On Campus
1 x 1-hour lecture weekly
1 x 2-hour tutorial weekly

Distance Online
1 x 1-hour online lecture weekly
1 x 2-hour online tutorial weekly
Essay, Group presentation, Reading task, Tutorial participation
Topic description

In this topic students critically examine the scientific, social and political construction of 'race' and racism and their global impacts, particularly the use of these ideas in colonial processes of 'settlement' in Australian contexts. With an emphasis on Indigenous Australia, the topic will examine the importance of representations of history and hierarchical constructions of race, and the impacts of colonial policies and processes on Indigenous peoples. The topic will also trace the contemporary iterations of issues of race within Australian life. How do ideas of 'race' inform and shape representations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Australia? Students will consider key questions around: racialisation; biopolitics; the effects of racism; equality; social justice; Indigenous human rights and decolonising race theory. Students will gain understandings of the problematics of 'race', consider what constitutes 'being human', as well as contemporary formations of social policy based on ideas of race.

This topic will draw on Indigenous Creative Sovereignties and privilege Indigenous Knowledges and perspectives to consider, analyse and articulate Indigenous futures, through critical arts-based learning.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Introduce students to 'scientific' racial theories as applied to Indigenous people within Australia and help them understand how 'race' as a social construction informs perceptions of progress
  • Provide students with insight into how representations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are informed by ideas of race and asks them to consider what it means to be human in the wake of attempted genocide while examining the language of 'race' within the contemporary world
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Critically assess the human application of key ‘scientific’ ideas of race social Darwinism and Eugenics
  2. Critically analyse ‘race’ within law and social policy in Australia
  3. Discuss key Indigenous responses to representations of race in Australia