Course syllabus





This core course in the Masters of Indigenous Studies focuses on Indigenous theories. Theories emerge from particular Indigenous knowledge traditions and ways of seeing the world, and in turn inform Indigenous research methodologies.While grounded in te ao Māori the course covers material from a range of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous perspectives. Through  close readings of key texts and engaging in seminar discussions, students will deepen their insight into the knowledge systems that embody Indigenous world views and be able to critically and analytically engage with historical and contemporary issues in Indigenous Studies. Student participation is critical. You will bring your own knowledge into the learning spaces and create the canon for this course.

Objectives of this course:

At the completion of this course students should be able to demonstrate:

  • an understanding of a range of Indigenous theories and the knowledge systems from which these arise
  • an awareness of the extent to which different knowledge systems and theories relate to each other
  • an understanding of how particular knowledge systems and theories might lead to  specific research methodologies
  • the ability to evaluate the importance and impact of particular Indigenous theories and to apply at least one area of theory to a case study.
  • an understanding of the role of theory in Indigenous 




Students at the postgraduate level are expected to read widely. This reading will need to be demonstrated in the presentations and and in the other forms of course assessment. Readings will be made available but you will also be expected to identify readings for your own work and for the class.


Course expectations

I will work to ensure that students feel supported and that an environment is created to support your learning. I want this course to enable a love for deep learning and independent scholarship. I also want us to enjoy what we are doing and to recognise the power that comes from understanding the process of theorizing.

To enable this all course members 

  • must be prepared for each meeting and able to contribute to the discussions. You do not need to know or understand everything but there mayst be a willingness and drive to learn. Readings are key and you will need to have read course material and critically engage with the material. Comprehensive notes on what you have read is likely to be very important to your learning. You must come to classes with questions but also be prepared to answer questions. Attendance of all classes is critical for a successful outcome of this course.


Course summary:

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