and commemoration.

Educational aims

Upon completion of of this topic, students will have acquired knowledge, skills, attitudes and values in line with Flinders' graduate attributes. Students will be able to correctly sequence events pertaining to the First World War, recognise key agents and describe the salient features of those societies which were involve in the conflict. They will also recognise some of the competing claims of interested sections of the community and the profession as they appear in interpretations of this global conflict. They will also comprehend changes in the method and models of interpretation employed within the profession and relate to the historiography of the First World War. Students will be able to identify and assess sources of historical information pertaining to the First World War; construct a sustained, coherent and reasoned argument based on source material; and synthesise differing viewpoints and account for inconsistencies between various accounts. They will be able to communicate their research findings and historical argument in written and oral forms; complete an individual historical research project; participate actively in a group research project, apply methodologies and models for research and reporting to new and unfamiliar fields and apply research and reporting skills as relevant throughout their professional lives. Finally, student will be able to maintain the normative ethical standards governing the discipline of history with reference to the relevant codes of academic integrity and the need for inclusive and culturally sensitive research and reporting practices and recognise the need for and embrace the opportunities to update the knowledge and skills accumulated whilst studying.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Critically reflect upon the nature of military and cultural history and how it has been practised in relation to the First World War
  2. Appreciate the complexities, characteristics and legacies of the conflict
  3. Develop their communication skills through oral presentations, discussion and reasoned argument
  4. Locate, collect, interpret and synthesise a range of historical sources to develop a coherent argument
  5. Plan, research and write an academic essay