Aboriginal Land, Law and Philosophy

Subject 106-242 (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 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: It is recommended that students take Australian Indigenous Studies 100-181 prior to commencing.
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


Mr Philip John Morrissey


Philip Morrissey


Subject Overview: Aboriginal Land, Law and Philosophy will provide students who have completed the first year introductory Australian Indigenous Studies 100-181 subject with a more detailed and complex understanding of some of the key themes in this study area. It will utilise the physical, symbolic and metaphysical role of land and country in Australian Indigenous society as a starting point for the consideration of critical issues in Indigenous and Settler relations in contemporary Australia. Aboriginal Land, Law and Philosophy will enable the development of a deep and nuanced engagement with a selection of major issues. These may include land tenure, health, crime and punishment, political representation, social policy, cultural production, governance and economics. Using land and country as a base these issues will be explored from Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives and from the interdsciplinary perspective of Literary Studies, Philosophy, Health and Law. The interdisciplinary fusion of Literary Studies with Philosophy, Health and Law will create a divergent interrogation of how land; possession and dispossession has influenced materially, legally and theoretically the experience of Indigenous Australians.
  • Develop appropriate skills in reading literary, legal and philosophical texts;
  • Appreciate the diversity of disciplinary content, forms and discourses and engage in critical analyses of interdisciplinary intersections on major issues in this subject;
  • Develop an informed position capable of critique yet sensitive to the politics of the Australian Indigenous experience of land; posession and dispossesion.

Tutorial participation 10%; an essay of 1500 words 30% (due mid-semester); and an essay of 2500 words 60% (due at the end of semester). Students must attend a minimum of nine tutorials in order to qualify to have their written work assessed.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension wil 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:
  • Neidjie, B. Story About Feeling. Magabala. 1989
  • Benterrak, Krim, Stephen Mueke and Paddy Roe. Reading the Country: introduction to nomadology. Fremantle Arts Centre Press. 1996.
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 complete this subject should:

  • undestand a range of disciplines and methodologies appropriate to the texts, atefacts, theoretical structures and social practices with which they are concerned;
  • develop critical self-awareness and shape and stregthen persuasive arguments;
  • be able to apply new research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;
  • have developed oral and written skilss through essay writing and tutorial participation.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Indigenous Studies Major

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