- Class Number 4864
- Term Code 2930
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Dr Fouzieyha Towghi
- Dr Fouzieyha Towghi
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 25/02/2019
- Class End Date 31/05/2019
- Census Date 31/03/2019
- Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
This course introduces anthropological perspectives on socio-cultural and politico-economic dimensions of emergent biotechnologies in biomedical research and clinical practice- ranging from assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF, human tissues such as stem cells, and pharmacogenomics such as for cancer prevention and treatment. Broadly, the course explores the sociocultural, ethical, risk, and regulatory issues that arise out of global biomedical applications of biotechnologies in a variety of transnational contexts. The course will consider how transformations in biological sciences influence clinical practice. Here, drawing from ethnographic studies, we will examine the extant role of molecular and genomic sciences in redefining medical care and patient decision about care. We will reflect on the relationship between genetic determinism and epigenomics in biomedical research and clinical practice. The course will also explore socio-cultural effects of the globalization of reproductive technologies and surrogacy services along with anthropological debates surrounding the medical market for eggs and sperm and the outsourcing of medical research and drug clinical trials. Here we will reflect on the relationship between pharmaceuticals, the global market, and public health. Throughout the course, we will be concerned with social implication of biotechnologies at the intersection of race, gender, class, and sexuality as we reflect on the unequal benefits and risks of biomedical research and the applications of biotechnologies. Students will be introduced to the anthropological and political economic analysis of medical tourism, reproductive tourism, and the politics of transnational organ transfer to reflect on questions such as: Why some patients cross national borders for care while other individuals are compelled to sacrifice their organs for the care of their family?
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- effectively apply an anthropological perspective to the analysis of socio-cultural and political economic implications of emergent biotechnologies;
- explore the relationship between the transformations in biological sciences and clinical practice and explain role of molecular and genomic sciences in reshaping biomedical practice and patient decision about care;
- analyze the socio-cultural effects of the globalization of biotechnologies;
- explain social implication of biotechnologies at the intersection of race, gender, class, and sexuality and how this relates to the unequal benefits and risks of biomedical research and the applications of biotechnologies; and
- effectively apply critical reading and writing skills.
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- Written feedback and comments on written work
- In class: Verbal feedback as well as written comments on the online forum page- to the entire class- on analysis of assigned texts and any queries and confusion that may emerge pertaining to understanding the assigned readings and related concepts.
- Students are also encouraged to meet the course convener during office/consultation hours or by appointment/ skype/phone (online students only) to further clarify and discuss the assigned texts.
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.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Introduction to the course outline and requirements; meeting each other. Lecture outlining the overall theme of the course and the course’s connection to the field of medical anthropology. Provide you writing critical reflection/summaries guideline.||None|
|2||Biopolitics/Biopower/Politics of Life/Potentiality. Lecture/ group work on assigned articles, review guideline for writing final research paper.||Due: Your 2 questions on assigned reading of the week and the 1 of 6 selected weekly critical summary.|
|3||Eugenics/ Race, gender, and sexuality in medicine. Lecture/ Group work/class discussion/Discuss proposed final research projects.||Due: Your 2 questions on assigned reading of the week and the 1 of 6 selected weekly critical summary.|
|4||The Molecular Body: Testing, Screening, Stigmatising and the rise of new preventive biotechnologies. Lecture/Group work/class discussion/ Discuss you proposed final paper projects.||Due: Your 2 questions on assigned reading of the week and the 1 of 6 selected weekly critical summary, and Abstract/Summary of proposed research project|
|5||Assisted Reproductive Technologies. Lecture/ Group work/ Review evaluation rubric for your final paper||Due: Your 2 questions on assigned reading of the week and the 1 of 6 selected weekly critical summary.|
|6||Personal Genomics/ Focus on Breast Cancer Lecture/Group work/discuss progress on your final paper project; I will provide individual feedback in the 3rd hour of the class.|
|7||Bio-economy. Lecture/group work/class discussion|
|8||Patenting Life/ and Drugs for Life. Lecture, group work. class discussion|
|9||Clinical Trials, Pharmaceuticals, and Global Markets. Lecture/ Group work/ Review Guideline for final paper conference style presentation|
|10||Tissue Economies: The Global Traffic in Human Organ/ or Biologies and Bodies for Sale. Lecture, group work, class discussion Discuss progress of final paper, opportunity to receive oral feedback on conceptual and methodological issues related to the final project.|
|11||Local Biologies/Epigenomics: Health and Disease in the Postgenomic Era Lecture, group work, class discussion. Discuss progress of final paper, opportunity to receive oral feedback on conceptual and methodological issues related to the final project.|
|12||Student Presentations of Final Research Paper||Final project presentation Due: Final Paper (via Turnitin)|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Critical Reflections (x6)||30 %||04/03/2019||27/05/2019||1, 5|
|Participation in Discussion||10 %||04/03/2019||27/05/2019||1, 5|
|Final Research Paper||45 %||27/05/2019||10/06/2019||2, 3, 4, 5|
|Conference Style Presentation of Final Papers||15 %||27/05/2019||10/06/2019||2, 3, 4, 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:
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.
Assigned readings for this course have been carefully selected for each thematic session. It is expected that students complete all the assigned readings for the designated week before attending class. It is in your interest to invest time and effort into the readings and attend all scheduled classes in order to receive the maximum benefit of taking this course. Please make sure not to breach the copyright conditions of the course materials (personal and academic use only). There is no guarantee that the class room recording system is consistently functional. I encourage you to avoid missing class as much as it is in your hands to do so. Also, connect with another student in class who can share her or his lecture notes if you must miss a class session.
Your active participation in the class is highly encouraged and crucial to having an engaged and lively class. You are expected to come prepared for interaction. Each student’s contribution will enrich our time together so please do your part. All the readings are available via the wattle course site. It is your responsibility to download the readings and bring them to class for further discussion.
Each week, as we move along and where relevant, I will highlight key concepts for you to reflect upon. Together we will discuss these concepts and link them to the readings. By keeping up with assigned readings and regularly attending class, you will be able to gain a much deeper understanding of the concepts. You will be able to engage these concepts and the ideas from the course material accurately and more effectively in your analysis of your chosen topic for your final research project.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1, 5
Critical Reflections (x6)
This assignment is designed to help you think concretely and critically about the topic matter at hand, by way of demonstrating in writing your thinking on the assigned texts. This assignment will also help you to participate in class discussions, and facilitate your comprehension of the material. You are required to write a series of 6 weekly (400 words) critical reflections. Your reflections are to be posted on the Wattle weekly assignment page by 3 pm on the day of the course session for which you select to write your critical reflection. In your reflection, describe the main idea(s) of the texts; point out something you found particularly interesting and/or puzzling; raise two questions related to the texts for discussion in class. The question must be formulated well and demonstrate acquaintance with relevant reading assignment. Students may be asked to present their questions and reflections orally in class. The framework for the response papers and presentations will be discussed further in class. You will be provided with written guideline for this assignment during first week of the class. Late submissions will not be accepted. You have 10 weeks of assigned texts from which to write your (6) required critical summaries. I recommend you begin writing your reflections as early as possible so you can benefit from my feedback. These reflections may also serve as sources and archives to which you can refer for your final research paper.
Value: 30% (6 x 5%)
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1, 5
Participation in Discussion
This activity is designed to help you develop analytical thinking and communication skills and to demonstrate your ability to reflect on core concepts the emerge in this course. Each week, before arriving to class you are required to post (on the class forum) at least 2 well formulated questions related to the readings. The question should be informed by the readings and based on what you find compelling and noteworthy for further class discussion. Make sure that the sorts of questions you generate can be directed at a specific or overarching argument made by the authors or serve as connective questions that tie the themes presented in the readings related to an observed social phenomenon or other examples we have discussed in class. Students will be called upon randomly to pose their question during the class session.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4, 5
Final Research Paper
This activity is designed to deepen your engagement with the course material and provide you an opportunity to research a course related topic in greater depth. You will have an opportunity to read a book length ethnography related to your chosen research topic.
- You may consider doing a paper focusing on either a contemporary disease or the development of and use of a new medical technology. This project can include interview of scientist and/ or medical practitioner.
- Or you may consider doing an in-depth proposal for a research project which engages with some of the issues and literatures discussed in the class. The proposal would be appropriate for a BA honours or Master’s thesis project.
The guideline and assessment rubric for this assignment will be provided to you by WEEK 5
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4, 5
Conference Style Presentation of Final Papers
This activity is designed to help you succinctly demonstrate your understanding of core concepts and methods in application of specific medical anthropology topic you have chosen to address in your final paper. It is also designed to enable you to practice public presentation and succinctly and confidently orally articulate your critical thinking skills. It is an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the relationship between anthropological theories and health and medical related processes and events. You will prepare a 10 to 15 minutes presentation of your final project. The specific timing of the presentation will be determined based on the enrollment numbers in the class. You will be part of a panel of 4-5 students presenting to an invited audience of students and faculty from SAA, your research question, methods, and results. The audience will have an opportunity to ask you questions about your research and conclusions. Further guidelines for this assignment will be provided to you in class and posted on the Course Website, by WEEK 9 of the course session.
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.
You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.
No hard copy submission is required. You are required to post your critical reflection and weekly well formulated questions on the assigned readings on the wattle page.
Late submission of 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. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.
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.
Students will receive written feedback on weekly critical reflections which will be returned to you the following week.. The abstract for your final paper project is due by WEEK 4; you will receive approval and feedback on your chosen topic for the final paper by WEEK 5. Students will have the opportunity to further discuss their respective final writing project with the course Convener during office/consultation hours. Students will receive written feedback and their mark on the final paper and presentation by June 10, 2019.
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.
Resubmission of Assignments
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).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Dr. Fouzieyha Towghi https://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/towghi-f
Dr Fouzieyha Towghi