Dictators And Democrats: The Modern World
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I had high hopes for this subject - which were quickly crushed within the first few weeks. The content was overall really interesting but I didn't enjoy how the subject was run. The assigned readings were very long and tedious. Some weeks we were expected to read a whole book (we only had to skim it - but still ridiculous!) before the tutes. We focused on a few primary sources in one of the weeks, but I would've liked to do more instead of only ever reading secondary sources. There were two lecturers. Mark was great, but the other guy (forgot his name) was not very engaging. His lectures were a perfect example of 'death by powerpoint' - way too much content jammed into 70-80 slides in a one hour lecture. My least favourite aspect of this subject was the assignment structure. Call me a traditionalist, but I enjoy a good history essay. There were no essays in this subject. Instead, there was an annotated bibliography and a research plan (both of which were very poorly explained) which culminated in a final 'historical exhibit.' I found this structure uninteresting and vague, and only having 1200 words in the final exhibit to display a semester's worth of research was restrictive and made the entire process feel a bit pointless. Also, we were required to use secondary sources that were no more than 10 years old - which was very difficult, and in my opinion not an appropriate restriction to place on history research. Overall, it is very disappointing to see that this is the only level one history subject that runs in semester 2. I regret studying it. All my other experiences in the history faculty have been excellent - so if you do this subject, don't let it put you off history at unimelb!