Aboriginal Writing

Subject AIND30011 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 hours: a 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170 hours across the semester, including class time.





Recommended Background Knowledge:

37.5 points of 2nd year subjects in Australian Indigenous Studies.

Non Allowed Subjects:

106-045 Aboriginal Writing; AIND20006 Aboriginal Writing

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


Mr 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.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the subject students should have:

  • an appreciation of the diversity of Aboriginal texts with respect to content, form and discourse;
  • developed appropriate skills in reading Aboriginal English, creole and vernacular expressions;
  • developed an informed reading position capable of critique yet sensitive to the politics of Aboriginal writing;
  • a demonstrated ability to apply critical analysis and close-reading skills to diverse texts;
  • an ability to undertake independent research and produce high quality written material that uses rigorous methods of inquiry and encompasses the complexities and sensitivities of Australian Indigenous Studies.

Tutorial participation and a 10-minute class presentation, (done throughout the semester) 10%, an essay of 1500 words, 30% (due mid-semester), and an essay of 2500 words, 60% (due in the examination period). This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

  • Bran Nue Dae J Chi, Currency
  • No Sugar J Davis, Currency
  • My Place S Morgan, Fremantle Arts
  • Gularabulu Muecke & Roe, Fremantle Arts
  • Shark B Pascoe, Magabala
  • True Country K Scott, Fremantle Arts
  • Steam Pigs M Lucashenko, IAD
  • Swallow the Air T Winch, UQP
  • Plains of Promise A Wright, UQP
  • Sweet Water ........ Stolen Land McLaren, Magabala
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 successfully complete this subject will:

  • have developed an understanding of relevant critical theories and methods;
  • be able to work effectively as an individual and member of class;
  • be competent in the use of a wide range of research applications and resources;
  • communicate complex ideas clearly and comprehensively;
  • produce high quality written material in a timely manner.

This subject can be credited towards the English & Theatre Studies major or minor.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Studies
English and Theatre Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Australian Indigenous Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - English and Theatre Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Australian Indigenous Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - English and Theatre Studies

Download PDF version.