Indigenous Histories in Film

Subject 106-205 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1-hour lecture, a 2-hour film screening and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: 2 contact hours/week , 6.5 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Usually 25 points of first year study including completion of the first year subject 100-181 Australian Indigenous Studies
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:


Dr Sean Edward Gorman


Sean Gorman

Subject Overview: This subject will explore the historical constructions in documentary and feature films of the inter-relations between Indigenous and non- Indigenous Australians since 1788 until the present. A major focus of this subject will be to examine the way Indigenous Australians have been constructed in documentary and feature film in Australia and how specific policies have impacted upon Indigenous Australians since the time of contact. Further, this subject will explore how Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians have worked collaboratively to create filmic documents about Indigenous historical moments, events and people. Students will examine and engage with documentary and feature films to analyse constructions of Indigenous identities, racism in Australian Society as well as the discourses of struggle, resistance and reconciliation.
  • be able to understand and engage with historical, social, cultural and ideological constructions relating to Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians;
  • be able to appreciate and comprehend past policies that have specifically impacted upon Indigenous Australians and how these polices still impact today;
  • be able to outline major themes and issues that feed into constructions Indigenous Australians historically;
  • be able to recognise and explain specific historical moments that are pertinent to Indigenous Australian’s struggle and how that is understood in a historical context;
  • be able to present and write about Indigenous issues and views and engage with broader social and political issues that are present in Australian society.
Assessment: A 1500 word essay 40% (due during semester), a 2000 word essay 50% (due during the examination period), tutorial participation equivalent to 500 words 10% (completed during semester). Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension will be penalised at 2% per day. Students who fail to submit up to 2 weeks after the final due date without a formal extension and/or special consideration will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment.
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available. Films: Jedda; Exile and the Kingdom; Frontier; Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith; Black Chicks Talking; The Tracker; Rabbit Proof Fence; Australian Rules; Ten Canoes; BeDevil; Coolbaroo Club; Radiance.
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:
  • be skilled in critical thinking and analysis;
  • be able to engage with theoretical concepts and develop a position that considers and employs both critical and creative means in engaging with complex themes and issues;
  • possess effective written communication skills;
  • have an understanding of social, ethical and cultural perspectives.
Related Course(s): Diploma in Arts (Cultural Studies)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Indigenous Studies Major

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