My expertise ranges across contemporary history (migration, war, family and social history in Australia and Britain) and historical theory and method (especially oral history, memory studies and public history). I teach a range of Monash History undergraduate and postgraduate units as listed below, and I am also Director of the Historical Studies Graduate Research Program. In 2016 I was awarded a Monash Arts Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.
In my years as a university adult educator at Sussex University I developed a passion for student-centred teaching and learning. My units typically include hands-on practical work, field trips, debate and discussion, extensive use of original sources and internet resources, and student research projects. I encourage students not just to learn about history but also to make their own histories.
For example, watch the remarkable video histories produced by Monash students on our Making Histories course… Making (Digital) Histories is a Monash collaboration with Museum Victoria (MV). On the course (in 2012 and 2014) 50 students researched their own history projects, using local or family history sources, or the museum’s rich online collection; wrote a project proposal drawing on historical literature; scripted their research; and produced a 3 minute digital video history which is now available online via MV / Vimeo. The best videos were showcased at a Museum Victoria event for students, families and staff, and prizes were presented to the best video histories by the Museum and by Dean of Arts Rae Frances and DVC Teaching and Learning Darrell Evans. This is the most exciting and gratifying teaching I’ve been involved in, and the student work has been extraordinary, as you can see. In 2014 the prize winning videos were by Aiden McKee (Her Fondest Hour), Perrin Jones (The House of Haunted Minds) and Jacqueline Sexton (Amnesia). Read about the course in an article which includes links to the videos, ‘”History is a Conversation”: Teaching Student Historians through Making Digital Histories’ History Australia, 13, 3, 2016, pp. 415-30.
Beyond the university, over the past 25 years I have taught oral history master classes in Australia and throughout the world. As an active member of Oral History Victoria I contribute to the OHV program of oral history training workshops.
List of units I teach at Monash:
ATS1325 Contemporary worlds 1 (semester 1, 2017)
ATS2588 Australian stories: People, place and histories
ATS3080 Remembering the past
ATS3931 Making digital history (semester 2, 2017)
ATS3092 Reading and researching history
ATS4297 Recording oral history: Theory and practice