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The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at https://www.usq.edu.au/course/specification/current.
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HIS2001 Sovereignty, Equality and Racism in Australia's Past

Units : 1
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Grading basis : Graded
Course fee schedule : https://www.unisq.edu.au/current-students/administration/fees/fee-schedules
Version produced : 24 September 2023


Pre-requisite: HIS1004 or HIS1005 or ISE1001 or ISE1003 or ANT3000 and one other History or Indigenous Studies or First Nations Australia or Anthropology course


Racism has been a central component in the foundations of Australian society since the time the British invaded and conquered unceded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands. This course offers advanced critical and theoretical knowledge and skills, essential for engaging with the historical development of racial and discriminatory beliefs and structures from the late-eighteenth century to today. Students engage with racial inequality and the episodic nature of racially-motivated outbursts in Australia’s history by applying several theoretical frameworks, which resonate with other settler societies and our current world. By investigating the treatment of First Nations Australians, forced indentured labourers and ethnic-migrant communities, students explore the construction of ‘race’ and the diversity of Australia’s cultural, political and social heritage throughout history. The course facilitates an appreciation of how contemporary Australia functions for skills in professional and public engagement which is highly relevant to students in the History major or minor, and in the Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSED), and contributes to the study of other disciplines.

In this course you will explore how the historical development of racial ideas and structures has affected numerous peoples over Australia's history and impacted Australia's reputation internationally. By researching Indigenous-European relations and case studies on indentured South-Sea Islander, Melanesian, Irish, Chinese, German, Italian and post-war migrant communities, we unpack the historical layers of individual and institutional racism from the late-eighteenth to the twentieth-first centuries. You will engage with episodes of frontier violence, `responsible government' in the post-1856 era, dispossession, institutionalised racism, the White Australia policy, gender/race coercion and exploitation, and social crises and scapegoating, and empowerment. Can an overarching pattern be discerned? The course provides a theoretical lens to assist in answering this question through the overt and covert impact of racial beliefs on and the resilience of First Nations Australians, Pacific Islanders and migrants.

Course offers

Study period Mode Campus
Semester 1, 2023 On-campus Springfield
Semester 1, 2023 On-campus Toowoomba
Semester 1, 2023 Online
Date printed 24 September 2023