ATS2551 - Writing resistance: Understanding the power of Indigenous story-telling through literature - 2017

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.




Dr Mridula Chakraborty

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


The unit will explore and examine the critical importance of Literature in developing an understanding of Indigenous story-telling and Indigeneity across the world. Students will gain an appreciation of the ways in which Indigenous literatures tell the stories of Indigenous peoples in their own voices and on their own terms, instead of being represented by mainstream narratives. You will learn how Indigenous literatures negotiate issues of aesthetics and ethics, authenticity and identity, voice and representation, individual authorship and community narrative. Studying a diverse range of prose (fiction and non-fiction) and poetry from across the world, including from Australia, Canada, India and the US, you will learn how to understand these powerful literatures in a comparative framework. You will build upon critical analytical skills in literary studies that will help in understanding how Indigenous sovereignty is determined through Literature in the face of hegemonic discursive and representational practices.


Upon successful completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. discuss the development of Indigenous literary texts across different aesthetic/cultural/linguistic traditions and historical/geopolitical/national contexts;
  2. discuss the ways in which knowledge about literary comparison enables us to be critically aware of our own literary assumptions, expectations, judgments and representational practices;
  3. develop critical analytic written practice, in or about literary genres such as fiction, poetry, memoir with special reference to Indigenous literary traditions and practices;
  4. undertake independent research in literary studies, using print and electronic sources;
  5. apply a range of approaches and critical reading skills in the field of Indigenous literary studies in a comparative framework.


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 first-year Arts units.