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IA5022 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People as Colonial Subjects

Credit points: 3
Year: 2023
Student Contribution Band: Band 4
Administered by: Academy Division

This subject examines how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were re-constituted as colonial subjects. Students will be introduced to the thinking that underpinned colonial rationales and will engage and critically review a range of discourses, contexts, historical events, and government policies that have shaped the experiences and reconstituted the identities of Indigenous Australians over time and across the continent. A focus is placed on the construction of Indigenous people as a problem. The subject provides students with opportunities to comprehend the past, present and future costs to Aboriginal people, societies, knowledge, and cultural practices accruing from the destructive forces of colonial interventions across the nation, including North Queensland.

Learning Outcomes

  • deconstruct the rationales of colonial discourse and practice;
  • critically differentiate a range of historical analyses;
  • critically analyse the historical construction of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 'problem' and its relation to the colonial quest for land, resources and labour and Enlightenment thinking about human progress;
  • critique the colonial production of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identities and their relation to the contemporary position of Indigenous people;
  • apply productive dispositions and communication skills required to navigate complex knowledge intersections in professional and other everyday spaces;
  • analyse the rationales, intentions and effects of government policy responses and practices for Indigenous people.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Test/Quiz 1 - (45%) - Individual
  • Written > Essay (including multi-draft) 1 - (40%) - Individual
  • Written > Annotated bibliography - (15%) - Individual.


Study Period 1, External
Census Date 23-Mar-2023
Coord/Lect: Dr Ailie McDowall.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 26 hours online activity - discussion boards
  • 19 hours was Pre-recorded content/lectures
  • assessment and self-directed study
Method of Delivery: WWW - LearnJCU

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.