This subject is thematic in its focus and introduces students to broad questions of war, its nature, its impact on society and its representations through specific examples and using different perspectives.
Issues discussed include the definitions and causes of war, biological and social arguments about the existence of war, religion, dispossession, bereavement, commemoration, winners and losers in war, media, propaganda, war crimes, insurgency, genocide, women in combat, war as represented in popular culture and images of war.
The specific themes covered vary from year to year.
The subject concentrates on war from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries and includes contemporary issues.
The Vietnam War was the longest twentieth century conflict in which Australians participated ; it involved some 60,000 personnel and grew from a limited initial commitment of 30 military advisers in 1962 to include a battalion in 1965 and finally, in 1966, a task force. Each of the three services was involved, but the dominant role was played by the Army. After the cessation of combat operations in 1972, a limited number of Australian personnel remained in Vietnam, and elements of the RAAF returned in 1975, carrying out evacuations and assisting refugees almost until the moment of South Vietnam's surrender.
Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1904-1991) was a life-long cartoonist: in high school in Springfield, Massachusetts; in college at Dartmouth (Class of 1925); as an adman in New York City before World War II; in his many children's books, beginning with To Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street (1937). Because of the fame of his children's books (and because we often misunderstand these books) and because his political cartoons have remained largely unknown, we do not think of Dr. Seuss as a political cartoonist. But for two years, 1941-1943, he was the chief editorial cartoonist for the New York newspaper PM (1940-1948), and for that journal he drew over 400 editorial cartoons.