MIC – Studying Race and Indigenous Studies: Assessing the impact on non-Indigenous students

Date/Time: Wed 02 Aug / 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Location: Monash University, Room E561, (Menzies Building) 20 Chancellors Walk, Clayton Campus

Monash Indigenous Studies Centre

Studying Race and Indigenous Studies:

Assessing the impact on non-Indigenous students

What impact does studying Indigenous Studies have on non-Indigenous students? Does learning about “race” and the representation of Indigenous people in Australian society shape student perceptions of society and their role in it? Can learning about the way that representation creates Others in society, but also shapes views of the Self, help non-Indigenous students to reflect on their own relationship to Indigenous issues? Can it help to promote anti-racism and lessen bigotry?

This seminar discusses the results of a small project undertaken with with non-Indigenous students studying a Monash Indigenous Studies Centre unit “Race and Power: Imagining Indigenous Australia”. This unit explores theories of race and representation, and focuses on the relationship between racial thought and racism, examining processes of representation by which the Self and Other come to be mutually defined. The project aimed to understand student experiences studying this second-year unit, and any impact that completing the unit may have had on their understandings of “race” and racialisation, and the relationship between non-Indigenous and Indigenous peoples, both in terms of society as a whole, and their own selves.

Keynote Speaker: Rachel Standfield is a lecturer at the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre. A historian of indigenous societies and race relations histories in Australia and New Zealand, she teaches across the Indigenous Cultures and Histories major. As well as undertaking historical research she is interested in exploring the experiences that students have while undertaking Indigenous Cultures and Histories units.


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