University of Sydney

Areas of Study

Indigenous Australians and Modernity

  • ANTH2630
  • Semester 2, 2013  
  • 6
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Australian Aboriginal peoples have always engaged with the 'modern world' but Enlightenment ideas established a colonial context juxtaposing modernity with tradition. Indigenous difference was locked into past-oriented, static and small scale traditions. The unit examines some key concepts of modernity, including progress, civility, change, tradition - and modernity itself - so as to shed light on Australian Indigenous people's experiences, past and present, as colonial subjects. The unit will explore Aboriginal engagement with, for instance, work, vehicles, the law, and the arts (painting, music etc) as practices through which Aboriginal people have sought 'alternative modernities'. -- Course Website

Instructor: Gaynor Macdonald

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