• Class Number 7469
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 to 12 units
  • Topic Living with Colonialism: First Peoples' Worlds and
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Ben Silverstein
    • Dr Ben Silverstein
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

Each special topic is a unique course in Australian Indigenous Studies (AuIS) or in one of the other fields in which Indigenous Studies has been developed around the planet. Each topic varies, reflecting the interests, authority and expertise of those teaching the course. The mode of delivery and location of this courses varies. Some topics are taught intensively, others are taught seminar-long, on campus, or online. Some topics are taught in-place and off-campus. All are taught on-Country. All courses centre the knowledge, perspectives and ways of knowing of Indigenous peoples' scholarship.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. synthesise First Nations and other Indigenous people's knowledge or knowledges taught in this course;
  2. demonstrate insight into First Nations and other Indigenous people's perspectives taught in the course; and
  3. demonstrate insight into theoretical perspectives, methodologies from the discipline of Indigenous Studies that arise in this course, including those relating to standpoint.

Research-Led Teaching

Ben Silverstein has been teaching Indigenous Studies at ANU since 2021 and before that at the University of Sydney and UNSW. He was a postdoctoral research fellow with ANU's Research Centre for Deep History, working with Indigenous communities and knowledge holders to advance First Peoples' perspective on the histories of this place.

Ben is an historian and has a written a monograph about colonial histories, which examines racialisation in the context of British Imperial history. His scholarship is influenced by Settler-Colonial Studies. This course design draws on his research into Indigenous peoples' histories and that of their communities living through and enduring settler colonialism.

Required Resources

All required readings will be made available via Wattle as digital resources in the ANU library.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

Special Topic in Indigenous Studies: ‘Living with Colonialism: First Peoples’ worlds and colonial intrusions.’

Semester 2, 2023

Convener: Ben Silverstein.

Special topic description:

This course explores settler colonial intrusions into Indigenous worlds in Australia and considers some of the ways First Peoples have responded, endured, and developed ways of living in conditions not of their choosing. It offers students an overview of relationships between settlers and Indigenous peoples in a number of different contact zones often characterised by violence and settler colonialism. The course will help students to understand contemporary Indigenous situations by historicising settler colonialism and traditions of decolonisation.

Other information:

This course is being offered in 2023 as a substitute for HIST2022, which cannot be offered in 2023.


This Special Topic has the same prerequisites as HIST2022.

Unilateral approval for substitution of this course for HIST2022:

The Convener of the AUIS-Major, Mary Spiers Williams, has approved a unilateral substitution of this course for HIST2022.

This course has been approved for students undertaking majors convened in the school of history as a substitute for HIST2022.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Frontier Encounters
5 Resisting Race
9 Refusing Settler Colonialism

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Course engagement 10 % 1, 2, 3
Annotated Bibliography (comprised of 12 weekly entries) 12 % 1, 2, 3
Reflective/Critical Essay 28 % 1, 2, 3
Research Essay 50 % 1, 2, 3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Course engagement

Weighting: 10%

Due date: Ongoing

Details of Task: This task is not about attendance, however it is necessary to attend in order to participate. Details of task expectations are available on the Wattle course site.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 12 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Annotated Bibliography (comprised of 12 weekly entries)

Weighting: 12%

Due date: Weekly before class

Details of Task: Details of task expectations are available on the Wattle course site. Late submission not accepted.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 28 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Reflective/Critical Essay

Weighting: 28%

This task involves writing an essay that forms a critical reflection on different ways of representing Indigenous pasts. Details of task expectations are available on the Wattle course site.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Research Essay

Weighting: 50%

The essay presents an opportunity to work with a range of sources to write a complex account of Indigenous pasts. Details of task expectations are available on the Wattle course site.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Assessment grade and feedback will be returned via ANU email address.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmissions are not permitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Ben Silverstein

Research Interests

Dr Ben Silverstein

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Ben Silverstein

Research Interests

Dr Ben Silverstein

By Appointment
By Appointment

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