Historicising the Colonial Mythscape

Subject AIND30008 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170 hours across the semester, including class time.





Recommended Background Knowledge:

37.5 points of 2nd year subjects in Australian Indigenous Studies

Non Allowed Subjects:

106-316 Historicising the Colonial Past

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Dr Odette Kelada



Subject Overview:

This subject explores colonial ‘mythscapes’, the discursive realms in which myths of nation are forged, constantly negotiated and reconstructed. It applies new historicist approaches to selected key events in Aboriginal Australia’s colonial history. Students will be introduced to historical, archival and cultural materials, and will engage with multi-modal texts spanning art, film and literature, speaking to themes of national amnesia, memory and memorials. Key events will include: colonial narratives and Aboriginal and Settler contact/conflict, Ellen Draper’s Old Cobraboor and The Myall Creek Massacre of 1868, the Contested Grounds of history writing, Kate Grenville’s The Secret River and frontier stories; epic pastoral narratives, pioneer myths and the age of the cattle empires.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the subject students should have:

  • the ability to apply historicist reading and research methods to the understanding of key events impacting on Aboriginal communities;
  • an understanding of the intersection of archival, political and literary documentation in disclosing new perspectives on key historical events;
  • an appreciation of the importance of literary and other narratives in understanding key historical events.

Tutorial participation and a 10-minute paper presentation (done in class), 10%, an essay of 1500 words 30% (due mid-semester), and an essay of 2500 words 60% (due in the examination period).

This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 75% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

  • That Deadmen Dance, K.Scott
  • We of the Never Never dr. I Auzis
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • have a developed understanding of relevant critical theories and methods and make informed decisions about their use and application in relation to Indigenous subject matter;
  • be able to work effectively as an individual and member of class in producing new learning outcomes;
  • engage in high-level use of a wide range of research applications and resources and make informed decisions in respect to their usage;
  • be able to engage in an informed and reasonable discussion of ideas and issues, including those involving sensitivities, that relate to Aboriginal and Settler communities;
  • have the ability to produce high quality written material that encompasses the complexities and sensitivities of Australian Indigenous Studies.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Australian Indigenous Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Australian Indigenous Studies

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