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AUS3001 - Broken earth: Journeys through the Australian landscape

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader(s): Professor Bruce Scates


Clayton Second semester 2009 (Day)


How has the landscape shaped the definition of what it means to be Australian? Why was 'the Bush' en as a place of the weird or the monstrous? Have non-Indigenous Australians learned from Aboriginal relationships with the natural environment and (in an age of catastrophic climate change) what challenges do we now face in living with the land? This unit considers the climatic, cultural and economic forces which have shaped the landscape, exploring the dynamic interaction between Australians and their environment. It draws on a range of disciplines, including tourism, literature, geography, politics, journalism and cultural studies; includes excursions along the Great Ocean Road and/or the Murray River.


On successful completion of this unit students should have:

  1. an understanding of changing perceptions of the Australian environment;
  2. an understanding of the climatic, cultural and economic forces that help to determine land usage;
  3. a knowledge of different ways of interacting with the landscape, in particular Aboriginal as opposed to non-Indigenous attitudes to land usage;
  4. a familiarity with the major themes in the field of Australian environmental history;
  5. an ability to conduct research;
  6. an ability to write expressively and critically on the complex questions of human relationships with the natural world;
  7. an understanding of different theoretical approaches to the writing of environmental history


Minor essay (based on excursion) (1000 words): 20%
Major essay (3000 words): 40%
Seminar contribution: 20%
Test (one hour): 20%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 hour lecture + 1 hour seminar) per week


First year Arts sequence or equivalent


AUS2001, AUS4220, AUS5220

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