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ISE3001 Perspectives on Knowledge

Semester 2, 2021 Online
Short Description: Perspectives on Knowledge
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: Melanie Waters

Other Requisites

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


The Western Eurocentric canon contains both overt and covert racist tendencies. This course provides an analysis of historical and contemporary theories that make up the Western canon, alongside theories that sit outside it, in order to examine the often hidden theories that underpin racial hierarchies. It acts as a counter measure to the subtle and hidden ideologies that posit First Nations peoples, critical analyses and theories as secondary or non-existent in the Western canon. Through an analysis of First Nations theorists, and historical thinking around the Aboriginal body and mind, this course will unpack the veracity of earlier racist theories that ignored the wealth of First Nations knowledge and Indigenous research methodology that has been practiced since the beginning of time.


Through an analysis of historical and contemporary theories that make up the western canon running alongside theories that sit outside of western academia students will gain an insight into the often hidden theories that underpin racial hierarchies. The course will go back to the beginnings of western academic and democratic thinking comparing those explicit written early western theories and their outcomes alongside First Nation theories and intelligentsia. Issues of race, power, knowledge and colonialism will be explored through a combined First Nations and western lens. The dynamic relationship of belonging to country, and the community values associated through this longevity of connection and knowing is theorised through story and place.


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

  1. Explain the relationship between natural sciences and Western empirical knowledge systems.
  2. Articulate the ongoing systems of enquiry, thought and solution of Australian Aboriginal Research methodology.
  3. Analyse the stages of Western thought throughout the ages.
  4. Argue and defend epistemological and cosmological theories that exist outside the Western canon.


Description Weighting(%)
1. pre-modern approaches to knowledge, theories, praxis, techne and First Nation 20.00
2. modernist views of knowledge / post modernity 20.00
3. decolonising epistemology 20.00
4. Darwin/colonialism, racial hierarchies. The invention of racism. 20.00
5. Ideologies of terror: orientalism, globalism, military power and fear. 20.00

Text and Materials

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. (

Required readings will be posted on the Study Desk weekly.

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.
Alfred, T 2009, Wasase: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom, University of Toronto Press, Toronto.
Arvin, M, Tuck, E & Morrill, A 2013, 'Feminist formations, 25(1), 8-34', Decolonizing feminism: challenging connections between settler colonialism and heteropatriarchy.
Barker, J 2008, 'Gender, sovereignty, rights: native women’s activism against social inequality and violence in Canada', American Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 259-266.
Corntassel, J 2012, 'Decolonization: indigeneity, education & society, 1(1), 86-101', Re-envisioning resurgence: indigenous pathways to decolonization and sustainable self-determination.
Justin, Healy 2014, Indigenous rights: issues in society, The Spinney Press, NSW. Australia.
Snelgrove, C, Dhamoon, RK, & Corntassel, J. 2014, Decolonization: indigeneity, education & society Vol. 3, No. 2, pp, 1-132.

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 25 Aug 2021
ASSIGNMENT 2 35 35 15 Sep 2021
ASSIGNMENT 3 35 35 25 Oct 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 for that item.

  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 items for the course.

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

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  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. At the completion of this course students will have gathered and established skills across the spectrum of Graduate Attributes and Skills at Level 3 Advanced.

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 8 November 2021