Cowlishaw, G.:. Black, White or Brindle: race in rural Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988
Representing Aboriginal People, History and Place
Over the last 20 years there has been notable growth in Aboriginal creation and control of their own cultural representations through various mediums (autobiography, life stories, documentary and feature films, poetry, painting, the media, music and dance). This subject analyses and compares Aboriginal people's representation in the public arena to develop an understanding of Aboriginal culture, cultural continuity and change, contemporary identity and Indigenous people's rights and aspirations in modern Australia. The subject draws upon a range of intellectual disciplines, including history, anthropology and cultural studies alongside emerging Indigenous knowledge systems to develop an understanding of Indigenous Australian perspectives and expression. Critical consideration of images and representations provides a framework for engaging with Indigenous issues. Underpinning this approach to studying representations of Aboriginal people are social theories that provide a broad understanding of the nature of racism in the reproduction of unequal power relations in society.
At the completion of this subject, students are expected to be able to:
critically analyse and engage with representations in film and text of Aboriginal people as historical and cultural constructions;
critically analyse contemporary Indigenous forms of representation and knowledge systems across different text (film, images, literature, the media);
at the level of Professional Practice, develop critical skills to represent more appropriately Aboriginal issues and perspectives in their professional fields;
develop appropriate practices and confidence for interacting with local Aboriginal communities;
critically examine the ways racism constructs typical representations of Aboriginality, the nation and race relations in the Australia
be able to negotiate the plurality and diversity of both the theoretical perspectives studied and the ways that you, your teacher and your peers engage differently with the subject.
Teaching and learning strategies
The subject provides you with access to a wide range of intellectual resources and seeks to create an environment that supports lively, intellectually challenging and stimulating debate. The subject aims to be student-learning focused.
The lectures / tutorials will incorporate a range of teaching and experiential learning strategies including readings, case studies, structured small group discussion and student presentations. You will be required to participate in film screening and attend two field trips as part of this subject. You will also be encouraged to attend other performances where appropriate.
This subject provides you with a wide range of learning experiences that will facilitate your knowledge of the social theory field and how this can be advanced or challenged through its application to the area of Indigenous Australian critical studies.
You will be encouraged to develop your practical skills in liaising with Aboriginal communities or organisations and your participation in relevant professional, industry or community-based projects. This approach is consistent with UTS's commitment to practice-based learning.
Morris, B. Domesticating Resistance: The Dhan-Gaadi Aborigines and the Australian State. Oxford: Berg, 1989
McGrath, A.. Contested Ground: Australian Aborigines under the British Crown. St. Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1995
Langton, M. "Aboriginal Art and Film: the politics of representation" Race and Class, April - June V. 35, N. 4 1994, V. 35, N. 4. , 1994
Welch, C.. "Appropriating the Didjeridu and the Sweat Lodge: New Age baddies and Indigenous Victime" , Journal of Contemporary Religion, Vol. 17, No. 1. , 2002
Bain Attwood and S G Foster. Frontier Conflict: The Australian Experience. Canberra: National Museum of Australia, 2003
Russell, L. Savage Imaginings: Historical and contemporary constructions of Australian Aboriginality. Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2001
Hall, S (ed). Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London: Sage in association with The Open University, 1997
Langton, M. "Well, i heard it on the radio and saw it on the television -" : an essay for the Australian Film Commission on the politics and asthetics of filmmaking by and about Aboriginal people and things. North Syndney: Australian Film Commission, 1993
Rowley, C.D.. The Destruction of Aboriginal Society. Australia: Penguin, 1970
Beckett, J. Past and Present: The Construction of Aboriginality. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press for the Australian Institutes of Aboriginal Studies, 1988
Attwood, B & Arnold, J (Eds). Power Knowledges and Aborigines. Bundoora, Vic: La Trobe UP in association with the National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash U, 1992
Baron, C. "Films by Tracey Moffatt". Womens Studies Quarterly, Spring/Summer, Vol. 30 Issue 1/2, 2002
Brown, K. "Racial referents: images of European/Aboriginal relations in Australian feature films, 1955-1984". Sociological Review August Vol. 36, 1988
Brown, C. "The Representation of the Indigenous Other in Daughters of the Dust and The Piano". NWSA Journal Vol. 15 No. 1, Spring, 2003
. Elizabeth Durack interview 'Australian Biography' . http://www.australianbiography.gov.au/subjects/durack/videos/4/
Morgan, M.. Mutant Message Downunder: A Woman's Journey into Dreamtime Australia. New York: Harpercollins, 1994
Morrissey, P.. "Stalking Aboriginal Culture: The Wanda Koolmatrie affair". Australian Feminist Studies, November, vol. 18, no. 42., 2003
Probyn, F & Simpson, C.. "This land is mine/ this land is me': Reconciling Harmonies in One Night the Moon" . Accessed on-line 20/06/05: Sense of Cinema, Issue No. 19, March-April, 2002 available @ http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/01/19/this_land.html
Garroutte. E.M.. Real Indians: Identity and the survival of Native America. California: U of California P, 2003
Owens, L.. Mixedblood Messages: Literature, Film, Family, Place. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1998
Rose, D.. Reports From a Wild Country: Ethics for Decolonisation. Sydney: U of New South Wales P, 2004
Daly, A.. "The Rules of Being Australian" . Accessed on-line 20/07/04: Senses of Cinema incomplete information, missing internet link.
Krausz, P.. "Screeing Indigenous Australia: an overview of Aboriginal representation on film". Australian Screen Education, Spring Issue 32, 2003
Moore, L. & Williams, S.. The True Story of Jimmy Governor. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2001
Schaeffer, K. "The Eliza Fraser Story and Constructions of Gender, Race and Class in Australian Vulture". St. Lucia: Hecate, Vol. 17, Iss. 1, 1991
Schlunke, Katrina. Bluff Rock : Autobiography of a Massacre. , 2005
Assessment item 1: Analysis of key texts
Task:Complete a written report (2-3 pages) summarising each of the set readings for weeks 1-3.
Assessment item 2: Tutorial Presentation and written paper based on presentation
Length:1000 words (6cp), 1200 words (8cp)
Task:For this assessment you are required to undertake research on a topic as set out in the subject outline or negotiated topic, present your findings to the class, facilitate discussion for up to one hour of class time and present a written analysis of your work the following week. The topic and therefore the date, will be allocated in week three. You might like to consider what theme you would like to pursue for this presentation, and possibly for the next assignment, prior to week three.
Assessment item 3: Negotiated Independent Project
Task:A written project. This will assess your understanding of the subject material and your ability to apply the social theories we have studied and critical Indigenous perspectives.