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AIS1050 - Aboriginal Peoples, Gender, and the Colonial Frontier

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Professor Lynette Russell and Dr Amanda Kearney


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


The concept of 'the frontier' in colonial Australia and the ways in which non-Aborigines and Aborigines responded to their encounters in this period. Use of historical and other source materials to explore the ways in which gender was constructed by colonists (sealers, whalers, 'humanitarians' and colonial officials) in relation to Aboriginal men and women, and how masculinist discourses were a part of the colonising process. Examination of how gender relations were defined with regard to Aboriginal women and how colonial fears of 'miscegenation' impacted on policies and practices throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


On completion of this unit students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of the interaction between Aborigines and white settlers on the colonial frontier and the ways in which gender relations were formed, experienced and responded to; an understanding of the manner and extent to which contemporary Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal race and gender relations remain influenced by earlier colonial relations; an ability to reflect on their own relationship to questions of race and gender and the contemporary paradox of 'the frontier' and 'postcolonialism'. Written assignments, and oral presentations in class, as well as the written class test aim to provide students with the skills and confidence to demonstrate their ability to conduct independent research as well as analyse texts provided.


1 x written exercise in week 3 (500 words) : 10%
1 written tutorial paper (1000 words) : 30%
1 research essay (2000 words) : 40%
1 x 1 hour in-class test (1000) : 20%

Contact hours

1 x 1 hour lecture plus 1 x 2 hour tutorial per week for 13 weeks


ANY1010 or with approval of coordinator