Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitMonash Indigenous Centre
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Dr Rachel Standfield


This unit considers the colonial encounter between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Students will gain an appreciation of the historical context in which relationships between Indigenous people and non-Indigenous colonists have developed, and in particular will explore the ways in which gender and race was constructed by colonists in relation to Indigenous men and women, and how discourses of masculinity and racial superiority were a part of the colonising process. Assessment aims to provide students with the skills and confidence to demonstrate their ability to conduct independent research as well as skills in analyzing historical documents.


The unit focuses on the theoretical, political and legal dimensions of Aboriginal encounters with white Australia and provides students with foundational knowledge required to undertake further Indigenous Studies. On successful completion of this subject, students will:

  1. have gained a broad understanding of the historical, political and legal dimensions that have shaped the colonial encounter between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people
  2. have gained an understanding of the theoretical ideas that have shaped understandings of the colonial encounter.
  3. have gained an understanding of the manner and extent to which contemporary Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal race and gender relations remain influenced by earlier colonial relations
  4. have developed an ability to reflect on their own relationship to questions of race and gender and the contemporary paradox of 'the frontier' and 'postcolonialism'
  5. have developed an ability to critically analyse historical and contemporary sources
  6. have engaged in written and oral presentations which reflect these understandings as well as an awareness of the value of interdisciplinary approaches to a study of this kind.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study