• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest History, Australian Indigenous Studies, Heritage Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Maria Nugent
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

This course examines the ways in which Australia's colonial history, and particularly the treatment of Aboriginal people during the colonial period, has been interpreted, represented, remembered, forgotten, and debated over the last half century. Through examining a series of 'sites of memory', including museums, schools and courtrooms, the course interrogates the uses of the past in relation to questions of national identity, post-colonialism and historical reparation and justice. In addition, the course involves critically exploring approaches to producing telling Aboriginal history in public contexts and forms, such as memorials, television and radio, and performance, and includes opportunities for students to develop their own research projects.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. demonstrate a knowledge of the public politics and practices of remembering and forgetting Australia's Aboriginal history;
  2. analyse key concepts in the study of Aboriginal history and memory;
  3. critically analyse the representation of the past in a variety of different media;
  4. undertake a research project analysing the issues involved in a public controversy over Aboriginal history and the efficacy of professional historical efforts to address the situation; and 
  5. construct an evidence-based historical argument in a form suitable to its purpose and target audience.

Indicative Assessment

Historiographical review, 2000 words (30%) Learning outcomes 1-5
Research proposal, 500 words (10%) Learning outcomes 1-5
Research essay or project presented in an agreed upon format, 4000 words (40%) Learning outcomes 1-5
Tutorial or online participation (10%) Learning outcomes 1, 5
Research project/essay presentation, 7 mins (10%) Learning outcomes 1, 5

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks of workshop and workshop-like activities or online activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Preliminary Reading

Chris Healy, Forgetting Aborigines (UNSW Press, 2008)
Bain Attwood and Fiona Magowan (eds), Telling Stories: Indigenous history and memory in Australia and New Zealand (Allen & Unwin, 2005)
Maria Nugent, Captain Cook Was Here (Cambridge University Press, 2009)
Penelope Edmonds, Settler Colonialism and (Re)conciliation: Frontier violence, affective performances, and imaginative refoundings (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016)


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $3570
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9433 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 Online N/A

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