Indigenous Studies Unit
Indigenous Studies is an interdisciplinary field that helps equip students to think reflexively about issues that impact on Indigenous communities on a local, national and global scale. Indigenous Studies not only involves a focus on the histories, cultures and social issues that continue to shape Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today, but also on a critical study of how Indigenous people in both the Australian and international contexts have been studied and represented.
Our program of study examines how Indigenous people understand and represent the diversity and complexity of their own lives, while recognizing that our understandings of Indigenous histories, knowledges, experiences and social realities have been profoundly shaped and, in many cases circumscribed, by those who are embedded in non-Indigenous systems of knowledge and disciplinary traditions. In this way, Indigenous Studies examines the tangled web of concepts, theories and sets of meanings that exist at this interface of Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge systems.
Teaching and Research
Our teaching and research engages with many aspects of the contemporary Indigenous landscape including: the politics of contemporary Indigenous identities; Indigenous communities and new digital technologies; the relationship between Indigenous knowledge, customary laws and social practices and the Western science of ecology; the ethical challenges of working with and/or for indigenous communities; Indigenous political activism and resistance; Indigenous self-representation in contemporary art, literature and film; Indigenous youth cultures; comparative Indigenous studies; and debates about power and control of the research process and the generation of knowledge in Indigenous contexts.