Prof Nicholas Brown
Professor of History
I currently teach HIST1214 ‘Clash of Empires: 1450 to the Present’ HIST2136 ‘World at War; 1929-1945’ and ECHI1006 ‘The Australian Economy: Past and Present’. My primary area of expertise in supervision is Twentieth Century Australian history. I look forward to sharing my approach to all of these fields.
History is both a problem-solving and a problem-posing discipline, and I particularly enjoy working with historical perspectives to assist students in testing and refining their skills in thinking, their sense of values, their empathy and judgement. In my teaching, I emphasize that it is the unfamiliarity of the past, even the most recent past, that requires our understanding, rather than a sense of ready identification or continuity. My teaching style, strategy, selection of course materials and structure, reflect this approach. I am committed to ensuring that the teaching of History at ANU continues to draw on the core principles and practice of research-led education, and continues to support students in developing their capacities to test themselves in their deep engagement with the past.
What is the most important/transformative thing you have to share with your peers from your personal experience in teaching/mentoring/academic leadership/governance thus far? We all struggle with the increasingly undifferentiated world of digital information and the need to anchor teaching practices in specific skills of critical research, analysis, argument and presentation. The role of tutorial based teaching in enabling all participants to ‘slow down’ their engagement with a subject, and to test and refine their thinking, remains central to my teaching practice.
Name: Nicholas Brown