Course Title: Postcolonial Cultural Studies

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Postcolonial Cultural Studies

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2021

Course Coordinator: Dr Peter Phipps

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2039

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.05.20

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will explore why and how culture matters in global and national politics, and exchange. You will be introduced to key thinkers in postcolonial theory, with an emphasis on the application of these ideas to the contemporary politics of global cultures, policies and identities. You will examine case studies that cover postcolonial cultural politics in Australia and elsewhere; from the streets of the ‘Arab Spring’ to global indigenous meetings at the UN. You will have opportunities to analyse various cultural materials from written sources including policy documents, investigative reports, journal articles, film, online media reports, artworks and cultural performances

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development



Course Learning Outcomes  

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:  

  1. identify and review the key ideas and key thinkers in postcolonial theory;
  2. analyse and argue the significance, scope and limitations of postcolonial cultural studies in writing, orally and in other forms such as creative works with exegesis;
  3. critically evaluate a range of cultural circumstances and problems applying key postcolonial concepts.
  4. Critically reflect on your own understandings of and participation in colonial and postcolonial cultural practices. 

Overview of Learning Activities

The course will run as an intensive in the first half of semester. The course is organised into three main modules: Settler Colonialism, Wars Without End, The Culture Wars

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.  

You will be given access to a wide range of resources through Canvas and also will be able to access a wide range of online learning tools and content for your course from via myRMIT, and RMIT Library resources. These resources will include book chapters, journal articles, media articles, lecture notes, bibliographies for supplementary reading, video, and links to external websites. You will have the opportunity to contribute collectively to class resources by sharing your own research findings and sources with your peers. 

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal. 

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Feedback will be provided throughout the semester by your teachers and peers in class and/or online discussions, and through individual and/or group feedback on practical exercises.

Assessment Tasks 

Assessment Task 1: Short ministerial briefing paper. 20% (800 words) CLO 1, 2 and 3 

Assessment Task 2: Learning Journal selected extracts 40% (1,600 words) CLO 2, 3 and 4. 

Assessment Task 3: Argumentative essay, analytic performance, artwork or film-text production on a negotiated topic. 1,400 words (or equivalent in other media with written exegesis) 35% CLO 1, CLO2, CLO3 and CLO4. 

Assessment Task 4: All students will present a summary of Task 3 at a Tertulia workshop. 15% CLO 2 and CLO3 

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. 

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions