Aboriginal Australia through European Eyes

10 Units

This Australian Studies course will consider how historians, anthropologists, creative artists, museum curators and the mass media have viewed and presented images of Aboriginal Australia. It places European conceptions about the nature of Australia’s indigenous people in historical context and examines how and why they have changed. Students will be required to evaluate a variety of sources including first contact narratives, anthropological and history texts, museum and art exhibits, films, novels and media articles.

Faculty Faculty of Education and Arts
School School of Humanities and Social Science

Not currently offered

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be expected to demonstrate the ability to: 1. Evaluate representations of Australian Aboriginal society 2. Form a critical understanding of the underlying assumptions that inform notions about non-European cultures 3. Understand the process of scholarly debate and creative responds 4. Develop and refine their own critical, analytical and communication skills that are transferable to other domains of study, paid work and civic life


This course will be divided into a number of modules based on the various media explorers journals, scholarly texts, novels, film, paintings, exhibitions - through which Europeans have represented Australian Aboriginal society. Texts that may be considered include: James Bonwick, Daily Life and Origins of the Tasmanians, A.P. Elkin, The Australian Aborigines, Dianne Bell, Daughters of the Dreaming, the novels of Katherine Susannah Prichard and Xavier Herbert, Peter Sutton, Dreamings, the art of the Port Jackson painter and films such as Jeddah, Tracker and Rabbit Proof Fence.

Replacing Course(s) HUMA6000
Transition Students who have completed HUMA6000 can not enrol in HIST6010.
Assumed Knowledge Undergraduate program, preferably in the Humanities
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Critical evaluation of a major text, film or exhibition, due in first half of semester, 30%
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Essay, due in second half of semester, 40% 3. Participation in correspondence and weekly tasks, 30%
  • Group/tutorial participation and contribution - Participation in correspondence and weekly tasks, 30% The number and weighting of assessment items may vary from this list, but details will be confirmed in course guide distributed in first two weeks of semester.
Contact Hours
  • Self Directed Learning: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Timetable 2018 Course Timetables for HIST6010
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