HIST 2054 - Reel History: World War II in Film

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

The aim of this course is to explore the relationship between the past and its representation on film with particular emphasis on World War II. It takes various aspects of the history of the war to examine how film has represented, reconstructed and interpreted the mid-twentieth century crisis. The course compares films with more traditional historical texts and sources in order to chart how filmmakers have approached the war. Why did some aspects of the war draw more attention than others? How did different people address the same subjects? Who has been responsible for shaping our understanding of the war and why was so much invested in its recreation on the screen? Students will address such questions and should complete the course with an understanding of the influence of film on popular perceptions of the war and an awareness of the dynamic process of remembering and forgetting history that is inherent in the production of historical films.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code HIST 2054
    Course Reel History: World War II in Film
    Coordinating Unit History
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week, plus viewing of films
    Prerequisites 12 units Level I study
    Incompatible HIST 2029 or HIST 3029
    Course Description The aim of this course is to explore the relationship between the past and its representation on film with particular emphasis on World War II. It takes various aspects of the history of the war to examine how film has represented, reconstructed and interpreted the mid-twentieth century crisis. The course compares films with more traditional historical texts and sources in order to chart how filmmakers have approached the war. Why did some aspects of the war draw more attention than others? How did different people address the same subjects? Who has been responsible for shaping our understanding of the war and why was so much invested in its recreation on the screen? Students will address such questions and should complete the course with an understanding of the influence of film on popular perceptions of the war and an awareness of the dynamic process of remembering and forgetting history that is inherent in the production of historical films.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Vesna Drapac

    vesna.drapac@adelaide.edu.au
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    See the Course Planner for the schedule of lectures and tutorials.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate:
    1 A detailed knowledge of the history of World War II on film and the debates about the nature of history on film.
    2 An ability to identify and access primary, secondary and visual materials relating to filmic representations of World War II.
    3 An ability to assess the historical significance of and evaluate critically the representation and contemporary impact of World War II on film.
    4 An ability to participate in, lead and summarise group discussions.
    5 A capacity to write effectively within the scholarly conventions of the discipline of history.
    6 A proficiency in the use of appropriate electronic resources for the study of film history.
    7 An awareness of the cultural impact of representations of history in film.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 7
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2, 6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3, 4, 5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 2, 6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 3, 7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    1. The Course Guide supplements this Course Outline and contains instructions and relevant information about the assessment, the readings and the general running of the course. This will be available on MyUni. 

    2. The Course Reader contains essential readings for tutorial discussion and will be available for purchase from the Image and Copy Centre.

    3. The Barr Smith Library holds all the films covered in this course. You will be expected to view the films prior to the tutorial discussion of each particular film.
    Recommended Resources
    The Barr Smith Library has a rich collection of books and films on our subject. It is essential that you familiarise yourself with the resources guide for this course which is available online through the Barr Smith Library. The resources guide provides information on accessing materials available in the library and electronically for this course.
     

    Online Learning
    1. This course has a website accessible through MyUni.
    2. Regular announcements and updates will be posted on MyUni.
    3. The lectures will be recorded and available on MyUni.
    4. The MyUni page will also contain the Course Guide, the essay questions,  and other relevant handouts.
    5. The University provides you with electronic access to the full text of articles in a large range of history,  film, and film history journals through the Barr Smith Library.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course comprises face-to-face teaching on campus with one two-hour lecture and one tutorial per week.

    Lectures begin in Week One and tutorials begin in Week Two.

    Lectures in this course refer specifically to the topics and readings to be discussed in tutorials. Lectures are designed to stimulate reflection and debate. They do this by evoking the wider context in which to place the films and themes under review, by pointing you to historians’ debates on key issues and by referring to items in your Course Reader. On occasion, short films and documentaries will shown during the lecture times.

    Tutorials are designed to promote discussion among all members of the class and to hone each student’s oral communication skills. The films, the materials in the Course Reader and material covered in lectures will provide you with the necessary background to participate in tutorials and to contribute to and lead group discussion. As tutorials have the primary purpose of developing a range of graduate attributes as listed above, regular tutorial attendance is a requirement of this course.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    There are three 3 contact hours per week. Independent study and viewing the films in preparation for tutorials, written assignments and the exam together with the contact hours amount to approximately 156 hours of study across the course of the semester and the examinations period.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The themes to be discussed in tutorials include: propaganda and wartime feature films; documentary filmmakers and the war; the home front; the soldiers’ war; gendered interpretations of the war; resistance and collaboration; representing the Holocaust on film.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The tutorials will provide students with the opportunity to engage in group activities and problem solving with regard to the key themes and methodological approaches to the study of history on film. Students will also be expected to build on group work in order to devise a research question and identify appropriate sources for their major essay.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Tutorial attendance, participation and presentations
    Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7.

    Film review
    Learning outcomes 1, 3, 5, 7.

    Essay
    Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7.

    Exam
    Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 5, 7.
    Assessment Related Requirements
     
    Assessment Detail
    1. Tutorial attendance and participation
    As there is a strong emphasis on building your oral communication skills in this course attendance at weekly tutorials is a requirement.  More information about the tutorials will be available in the Course Guide and at the first tutorial.

    2. Film Review
    For this assignment you will be required to review of one of the films covered in the course.  More details about this assignment will be available in the Course Guide.

    3. Essay
    In the essay you will present a synthesis of your response to the question. Your main goal will be to develop an argument in a logical and persuasive style and to seek appropriate evidence or examples to illustrate your case. You will be assessed on your ability to sustain an argument and the initiative and creativity exhibited in your analysis of the film(s) in question and in your use of a range of sources.

    4. Exam
    The two-hour exam will comprise unseen short-answer questions and an essay. Essay questions will be available on MyUni one week prior to the exam to assist you with preparation however you will not be allowed to bring any notes into the exam.
    Submission
    Essays are due before 11.59 pm on the day in question. They should be submitted electronically (no hard copies are required) to the TWO drop boxes that are to be found in the ‘Assignments’ folder on Myuni.
    The penalty for work submitted late without an extension is 2% per day including weekends.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    The School of History and Politics is committed to upholding the  University's Policy on Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S). All  staff and students have a legal responsibility to act in the interests  of themselves and others with respect to OH&S. For information on the School's contingency plan and emergency procedures, please see the OH&S section on the school website:

    http://www.hss.adelaide.edu.au/historypolitics/ohs

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