HUMN 2038 Pigments of the Imagination

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101752

Coordinator Madison Shakespeare Opens in new window

Description This unit is available to all Undergraduate students who have open electives. Pigments of the Imagination challenges the accepted view that there is such a thing as 'race' based on skin colour and that identity is based on it. This unit will encourage students to consider their own definitions of race and explore the view that it is an imaginary concept. Students will examine the various ways race as an imaginary concept permeates our education practices and cultural representations influencing the construction of racially classified positions for Indigenous Australians as well as all Australians. Students will be encouraged, by critically analysing a range of cultural texts to re-imagine Indigenous and Non-Indigenous relations through flipped mode of delivery supported by face to face tutorials.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Restrictions Successful completion of 40 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. explain how race is an imaginary concept and about power;
  2. identify the various ways race as an imaginary concept permeates our education practices and cultural representations�f;
  3. critically reflect on their own racialised position within Australian society;
  4. critically analyse the way race as an imaginary concept has impacted the lives of Australia�fs �efirst peoples�f and Indigenous and Non-Indigenous relations; and
  5. explore new ways of thinking and speaking/writing about difference, which challenges old race stereotypes.

Subject Content

This subject will address some of the following:
What does ?erace?f mean, to whom, where and when?
The history of ?erace?f
The notion that meanings i.e. race meanings are historically and culturally contingent
The construction and perpetuation of race is about power
Cultural politics and the practices of racialisation e.g. racialised identities, racialised relationships and racism
The politics of representations of ?ethe native?f, ?ethe primitive?f
The ?ereal?f, ?ethe essentialist?f and constructivist positions about race
What does ?estrategic essentialism?f mean and to whom?
The feminist conjuncturalist approach to race
The intersections of race, gender and nation


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Critical reflection exercise and paper 1,000 words 30 N Individual
Seminar Presentation and Paper: Critical analysis of selected Indigenous Australian cultural text (1,000 words) 1,000 words (for the written part) 5 minutes Presentation (per student) 35 N Individual
Creative Writing Exercise 1,500 words 35 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Book of selected readings

Teaching Periods