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Aboriginal Land, Law and Philosophy (AIND20005 (106-242))
Semester 2 / 2011


y separately published work icon Reading the Country : Introduction to Nomadology Stephen Muecke , Paddy Roe , Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 1984 Z841102 1984 anthology prose Indigenous story (taught in 4 units)

'Reading the Country is a journey into Roebuck Plains, near Broome in Australia's far north-west; it is an exploration of the meaning of place, an attempt to chart the relationships between people and those specific places in which they must find a place to live. It is a journey through landscape into language and ideas, and personal and cultural location.' (Source: Publisher's Blurb, 1996 Revised Edition)

y separately published work icon Story About Feeling Bill Neidjie , Keith Taylor (editor), Broome : Magabala Books , 1989 Z112047 1989 selected work poetry (taught in 7 units)

'From a master storyteller, this book links personal discovery to a sense of nature. It restores us to a wisdom that is at once powerful and fresh. Includes reproductions of bark paintings and artworks. ' (Publication summary)


Aboriginal Land, Law and Philosophy will provide students who have completed the first year introductory Australian Indigenous Studies 100-181 subject with a more detailed and complex understanding of some of the key themes in this study area. It will utilise the physical, symbolic and metaphysical role of land and country in Australian Indigenous society as a starting point for the consideration of critical issues in Indigenous and Settler relations in contemporary Australia. Aboriginal Land, Law and Philosophy will enable the development of a deep and nuanced engagement with a selection of major issues. These may include land tenure, crime and punishment, political representation, social policy, cultural production, governance and economics. Using land and country as a base, these issues will be explored from Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives and from the interdsciplinary perspective of Literary Studies, Philosophy and Law. The interdisciplinary fusion of Literary Studies with Philosophy and Law will create a divergent interrogation of how land, possession and dispossession has influenced materially, legally and theoretically the experience of Indigenous Australians.

Students who complete this subject will:

1. develop appropriate skills in reading literary, legal and philosophical texts;

2. appreciate the diversity of disciplinary content, forms and discourses and engage in critical analyses of interdisciplinary intersections on major issues in this subject;

3. develop an informed position capable of critique yet sensitive to the politics of the Australian Indigenous experience of land. posession and dispossesion.


Tutorial participation and a 10-minute class presentation, 10%, an essay of 1500 words 30% (due mid-semester), and an essay of 2500 words 60% (due at the end of semester). This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 75%, regular participation in tutorials are required. 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.

Other Details

Offered in: 2010, 2009
Current Campus: Parkville
Levels: Undergraduate