Aboriginal Writing

Subject 670-325 (2009)

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

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (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

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: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Mr Philip John Morrissey


Philip Morrissey

Subject Overview:

This subject studies Aboriginal fiction, poetry and drama, as well as life stories and criticism, focusing on questions of reading positions (particularly for non-Aboriginal students) and representation. It pays particular attention to the diversity of Aboriginal writing in terms of form, content, voice and place and examines the manner in which the reception of Aboriginal texts has been conditioned by political and economic factors. On completion of this subject students should understand the problematics of Aboriginal writing in the context of postcolonial Australia, and its relation to everyday life here.


  • Develop appropriate skills in reading Aboriginal English, creole and vernacular expressions;
  • Appreciate the diversity of Aboriginal texts with respect to content, form and discourse;
  • Develop an informed reading position capable of critique yet sensitive to the politics of Aboriginal writing.


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

Prescribed Texts:

Prescribed Texts:

  • Bran Nue Dae (J Chi), Currency
  • No Sugar (J Davis), Currency
  • Shadow Lines (S Kinnane), Fremantle Arts
  • My Place (S Morgan), Fremantle Arts
  • Gularabulu (Muecke & Roe), Fremantle Arts
  • Story About Feeling (B Neidjie), Magabala
  • Shark (B Pascoe), Magabala
  • True Country (K Scott), Fremantle Arts
  • Watershed (F Bayet-Charlton), IAD
  • Swallow the Air (T Winch), UQP
  • Plains of Promise (A Wright), UQP
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 able to apply new research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;

  • develop critical self-awareness and shape and strengthen persuasive arguments;

  • communicate arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and to others.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Indigenous Studies Major
Australian Studies Major
English Literary Studies Major

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