Course Title: Research de-colonisation: Indigenous Land Rights to Hip Hop

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research de-colonisation: Indigenous Land Rights to Hip Hop

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Dr Suzi Hutchings

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1148

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.2

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course examines and critiques the traditional methods and assumptions informing Western social sciences, identifying ways in which they have contributed to misrepresentation and oppressive practices impacting Indigenous and other non-Western worldviews, and presenting means for the creation and use of decolonized understandings and approaches.

It does this by examining the voices and social movements of Indigenous peoples in response to over 500-years of history of colonisation across the Globe. The course closely analyses and critiques the representation and misrepresentation of Indigenous peoples worldwide in historical and contemporary texts such as in museums, in the media and the social sciences, together with Western ideas of social research. It also looks at how these impact on the expectations placed on Indigenous people in their everyday interactions with the broader society. In many instances, as is investigated, this leads to acts of protest with social movements such as “Black Lives Matter”, and in acts of everyday resistance to domination as heard in Indigenous Hip Hop, Reggae and Rock music produced by Indigenous youth.  

The course will review local and global Indigenous politics and social movements, from the land rights movement of the 1970s to the creation of socially aware music and performance by Indigenous youth in Australia, North America, New Zealand and elsewhere. In taking an Australian focus, the course will explore the history of the land rights movement and how this has been strongly connected to events in other parts of the world such as the Civil Rights Movement in North America.

To understand how these social practices incorporate uniquely Indigenous ways of seeing and interacting in the world where oppression is a real and present phenomena, the course will scrutinize the development of Indigenous theories of de-colonisation, Indigenous knowledges and Indigenous identities.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  • Compare and critically evaluate key social, constructionist and Indigenous identity theories discussed in the course
  • Discuss and identify complexities of social meanings in relation to Indigenous knowledge systems and Indigenous theoretical perspectives
  • Evaluate the key factors and processes involved and impacted upon by Western colonial practices.
  • Apply the ideas and theories studied in this course to reflect upon your own life and experiences
  • Demonstrate your ability to engage with Indigenous Knowledge systems and critical theories.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities will include interactive workshop activities focusing on group-based discussion and problem solving tasks. Course learning materials will be made available in a range of formats, which may include lectures, guest speakers and online media. In workshops you will also develop academic skills including analytical reading and academic writing.

In order to develop your knowledge and skills, you will be expected to participate in interactive discussions and activities and to critically engage with the weekly reading materials. The workshops offer a supportive learning environment where you will have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experiences, and to learn from the knowledge and experience your peers. This peer-based learning may take place through small-group discussions, collaborative work on activities and assessments and/or peer reviewing of research, written work and/or oral presentations.

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 to a wide range of online learning tools and content for your course from the student portal, 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.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes.  Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

In this course there are three assessments.  It is essential that you participate fully in the course activities as they have been designed to prepare you for assignments and to meet the intended learning outcomes of the course.  The assessments are comprised of:

Debate [20%]

Groups of 2 teams will be formed to argue for or against around a topic based on the selected readings. Each team will appoint a leader and 3 speakers to debate their group’s arguments. Each speaker will have 3 minutes to present the group’s case. This assessment will involve peer assessment from the whole class (10%) and a mark for team organisation and argument from the teacher (10%).

Journal [30%]

Attend an Indigenous performance, event or concert (e.g. NAIDOC march; hip hop or other music performance; rally; reconciliation day event). Write up a journal; newspaper article; or present a video of the day providing information on what you observed, who attended and what you believe was the purpose and if you believe it achieved its goals. 700 words plus students must also provide a 300-word summary of how you would apply the Indigenous theories explored in this course to analyse what you have observed.

Essay on Decolonised Social Research [50%]

Select 1 topic from the list provided in the first week of class. Analyse the implications of looking at this topic through Indigenous lenses. For example: how would you apply Indigenous de-colonised theory to the issue you have chosen; how does this help you understand Indigenous standpoints or views; do you believe this is appropriate in a multi-cultural Australia or across the Globe? Make sure to thoroughly argue your case using your research. Ensure your essay is fully referenced with in text references or footnotes and a bibliography.  2000 words.


Additional information

  • 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.
  • A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
  • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online:;ID=c15i3ciaq8ca