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ISE1001 First Nations Literature and Writings

Semester 1, 2021 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: 1st Nations Lit & Writings
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Coll for Indigenous Studies, Education & Research
School or Department : Coll for Indigenous Studies, Education & Research
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 090311 - Indigenous Studies
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Shirley O'Neill

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


This course offers students the opportunity to enhance their cultural competencies by exploring in detail Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literatures. Students are given the opportunity to challenge mainstream perceptions and stereotypes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through a celebration of First Nations stories, songs, art, writing and literature that are grounded in strength and cultural pride. This course sits within a suite of courses that forms a major in First Nations peoples studies, and is a celebration of First Nations peoples’ written words, and warrior women and men.


This course has a dual ambition of introducing USQ students to a traditionally oral culture through its written words and literature and a changing of perceptions through an analysis of seldom told stories. A journey through Indigenous voices in a variety of texts, including poetry, theatre, autobiography, early writings and film will be undertaken. Through a weekly lecture and a two hour tutorial the course will examine representations of Indigeneity as represented in or absent from selected texts. Aboriginal creation stories, autobiographies, short stories, poems and a novel will be explored alongside Torres Strait Islander poems, songs, resistance stories, creation stories and theoretical and cultural positionings. The role of Aboriginal narrative forms in modern society will be explored from a position that a solid theoretical and cultural/ historical grounding is important for any literary/artistic analysis.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Evaluate the relationship between mainstream narratives and Aboriginal representations of self.
  2. Appreciate the diversity of cultural and historical backgrounds of Indigenous people by being exposed to a diverse range of First Nations creativity.
  3. Identify and analyse the differences between written and oral cultures.
  4. Identify and analyse contemporary First Nations stories and cultures and participate in a celebration of cultural strength and survival.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Short Stories 20.00
2. Film and theatre 20.00
3. Songs and musical theatre 20.00
4. The novel/ life writing 20.00
5. The power of stories written and oral 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Akiwenzie-Damm, K & Douglas, J 2000, Skins : contemporary indigenous writing, Jukurrpa Books, Alice Springs, NT.
(Kegedonce Press, Wiarton, Ont. Available online at the USQ Library.)
Moreton, R 2004, Post me to the prime minister, Jukurrpa Books, Alice Springs, NT.
(Available online at the USQ Library.)
Wallis, V 2004, Two old women: an Alaska legend of betrayal, courage, and survival, Epicenter Press, Kenmore.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Gilbert, K 1988, Inside Black Australia : an anthology of Aboriginal poetry, Penguin, Ringwood, Vitctoria.
(Australia Council Literature Board.)
Moraga, C & Anzaldua, G 2015, This bridge called my back: writings by radical women of color, 4th edn, State University of New York Press, New York.
Morgan, S 1988, My place, Seaver Books, New York.
Phillips, S 2015, 'Literature: writing oursleves in', Knowledge of life: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia, Cambridge Unvieristy Press, Port Melbournes, Vic.
(pp 98-177.)
Tatonetti, L 2014, The queerness of native American literature, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.
Whittaker, A 2016, Lemons in the chicken wire, Magabala Books, Broome, Western Australia.
Jedda 1955, motion picture, Columbia. Directed by Charles Chauvel.
Jon Osorio and Randy Rorden 1980, Hawaiian Soul in Hawaiian Eyes, Starnight Records Inc.
Radiance 1998, motion picture, Eclipse Films. Directed by Rachel Perkins.
Reel Injun 2009, LionsGate Entertainment, Directed by Neil Diamond, Catherine Bainbridge and Jeremiah Hayes.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 105.00
Private Study 60.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 30 30 24 Mar 2021
ASSIGNMENT 2 30 30 28 Apr 2021
ASSIGNMENT 3 40 40 02 Jun 2021

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them, to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with the Harvard (AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (APGS) style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. This guide can be found at

  2. ISE1001 supports student learning by using teaching methods and course content, as well as a good teaching methods to ensure students gain skills in all Level 1 attributes, with particular focus on those identified in the skill assessment table and more broadly in the Assignment Matrix (above).

Other requirements

  1. Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.

  3. Students shall adhere to non-racist language within classroom and assessment activities.

  4. Students need to regularly engage within the classroom or virtual classroom lessons and participate during the semester

Date printed 18 June 2021