First Principles

Subject AIND40001 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 2, Parkville - 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: 2
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Admission into the postgraduate diploma, postgraduate certificate or fourth year of 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 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:


Mr Philip Morrissey


Philip Morrissey

Odette Kelada

Subject Overview:

Following indications from thinkers such as Muecke, Elkin, Bird Rose, Swain, Mowaljarlai and others, this subject will ask the following questions:

  • Is there an Aboriginal philosophy?
  • What fundamental principles might such a philosophy be grounded in?
  • Would it be an Australian philosophy?

An analysis of tropes and images and identification of structural commonalities in some of the Australian Indigenous works we will be studying will provide a framework for this discussion.


Students who successful complete this subject will:

  • experience an expansion in intellectual horizons and the ability to participate in original work in the field of Australian Indigenous studies;
  • learn to make distinctions between essential and transitory aspects of Aboriginal culture and philosophy; and
  • understand the implications of an Aboriginal philosophy in any consideration of social and ecological issues affecting contemporary Australian society and the reconsideration of the idea of an Australian nation in the 21st century.
Assessment: 5000 word essay (100%) due end of semester. Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available at the beginning of semester.

  • Muecke, Stephen. Ancient and Modern. Australia UNSW Pres, 2004.
  • Bell, Hannah Rachel. Storymen. UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • have a sophisticated understanding of the role of theory in Australian Indigenous Studies;
  • develop the ability to undertake high-level individual research;
  • gain a developed understanding of the ethical requirements of research in Australian Indigenous Studies; and
  • appreciate the enhanced intellectual outcomes of collegiality.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Indigenous Studies

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