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SOCA3850.4: Beyond the Abyss

Discover how the world is looking to indigenous peoples for solutions to urgent challenges, and how you can help indigenous causes

SOCA3850.4: Beyond the Abyss
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Transform your learning about indigenous peoples into practice

This is the fourth and final course in the SOCA3850: Indigenous Peoples of the Contemporary World program.

This program explores the contemporary social, cultural, economic and political situations of indigenous peoples across the world. Students are introduced to definitions and parameters of ‘indigenous’ peoples and their overlap with ‘ethnic minorities’ and the concept of ‘fourth world nations’. Throughout the program, students will engage with case studies that illustrate indigenous peoples’ struggles, including battles over land/marine rights, co-existence with settler/migrant communities, independence and nationhood, and reclamation of pre-colonial political boundaries and entities. The program offers an anthropological exploration of indigeneity and ethnicity, and students are introduced to post-colonial and de-colonial theory. By investigating examples of 21st century land use struggles (eg Standing Rock, Adani Carmichael Mine, the Brazilian ‘war of survival’), it places distinct emphasis on how contemporary challenges facing indigenous peoples continue to relate to questions of land and land use.

What topics will you cover?

Please see the SOCA3850: Indigenous Peoples of the Contemporary World course handbook for more detail.

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Understand the different situations in which indigenous peoples coexist with other, non-indigenous peoples in various states and societies
  • Recognise the various international organisations, institutions, and legal mechanisms to advance the position of Indigenous peoples in various countries.
  • Articulate, in written and verbal forms, informed positions on different types of struggles that indigenous peoples are waging in the contemporary world.
  • Communicate research objectives and outcomes to a wide audience.
  • Apply constructive feedback and review in peer contexts.

Who is the course for?

This course is particularly targeted at anyone interested in challenges currently facing indigenous peoples around the world. Those interested in anthropology, postcolonial studies and environmental management or environmental humanities will also find insights in this course.

Who will you learn with?

Senior Lecturer of Social Anthropology in the School of Humanities and Social Science at UON.

I'm Dr Randi Irwin and I'm an anthropologist. My long-term research has been with Saharawi refugees and focuses on their struggle for the decolonization of Western Sahara.

Who developed the course?

The University of Newcastle Australia

The University of Newcastle is a world-class university distinguished by a commitment to equity and excellence. Ranked in Australia’s Top 10 universities, and 197th in the world (QS rankings, 2021).

  • Established

  • Location

    Newcastle, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 200Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Join the conversation on social media

You can use the hashtag #UniNewcastle to talk about this course on social media.