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AIS3055 - Power, Knowledge, Aborigines: Between Representation and Reality

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Barry Judd and Stephen Pritchard


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


As for AIS2055


This unit aims to provide students with an understanding of contemporary relationships between Aborigines and white Australia through a critical examination of how white Australia claims to "know" Aboriginal people, cultures and history. The unit will introduce students to the problematic of representation and the theoretical and practical influence representational constructs have exerted in shaping the colonial encounter between Aborigines and white Australia. On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate, both orally and in writing an appreciation of the broad social, cultural and historical context in which contemporary dialogues between Aborigines and white Australia operate.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the key theoretical frameworks through which white Australia claims "knowledge" about and "power" over Aboriginal peoples and cultures.
  3. Describe and critically assess the central themes and issues that have shaped white Australian "knowledge" about Aboriginal peoples and cultures.
  4. Acknowledge and critically examine the difference between white Australia's representational constructs of Aborigines and the historic and contemporary realities of Australia's Indigenous peoples'.
  5. Acknowledge and critically examine the power and privilege of "whiteness" in contemporary Australian society.
  6. Demonstrate the various study skills and techniques necessary to successfully complete this unit and other Indigenous Studies units.
  7. The third year students, in addition, will be expected to provide evidence of independent research by reading and considering a range of materials not covered in the seminars or on the distributed reading list. (Added by Assessor)


Oral seminar presentation: 10%;
Exploratory Exercise related to oral seminar presentation: (1500 words) 20%;
Research Essay: (3000 words) 70%.

Contact hours

One x 2 hour seminar/week


AIS1020 or with the permission of the coordinator