Racialised Punishment and the Construction of Nation - 2017

This unit contains mature content including Adult Themes, Drug use, Nudity, Sex / Sexual References and Violence and may not be suitable for some students.
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Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1
  • Availability for 2018: Sem1
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 (30%) , Assignment 2 (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

This unit was previously known as CLT310 UnAustralian Studies.

In this unit we examine a range of embodied subjects that stand in a relation of crisis and/or dissent in the context of dominant Australian culture. We focus specifically on how such apparatuses of racialised punishment as the camp, prison, reserve and detention centre have been constitutive in founding and shaping the Australian nation. We examine: Aboriginal sovereignty and the colonial camp; the cultural politics of terrorism and state violence; the power of whiteness; the racialisation of criminality and the prison industry; histories of political internment; and Australia's treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. These topics are examined through the lens of social justice and are situated in the context of film, documentaries and contemporary news media. The unit brings into focus the manner in which targeted communities have mobilised activist networks and a range of media in order to work toward social change and a more just society.

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

  1. Demonstrate critical skills, informed by cultural theories, that will enable students to understand the ways in which the categories of nation and national identity are inscribed with a series of normative values that function to construct othered subjects that are disenfranchised and/or excluded from the official corpus of nation.
  2. Develop the ability to synthesise and articulate the relations between knowledge and power in the context of nation.
  3. Develop ethical skills that will enable students to address issues of cultural difference and social justice concerns within the context of the Australian nation and its relation to global events and issues.
  4. Deploy analytical skills that enable students critically to evaluate institutions of authority in order to disclose such things as institutional racism and other discriminatory practices.
  5. Deploy critical argumentation skills that will enable students to support and materially evidence their particular viewpoints on contentious national issues.
  6. Employ cultural literacy skills that will enable students to address issues concerned with cultural difference in an informed manner.
  7. Develop socially active and responsible skills that will enable students to analyse and solve problems collaboratively.
  • Assignment 1 (30%)
  • Assignment 2 (30%)
  • Assignment 3 (40%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • CLT310 — UnAustralian Studies

You must complete Level 1 and 2 Cultural Studies before starting this unit.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Contested histories
2The racialisation of punishment
3The racialisation of crime and cultural panic
4The cultural politics of suburban space and ethnic
5Fighting with our tongues: Indigenous voices
6Invisible whiteness
7Australia's refugees and asylum seekers
8The politics of fear and terror

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  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.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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