• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Humanities
  • Areas of interest Cultural Studies, English, History, Museums and Collections
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Laurajane Smith
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

The course is designed to familiarise students with interdisciplinary and cross cultural approaches to humanities research. It is led by experts in visual anthropology, literary studies, history, biographical studies and cultural theory, and comprises a range of readings from areas as diverse as pacific history, indigenous cultures, biography and life narratives, new media and globalization, postcolonial theory, world literature, and philosophical debates on disciplinarily. The course will challenge students to evaluate a range of humanities approaches and to consider which ones might best suit their own research.


The course will be conducted through 9 sessions in two blocks. The first will run for 5 weeks, the second for 4. The first block will be facilitated entirely by the convener. In the second block, guest scholars will address the assigned readings and respond to students’ questions on their theoretical and methodological approaches. This second part will build students’ capacity to structure research questions and enhance their critical engagement with interdisciplinary work. The final session will be a 3-4 hour symposium at which students will present an overview of their research plans in relation to the issues raised in the course readings.

Learning Outcomes

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

Course aims:

Critical reading, clear writing and effective oral communication skills are the essential foundations of humanities scholarship. The course aims to develop each of these skills by exposing students to a wide array of scholarly approaches. Further it builds students’ capacity to evaluate the merits of scholarly work and to arrive at methods and theories best suited to inform their own research.

Learning Outcomes:

On completing the course, the students will acquire knowledge and skills to:

  1. Synthesize a range of theoretical and methodological literature written from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives
  2. Identify and extend scholarly argument (rather than simply describing or summarising the content of assigned readings)
  3. Use specific examples to demonstrate key issues, methods and approaches used in humanities scholarship
  4. Interpret and assess the applicability of theoretical and methodological approaches to their own research
  5. Devise their own research question and independently identify ways in which to frame and approach their respective projects.

Other Information

Attendance requirements

It is strongly recommended that students attend all sessions. Their peer group, course convener and guest seminar leaders provide an invaluable source of academic support and feedback opportunities.

Indicative Assessment

Assignment 1: Reading Journal

Part (a) – 1500 words

Part (b) – 3000 words


Students must respond to the questions raised by the set readings and the seminar discussions, elucidating how these readings and the class discussions have helped them think about their respective research projects. Part (a) will be based on their response to the Block 1 readings and should incorporate detailed discussion of at least 3 readings. Part (b) which constitutes the completed Reading Journal will incorporate their responses to the guest seminar leaders and the readings the latter have set.


Assignment 2: Seminar presentations

Students will present a 15-20 minute paper giving an overview of their developing project, their responses to the assigned readings they found most significant to their work, and the ways in which they have been able to critically evaluate and integrate the course work material into their research plan. Each assignment will be marked as pass/fail.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Contact time for this course will be approximately 19-20 hours over 9 weeks. Two contact hours are scheduled for every week except the last session of the final block which will run for 3-4 hours. In addition students are strongly encouraged to attend a variety of events (seminars, workshops, conferences or forums) hosted by the Research School of Humanities and the Arts.

Preliminary Reading

All required readings listed in the course outline are available on electronic reserve at the ANU Library: http://anulib.anu.edu.au/lib_home.html. Search under the Convener’s name or the surname of the author of the reading. Most journal articles are available in the library’s collection of e-journals.


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 $1542
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 $3618
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3618
2008 $3618
2007 $3618
2006 $3618
2005 $3618
2004 $3618
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4113 17 Feb 2014 07 Mar 2014 31 Mar 2014 30 May 2014 In Person N/A

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