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  3. Racial Literacy: Indigeneity & Whiteness

Racial Literacy: Indigeneity & Whiteness (AIND20009)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeAIND20009
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject aims to enhance student's racial literacy with a focus on representations of Indigeneity and whiteness in Australia. The term, "racial literacy", devised to describe anti-racist practices, entails students becoming literate in critically reading and understanding multiple modes of race representation. The inter-disciplinary approach enables students to analyse the relationships among texts, images, language and social practices, drawing on Australian literature, media, film and the visual arts. In this way, the subject equips students to become multi-literate in critiquing race constructions of identity formation and nation building through the creative and communicative arts. The subject introduces students to critical theoretical frameworks incorporating postcolonial, race and whiteness studies. It will engage with questions of voice, position, power, agency, capital and social justice issues to explore how representations of Indigeneity and whiteness operate with regard to the intersections of race, gender and class relations in an Australian context (with links and comparisons also made to examples of race representation in a global context).

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should have:

  • developed racial literacy with the ability to critically evaluate multiple modes of race representation and articulate the strategies utilised in the operation of specific representations of Indigenous Australians and white Australians;
  • an appreciation of the complexities and power of race representation in impacting on the formation of nation, history and political and public issues in Australia and on personal levels of constructing their own racial locations, cultural identities, ideologies and social experiences;
  • gained a nuanced understanding of how racial hierarchies and investments are reinforced or countered through representations of Indigeneity and whiteness; and
  • an understanding of conceptual tools and key theoretical issues involved in critical race studies and the politics of representation.

Generic skills

At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:

  • a developed understanding of relevant critical theories and methods;
  • the ability to work effectively as an individual and member of class;
  • competency in the use of a wide range of research applications and resources;
  • ability to communicate complex ideas clearly and comprehensively; and
  • ability to produce high quality written material in a timely manner.

Last updated: 10 August 2019