Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitMonash Indigenous Centre
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Jeremy Ash


The unit will examine the lives of indigenous people in the Pacific region and their experiences of colonisation. Students will gain an appreciation of the diversity of indigenous cultures in the Pacific region and the different forms of colonisation that were pursued in a various Pacific places, and by different types of imperial or colonial agents. It will examine the different responses of indigenous peoples to imperial and colonial encounters, and strategies of engagement and resistance pursued by indigenous populations in light of their own cultural, social and political structures. In addition, students will consider the role of the Pacific in the construction of academic knowledge in variety of disciplines, including history, anthropology, and racial thought.


The aim of the unit is to explore the diverse indigenous cultures of the Pacific, and the varied forms of colonisation which have been pursued in different Pacific sites. Subject matter to be discussed will be drawn from a variety of Pacific sites, including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Hawaii, and Tonga. On successful completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. understand the diversity of Pacific peoples' lives;
  2. acknowledge and critically examine the different forms of imperial and colonial intervention in the Pacific region;
  3. describe and critically compare the nature of engagement and resistance as pursued by different indigenous peoples in the Pacific region;
  4. critically examine the representation of Pacific encounters in the development of academic knowledge regarding human difference;
  5. demonstrate the various study skills and techniques necessary to successfully complete this unit and other Indigenous Studies units.


Oral presentation: 10%
Minor essay: 30% (1500words)
Major research essay: 60% (3000 words)

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 2-hour seminar and 10-hours of independent study per week
Attendance is required at 80% of seminars (lack of attendance will lead to penalties)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


1st year sequence in Indigenous cultures and histories or permission of the unit coordinator