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
2000 word essay 45%, for each 750 essay, 20%,
Oral presentation, 15%
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.
12 Lectures (1.5 hours), 12 Tutorials
Requisite and Incompatibility
Preliminary ReadingJudith 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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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.
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.