• Class Number 9475
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Shameem Black
    • Dr Shameem Black
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course investigates gender and culture as forms of everyday power in Asia and the Pacific. It introduces key theories and approaches from gender and cultural studies as they shape an understanding of these regions. One strand of this course will consider how our ideas of male, female, and transgender translate in Asian and Pacific contexts. We will explore such possible topics as the relation between feminisms, imperialisms and nationalisms, contemporary configurations of gender, inequality and development, and current debates about gendered violence, human rights, sex work, same-sex sexualities and gender crossing. The second strand of our course will turn to creative traditions and popular culture to investigate the imaginative and political work of cultural production. Possible topics include the links between culture and political power, culture in the age of capitalism, and the influence of globalisation. Through analytical, practice-based and creative assessments, students will gain crucial tools to understand the politics of everyday life in Asia and the Pacific. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyse, evaluate and apply contemporary theories of gender and culture in Asia and the Pacific;
  2. Use the conceptual vocabulary of gender and cultural studies to analyse contemporary issues and problems in Asia and the Pacific;
  3. Use the methods of gender and cultural studies to analyse the way gender and sexuality are produced in culture, including written and visual texts from Asia and the Pacific;
  4. Identify and understand interdisciplinary approaches to gender, sexuality and culture in Asia and the Pacific;
  5. Communicate complex ideas in speech and writing;
  6. Reflect critically on the knowledge and skills developed in the study of gender and culture in Asia and the Pacific.

Research-Led Teaching

This course incorporates ANU scholarship in gender and cultural studies, including new work on sexual violence, climate change, embodied knowledge, and gender and politics.

Field Trips

National Gallery of Australia, Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia exhibition

Additional Course Costs

Public/private transportation for a field trip from ANU to National Gallery of Australia

Required Resources

Required resources will be available on Wattle or through free internet platforms. You are expected to bring a device with an internet connection to class.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

This course is run as an integrated seminar of lectures, discussions, and workshops. It gives students the opportunity to engage in analytical, practice-based, and creative assessments.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Week 1: Gender and Cultural Studies This week we will introduce ourselves and learn more about what you will do in this course. Then we will dive into the question of "gender studies" and "cultural studies." How did gender become something that could be studied and recognised at a university? What is cultural studies, and what makes it different from other disciplines that deal with "culture," such as anthropology, literature, or art history? How have gender and culture been important to different political movements in Asia and the Pacific?
2 Week 2: Truth, Power and Knowledge This week we examine influential theorists who underpin the fields of gender and cultural studies: they are thinkers who invite us to understand how gender and culture are connected to questions of power.
3 Week 3: Gender and Ideology This section explores how ideas about appropriate gender norms gain force in shaping everyday lives, creating what we think of as "ideologies." We examine a range of important ideologies across Asia, such as Confucian and neo-Confucian norms in East Asia, heterogender frameworks in Southeast Asia, or religiously shaped ideal femininity in South Asia.
4 Week 4: Feminism and its Discontents What does it mean to be a feminist? Is feminism necessarily a Western construct? This week we explore diverse ways in which feminism can be defined and redefined in different parts of Asia and the Pacific, and we ask what kinds of theoretical perspectives might best account for this diversity.
5 Week 5: Sexuality and Masculinity In this week we explore how different ideas of sexuality and masculinity have changed over time in Asia and the Pacific, and how they have shaped by diverse public cultures. How do these formations respond to global trends, and how do they challenge Western assumptions?
6 Week 6: MeToo in Asia This week we examine sexual violence in Asia. #MeToo has drawn new global attention to this problem: how has this moment resonated, or not resonated, in Asia? What are the structural conditions that lead to sexual assault in different parts of the region? What are the conditions under which people can speak about sexual violence?
7 Week 7: Museums and Heritage Studies Field Excursion: National Gallery of Australia This week we will take a guided excursion to "Contemporary Worlds," an NGA exhibition on modern Indonesian art. What are the politics of knowledge that shape museums? What kind of relationship between Australia and Indonesia is produced through exhibitions like "Contemporary Worlds"? How are you positioned differently in a museum than you are in the classroom?
8 Week 8: Popular Culture and Soft Power What is pop culture and why should we study it? How has pop culture evolved in our understanding of the Asia-Pacific region? What kinds of power circulate through popular culture, and how have states tried to harness the energies of popular culture for their own purposes?
9 Week 9: Orientalism and Beyond Edward Said's theory of Orientalism revolutionized the Western study of Asia and the Pacific through a new lens. In this week we explore Said's key ideas, the widespread use of his paradigm, and investigate how contemporary culture may complicate some of the assumptions behind Orientalism.
10 Week 10: Gender and Politics How does gender shape political participation, leadership, and international order? And how does participation in political activity potentially reaffirm, disrupt, or reconfigure gender roles in many aspects of society and culture? What are the prospects for female leadership in Asia and the Pacific today?
11 Week 11: Gender, Culture, and the Environment Climate change and environmental destruction disproportionately affect women in many parts of Asia and the Pacific. This week we examine how and why cultural norms around gender play a role in the politics of the environment.
12 Week 12: Cultures, Gender and Health How does understanding gender and culture save lives? What practical problems require the kinds of perspectives that you have gained in this course? How has our understanding of gender and culture changed the way we approach issues such as health and disabilities?

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Class Participation 10 % 25/10/2019 15/11/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6
Research Essay 30 % 22/08/2019 06/09/2019 1,2,3,4,5
Group Project: Smartphone Application Prototype (no coding required) 25 % 17/10/2019 07/11/2019 1,2,3,4,5
Reflective Interview 25 % 24/10/2019 07/11/2019 1,2,4,5,6
Seminar Activity 10 % 25/10/2019 15/11/2019 1,2,3,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Participation involves a) demonstrating that you have read and thought about the course readings; b) actively engaging in class and small group discussions, orally or in short written tasks; c) engaging with your peers in workshop activities.


There is no examination for this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 25/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 15/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Class Participation

You should to come to class effectively prepared to discuss the course readings, to engage in oral and written tasks, to work independently and collaboratively with your peers, and to show intellectual curiosity and analytical thinking. A hurdle requirement for your participation mark is the final seminar meeting, where groups will share their final projects with the class.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 22/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 06/09/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research Essay

You will research and write a 2000-word analytical essay on a question and area relevant to the course.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 17/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 07/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Group Project: Smartphone Application Prototype (no coding required)

In small groups, you will design a prototype of a digital smartphone application that uses the critical principles of gender and cultural studies to engage your audience in a specific issue that affects Asia and the Pacific. No coding skills are required and no prior experience is needed. This assessment will include a hurdle component, a collaborative site where each member uploads research material and shares ideas. Meeting this hurdle requirement means that you can be awarded your full group mark. At the end of the project, you will have a working prototype of your application.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 24/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 07/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5,6

Reflective Interview

You will write a 1500-word individual reflection on your group prototype that explains the central argument of your application, shows how your prototype draws upon research and ideas from this course, and sets out how you have developed new skills in group collaboration.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 25/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 15/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Seminar Activity

During the seminar, you will participate in a short weekly in-class activity (specific tasks will vary, 150 words or equivalent) that gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your ongoing analytical and creative engagement with course readings and concepts.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

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.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

For Seminar Activities, which are conducted in class, late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted without an extension from the course convener. If a Seminar Activity assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded. Late submission of other assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be returned via Wattle.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Shameem Black

Research Interests

gender and cultural studies, India and its diaspora, culture and soft power, globalisation and ethics

Dr Shameem Black

Wednesday 12:30 13:30
Thursday 12:30 13:30
Dr Shameem Black

Research Interests

Dr Shameem Black

Wednesday 12:30 13:30
Thursday 12:30 13:30

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions