Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit



Dr Lejla Voloder



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


This unit introduces students to basic issues connected with indigeneity such as the first peoples concept; historical engagements with colonial or settler populations; the importance of distinctiveness to indigenous identities; and the importance and vulnerability of heritage in indigenous groups.
This unit extends these understandings by exploring the emergence of indigeneity as a global political movement. It examines the emergence of a global political discourse of indigeneity, as well as the implications of this emergence for domestic political regimes. By referring to African, Australian and American examples, it explores how indigenous groups have secured better outcomes by advocating for their causes in global institutions and networks in which an indigenous rights framework has taken shape. It explores the media forms and celebrity advocacy (such as the project of the rock star Sting in the Amazon) that made indigeneity a global concept; the problems occurring when indigeneity is valued as a political resource by groups; and the stress accompanying indigenous discourses which appear to replicate primordial movements. The unit contains a three-week module on indigenous languages in Australia.


After successfully completing this unit, students should be able to:

  1. display knowledge of various definitions of indigeneity;
  2. identify key debates in studies of indigeneity;
  3. articulate broad connections between cultural identity and expression, history, land, and political power;
  4. display an understanding of indigenous issues pertinent to thee specific cultural-geographical regions;
  5. write a brief (1500 words) but focused research paper on the global connections between disparate indigenous movements.

Students are expected to develop their abilities to:

  1. use analytic and interpretive skills in dealing with social science accounts of diverse peoples;
  2. read written sources and view visual materials critically;
  3. assess preconceived ideas about what indigenous cultures are like;
  4. present logical, coherent arguments in writing.


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


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units. It is highly recommended that students only take this unit after they have completed two gateway units in Anthropology, Indigenous cultures and histories, International studies or Spanish and Latin American studies.