• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest Digital Humanities, Heritage Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
Decolonising history? Indigenous perspectives, deep history, and postcolonial challenges (HIST8030)

This course considers transnational decolonial and postcolonial challenges to the discipline of history and asks: can history be decolonised? Linking Australian developments with international perspectives, it addresses themes including the challenge of ‘deep history’ to existing methodologies and periodisations; transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to history; questions of research ethics; decolonial movements related to archives, museums, and public heritage; and the diversity of historicities, or modes of knowing, telling and interpreting the past. Convened by the Research Centre for Deep History and the School of History with guest lecturers, the course will bring together a range of perspectives and voices.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. analyse key issues in historical enquiry from a variety of historiographical perspectives;
  2. identify and interpret diverse views on questions of decolonisation;
  3. construct sustained, structured, evidence-based arguments that address questions of historical enquiry;
  4. provide and respond to feedback in the process of identifying and formulating solutions to complex historigraphical questions; and
  5. reflect critically on the processes of historical research and writing.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Class Participation (weekly) (10) [LO 1,4,5]
  2. Source Review (1000 words) (10) [LO 2,3]
  3. Research Essay - draft version (2000 words) (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Research Essay - final version (5000 words) (60) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of seminars and 12 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities.

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

Hokari, Minoru. Gurindji Journey: A Japanese Historian in the Outback. Kensington: UNSW Press, 2011.

McGrath, Ann and Mary Anne Jebb, eds. Long History, Deep Time: Deepening Histories of Place. Canberra: ANU Press, 2015.

Nakata, Martin N. Disciplining the Savages: Savaging the Disciplines. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press, 2007.

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing Methodologies?: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London: Zed Books, 1999.

Preliminary Reading

Archibald, Jo-Ann, Jenny Lee-Morgan, Jason De Santolo, and Linda Tuhiwai Smith, eds. Decolonizing Research: Indigenous Storywork as Methodology. London: ZED Books, 2019.

Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial thought and historical difference. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.

Gaertner, David. ‘Decolonial DH?: The Maker Movement Across Indigenous Studies and the Digital Humanities’. Novel Alliances (blog), 5 June 2019. https://novelalliances.com/2019/06/05/decolonial-dh-the-maker-movement-across-indigenous-studies-and-the-digital-humanities/.

Risam, Roopika. ‘Decolonizing The Digital Humanities In Theory And Practice’. In The Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities, edited by Jentery Sayers, 1st Edition., 78–86. New York: Routledge, 2018.

Tuck, Eve, and K. Wayne Yang. ‘Decolonization Is Not a Metaphor’. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1, no. 1 (8 September 2012).

Turner, Hannah. ‘Decolonizing Ethnographic Documentation: A Critical History of the Early Museum Catalogs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History’. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53, no. 5–6 (4 July 2015): 658–76.


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2021 $3630
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5580
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

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