Empire, Race and Human Rights: 1800-2000

Subject 131-025 (2008)

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Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2008.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Usually 12.5 points of first-year history.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Prof Grimshaw, AssocP Swain & Dr Edmonds
Subject Overview:

This subject examines issues of human rights during the development of the British Empire in the 19th century and the period of decolonisation in the 20th. It focuses in particular on power, subordination, governance and the construction of ideas of race, including whiteness, in such sites as Australia, Canada, the African colonies, India, Papua New Guinea and the West Indies. Topics include slavery and its abolition, the expropriation of indigenous peoples' land, resources and labour, rebellions in the West Indies and India, policies of exclusion/assimilation in the white Dominions, Australian strategies of empire in the Pacific, Indigenous political rights, land rights and reconciliation. On completion of the subject students should develop an understanding of the construction of ideas of race in the former British empire; the movements of resistance (political and otherwise) of colonised peoples against their positions of subordination; the changing ideas of human rights and racial theories, especially after World War 2, and their impact on developments in these 'postcolonial' societies.

Assessment: A research essay of 2500 words 50% (due mid-semester), a review essay of 1500 words 40% (due end of semester) and tutorial participation 10%.
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

Information Not Available

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • demonstrate critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument

  • develop research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources

  • be able to present their findings orally to a class, and produce effective written prose for assessment

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Diploma in Arts (History)
Diploma in Arts (Islamic Studies)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Australian Indigenous Studies)

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