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


This unit examines the history of Indigenous Australian art in modern times, with a particular focus on the last decades of the twentieth century when it gained international recognition. The different schools of Indigenous art, from remote to regional and urban, are examined, as well as its institutional and museological reception as contemporary art in Australia and overseas. Major themes of the unit include (1) the iconographic and pictorial qualities of the different schools of Aboriginal contemporary art and their interaction with Western aesthetic conventions such as abstraction; (2) the role of Aboriginal contemporary art in Indigenous discourses of identity and postcolonial resistance; (3) the response of Indigenous art to modernity; and (4) the impact of this response in the globalisation of the art world in the late twentieth century.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) have a good knowledge of the historical development of Aboriginal contemporary art; (2) have a good knowledge of theories of identity and representation used in the art historical analysis of Indigenous art, and how these theories intersect with social ideology of the time; (3) have a good knowledge of theories of globalisation and the role of Indigenous art in the contemporary art world; (4) have a good knowledge of contemporary aesthetic theory and its relationship to museological display; (5) use a range of different texts to develop through argument historical, critical and theoretical interpretations of Aboriginal art; and (6) acquire a moderate level of competency in communication skills in interpersonal relations, oral discussion and essay writing on Aboriginal art.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial discussion; (2) short report; and (3) essay submission. 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)
Dr Darren Jorgensen
Unit rules
HART1000 Great Moments in Art
or HART1001 Art, Technology and Society
VISA2266 Aboriginal Contemporary Art
Advisable prior study
at least 6 points of Level 1 art history/theory units or equivalent
Contact hours
29 (lectures: 20 hours
tutorials: 9 hours)
Enrolled students can access unit material via the Learning Management System.
  • 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.