Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


For decades, museums and art galleries around the world have been challenged by First Nations people to reconsider their presentation of Indigenous materials, ideas, concepts and narratives. Since their emergence, these institutions have framed indigenous culture in terms of a white, (post-) colonial narrative. The challenge these institutions face is to build meaningful and respectful relationships with the communities whose cultural materials they have historically benefited from exhibiting and to involve communities in the reshaping of their own narratives.

Through (online) guest lectures by leading (inter) national specialists in the field, local gallery visits and face-to-face curator talks, this unit will address some of the challenges and recent trends in curating First Nations art today in Australia and elsewhere. It will ask questions of whether Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community expectations have been met regarding unequal representation and embedding cultural protocols in museum policy. It will consider the role of the curator in relation to First Nations artists and communities, reflect on Indigenous methodologies in curatorial practice and discuss how to affirm a deeper First Peoples presence in museums and galleries.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History of Art major sequence
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of past and current developments in exhibiting and curating Indigenous art in Australia; (2) critically reflect on the difference between Western and indigenous knowledge systems and methodologies in museums and galleries; (3) address issues of display and museology in interpreting indigenous art and material culture in museums and galleries; (4) demonstrate oral communication and interpersonal skills; and (5) apply principles of argument in art historical and curatorial discourses.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) oral assessment; (2) short written assessment; and (3) essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Arvi Wattel
Unit rules
Successful completion of
HART1000 Great Moments in Art
or HART1003 Ways of Seeing: Themes and Theories in Art
or INDG1150 Aboriginal Encounters: Strangers in our Backyard
or INDG1160 Boodjar Moort Katitjin: Introduction to Indigenous Heritage and Knowledge
HART3001 Curating First Nations Art
Approved quota: 15—first come, first serve basis. Places can be transferred between HART2001 and HART3001 up to a total of 30 places across the two units
Contact hours
Seminars/site visits/lectures: up to 4hrs per week for 10 weeks
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.