Precolonial Aboriginal cultures have long been seen as the social, economic and ecological prototype of the hunting and gathering way of life. The aim of this course is to convey a basic understanding of their customary or ‘traditional’ Aboriginal practices and beliefs as they were at the threshold of colonisation. Exploring these issues also means exploring the intellectual struggle Europeans have had to come to terms with Aboriginal societies and cultures, understanding why Aboriginal social and cultural practices captured the European imagination, and how they became so significant in European intellectual history and the production of European social theory.
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:
- Comprehend why Aboriginal societies and cultures have been so important in the history of European social theory;
- Discuss the diversity of Indigenous societies and cultures prior to colonisation;
- Describe the basic features of Indigenous economic, social and religious life and their interrelationship;
- Appreciate some fundamental concepts in anthropology and the debates around them; and
- Assess much of the public discourse around Aboriginal culture.
Indicative AssessmentTutorial participation(15%) Learning out comes 1-4
Tutorial essay, 800 words (20%) Learning outcomes 3, 4
Essay, 2000 words (45%) Learning outcomes 2, 3, 4
Final exam, in class, 1 hour (20%) Learning outcomes 1-5
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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Hart, C.W.M. and Pilling, A.R. The Tiwi of North Australia, Holt, 1965.
Tonkinson, R. The Mardudjara Aborigines, Holt, 1978.
Poirier, S. A. World of Relationships: Itineraries, Dreams, And Events in the Australian Western Desert, University of Toronto Press, 2005.
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
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