Contested Knowledges - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Web Dependent
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1
  • Availability for 2018: SP1
  • Assessment: Bibliography - Bibliography and glossary cont (20%) , Essay - Website creation/essay (50%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
International 1,043.00

Contested Knowledges is primarily concerned with issues of knowledge production and their relations to the management of resources in northern Australia. The aim of the unit is to introduce you to issues of knowledge and the philosophies relating to its production, and to investigate the impact these ideas may have on the way we approach the management of resources, particularly in different cultural contexts. The unit emphasises the way in which knowledge is contingent upon our social and cultural histories and how an awareness of this may affect the ways in which people operate to develop, manage and maintain resources in contexts where different cultural and historical contexts are involved.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. understand the contingent nature of knowledge production
  2. analyse and provide some critique of the concept of contingent knowledge systems
  3. describe and analyse the history of the western scientific tradition and the events that have been quintessential in the shaping of the current, dominant knowledge system in (north) Australia
  4. analyse and discuss the relationship between an understanding of the contingent nature of knowledge production and the contemporary management of natural and cultural resources
  5. articulate the importance of the negotiation of knowledge systems in the management of natural and cultural resources
  6. identify and describe both the utility and the problems inherent in the universalising and totalising nature of the western scientific tradition
  7. contribute to the shaping of the text for Contested Knowledges unit.
  • Bibliography — Bibliography and glossary cont (20%)
  • Essay — Website creation/essay (50%)
  • Paper 1 — Initial response paper (10%)
  • Paper 2 — Short response contributions (20%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Contingency of knowledge
2Understanding ontology and epistemology
3Context of western scientific knowledge
4The crisis of modernity
5Relationship between knowledge and power
6Alternative understandings of knowledge
7Different knowledges speaking to each other
8The post-modern condition

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is not currently a requirement for any courses, but may be eligible for credit.

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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