ANTH-229 Peoples and Cultures of Australia
Spring for 2008-2009
Australia has gradually recognized itself as a multicultural nation over the last fifty years. This course will explore dimensions of cultural practice derived from Aboriginal and European cultures as well as their interaction in contemporary Australia. Family life has long constituted a core institution for Australians of European descent. We will examine cultural images and practice of family relations with its associated gender roles through film, autobiography and ethnography. The religious practice of Australian Aborigines historically structured many aspects of indigenous life, including relations to land, other people and individual biography. We will examine these connections through the careful study of Aboriginal painting, body art and material decoration. Over the last fifty years, Australians of European and Aboriginal descent have disputed and negotiated with each other about the significance of race, family, religion and land in the colonial context. We will study the legacy of these conflicts in the everyday lives of contemporary Aborigines. The course will close by examining how these disputes acquired an international character in recent years as indigenous peoples from colonized nations across the globe have become aware of their common experiences and mobilized to improve their lives.
Other academic years
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