• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Anthropology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

Few regions of the world can match Melanesia in the diversity and richness of the cultures it encompasses. This course, through a mixture of general characterisations and intensive study of particular contexts, seeks to provide students with an understanding of the range of cultures found in Melanesia. We will also consider just what that variation encompasses in terms of subsistence, exchange, social organisation, cosmology, conceptions of personhood and historical transformations. The region has also been a crucial part of the theoretical developments within the discipline of anthropology. Not only does the course aim to give the student a deeper appreciation of the various peoples who live so close to Australia, but it also highlights the debates that the ethnography of Melanesia has given rise to and the contributions these have made to the broader field of anthropology.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Appreciate the unique diversity of cultural forms in Melanesia in relation to their various histories.
  • Give an account of the importance of New Guinea within the broader anthropology of Melanesia and appreciate the place of the region in theoretical debates within anthropology.
  • Grasp the continuities spanning pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial Melanesian life-worlds and their role in the current dynamics of the region.
  • Appreciate the issues involved in using essentialising categories in a region with such a rich, dynamic history.
  • Appriciate an instance of the subtle interaction between feminist theory and regional ethnography.

Other Information

This course may be counted towards an Anthropology or Development Studies major.

Indicative Assessment

Article abstract (15%), short tutorial paper (25%) and 2500-word essay (60%).

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2 hours of lectures and one hour of tutorial per week

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 level Anthropology (ANTH) Courses. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ANTH6006. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Preliminary Reading

*Brookfield, H.C. and Hart, D. Melanesia: a geographical interpretation of an island world, Methuen, 1971.
*Chowning, A. An Introduction to the Peoples and Cultures of Melanesia, Addison-Wesley, 1977.





Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1164
2014 $2478
2013 $2472
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2286
2005 $2286
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2574
2014 $3246
2013 $3240
2012 $3240
2011 $3240
2010 $3240
2009 $3240
2008 $3240
2007 $3132
2006 $3132
2005 $3132
2004 $2916
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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