Course Title: Postcolonial Cultural Studies

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Postcolonial Cultural Studies

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016

Course Coordinator: Dr Peter Phipps

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2039

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Cultural life is a flashpoint in the processes of globalisation. In this course you will explore why and how culture matters in global 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 and identities. You will examine case studies that cover a range of discussions of postcolonial cultural politics in Australia, Hawai’i, the US, Tibet and China, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia 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, film, internet, various artworks and cultural performances.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of the course you will be able to:

  • identify and review the key ideas and key thinkers in postcolonial theory;
  • analyse and argue the significance, scope and limitations of postcolonial culture studies in writing and orally;
  • critically evaluate a range of cultural circumstances and problems in the context of postcolonial ideas

Overview of Learning Activities

The start of each seminar will introduce each topic, contextualise the set reading material, and highlight the relevance of each issue by drawing on recent information from a variety of sources. The remainder of class time will demand your active participation in discussing readings and working through problems in small and large groups, and provide an opportunity for added discussion of issues raised by the lecture and set readings.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be given access to a wide range of resources through a Course Reader or core textbook 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.

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 may include:

  • assignments
  • practical projects
  • role-plays
  • presentations
  • essays
  • examination or tests

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 the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: