• Offered by School of Philosophy
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Philosophy
  • Areas of interest Philosophy
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

With the emergence of ever-more sophisticated technology, events happening in remote corners of the world and in cosmopolitan centres are beamed into our living rooms and onto our computer screens almost instantaneously. These events usually involve wars, suffering and disasters. Some critics argue that the proliferation of stories and images of catastrophe has overwhelmed viewers, and that we (in Western nations) are suffering from ‘compassion fatigue'. While this is a contested issue, what is certain is that technology has changed our sense of ourselves as citizens - we no longer see ourselves as citizens simply of nations, but of the world.

This course, jointly offered through Philosophy and Gender, Sexuality and Culture, begins by asking: what is our responsibility, as global citizens, towards the suffering of others? How should we understand issues of justice and responsibility in an increasingly global world? On what terms does suffering or violence find representation? Why do some lives appear to matter more than others? How do language, media presentation and discourse shape our understanding of contemporary issues such as ‘terrorism'? Where do national identities take shape around a sense of victimization or of invulnerability? In this course, we consider these and other issues, as they are addressed by philosophers and by cultural critics.  As well as introducing students to critical frameworks for thinking through these complex questions, the course also aims to help students become aware of their own values and practices as global citizens.   

Reading for the course might include texts by Judith Butler, Wendy Brown, Susan Sontag, Marianne Hirsch, Mieke Bal, Wendy Hesford, Drucilla Cornell, Slavoj Zizek, Veena Das,  Frantz Fanon, and Hannah Arendt 

This course will count in the Philosophy major and in the core list in the Gender, Sexuality and Culture major

Indicative Assessment

2000 word essay 45%, for each 750 essay, 20%, oral presentation, 15%

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12 Lectures (1.5 hours), 12 Tutorials

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 6 Units of any 1000 level Arts (ARTS) Courses.

Preliminary Reading

Judith Butler, Precarious Life, Introduction




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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