Reconstructing the Aboriginal Australian

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Reconstructing the Aboriginal Australian

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Australian Culture, Indigenous Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Previous studies in Australian history or Aboriginal studies is preferred but not essential.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This course traces the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples of Australia from colonisation to the present by using Aboriginal standpoint in a political science context. Students will gain an understanding of government policies introduced to manage this relationship and the responses by Aboriginal people to these policies and practice frameworks. The course will explore and challenge theoretical and cultural perspectives that underpin and describe both the policies being pursued and Aboriginal engagement within them. Lectures and tutorials will examine the values and political philosophy that directed and gave shape to these social and political movements and, in particular, Aboriginal demands, investment and ownership in the continuing process of liberalisation.
    Course Introduction
    This course is delivered internally over thirteen weeks and consists of one weekly two-hour lecture and one weekly one-hour tutorial. Lectures will be conducted using both lecture and seminar formats. The use of a seminar format will encourage students to critically engage with issues raised in the lectures. Tutorials will be interactive group discussions around the topic and set readings for each week. The teaching strategy for both lectures and tutorials will maximise the opportunity to facilitate an environment that promotes peer discussion and learning.
    Course Aims
    This course aims to:
    • Explore the tensions that emerge when Western knowledge (for this course it refers to the political philosophy that informs the liberal democratic tradition) and Aboriginal knowledge systems come into contact with each other.
    • Develop an awareness amongst students that a political philosophy can inform and sustain a range of competing ideologies.
    • Encourage a greater understanding of issues impacting upon Aboriginal peoples by investigating the methodologies that describe them.
    • Give recognition to Aboriginal history and experience as a valid critique of past and existing policy practices.
    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1. apply a critical understanding of the history and politics of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relations.
    2. develop the ability to critically discriminate between processes and the values that drive policy frameworks and strategies.
    3. apply the added critical reading and writing skills considered during the course.
    4. develop an awareness that the recognition of cultural difference is not just a matter of identifying racial categories but reflects a relationship of construction between those who name and define and those so named and defined.
    5. be conversant with the range of arguments used in relation to issues impacting upon Aboriginal peoples.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.