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AIS4010 - Theories and Research Methodologies in Australian Indigenous Studies

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Professor Lynette Russell


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


Theoretical and methodological issues involved in researching and writing about Indigenous peoples; constructions of Aboriginality and discourses of 'Aboriginalism'; contextualizing Indigenous ontology and epistemology in regard to dominant western perspectives and understanding that western epistemologies are no longer a primary tool to gain knowledge and thus appreciate that belief and knowledge systems are culturally derived; an exploration of 'two-way' engagement as a decolonizing tool.


Students should be able to critically reflect on their own subject and speaking positions; and demonstrate their understanding of: constructions of Aboriginality and discourses of 'Aboriginalism'; the significance and meanings of oral history; ethical responsibilities and methodological approaches to Australian Indigenous Studies as an interdisciplinary study as well as within the discrete disciplines of Australian Indigenous archaeology and anthropology; understanding of questions of identity constructions and contestations; and how visual representations of Aboriginality have and continue to reflect the legacies of colonialism and Indigenous peoples' responses to this. On completion of this unit students should be able to demonstrate the capacity to think critically, and to communicate effectively and to a high level in written and oral forms.


Seminar Paper (3000 words) : 30%
Research Essay (6000 words) : 60%
Self-reflexive Oral Presentation (Approx 20 minutes) : 10%

Contact hours

2 hour seminar per week for 13 weeks


A major sequence in Australian Indigenous Studies, Australian Indigenous Archaeology or Anthropology, or with approval of the Honours coordinator.


KRS4010 (2000 and previously)