• Class Number 4868
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Alister Wedderburn
    • Dr Alister Wedderburn
  • 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
SELT Survey Results

This course will be occasionally scheduled to offer one-off opportunities to study under visiting experts, or to showcase a new teaching area. Information on the particular topic offered under this course will be outlined in the ‘Other Information’ section, including topic title, the topic convenor, and an indication of workload and indicative assessment.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the major issues in, and concepts associated with the special topic area;
  2. Evaluate and confidently apply these concepts;
  3. Critically evaluate approaches to the study of the special topic area;
  4. Demonstrate effective communication skills.

Field Trips

  • In weeks 2, 3 and 9 there will be film screenings. These will be held on the relevant Wednesdays, between 11am and 1pm in the Innovations Theatre.
  • In week 10, we will go on a class trip to the National Museum of Australia.

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Week 1: Introduction: Why culture? What is culture, and why is it relevant to global politics?
2 Week 2: Introduction: Narrating the Nation How can we understand the nation-state in cultural terms? Which sites are important for the 'imagination' or 'narration' of nationhood?
3 Week 3: Visual Culture: Visualising otherness What role do images play in international politics? How do they shape or influence our perception of political events?
4 Week 4: Visual culture: Mapping the International How have maps influenced the development of the international system?
5 Week 5: Literary culture: Travel writing Is there an international politics of travel writing? What does it mean to write about a group of people to which one does not belong?
6 Week 6: Literary culture: Travel guides What is the international-political significance of tourism? Is there such thing as 'responsible' tourism?
7 Week 7: Popular culture: Cartooning the camps How can we understand and/or communicate atrocity? How should events of such extremity be represented to mass audiences?
8 Week 8: Popular culture: Computer games, targeted killing, war, & militarism What role does war play in popular culture and everyday life?
9 Week 9: Material culture: Containerisation How has the shipping container transformed patterns of global trade and consumption?
10 Week 10: Material culture: Museums Can museums and galleries be important sites of international politics?
11 Week 11: Conclusion: The culture of the academy How should we understand the contexts in which we live and work? What cultural pressures are we under? How does this affect the work we do?
12 Week 12: Conclusion: The Politics of Exile and Autoethnography How might an understanding of cultural approaches to IR affect the way in which we produce research? What does autoethnography offer as a research method, and what are its limitations?

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Presentation 20 % 31/05/2019 21/06/2019 1,2,3,4
Short Essay 30 % 29/03/2019 12/04/2019 1,2,3
Final Essay 50 % 07/06/2019 21/06/2019 1,2,3

* 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.


Except for the presentations (Assessment Task 1), participation will not be graded. Attendance at seminars remains compulsory.


There are no examinations for this module. Assessment is via oral presentation and written essays.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4


From week three, student-led presentations will be graded. Presentations will be marked on the following criteria:

  • Understanding of the assigned material
  • Responses to the key questions
  • Introduction of interesting, provocative and productive areas of discussion for the remainder of the seminar's first hour.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 29/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 12/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Short Essay

Please answer one of the following questions. The word limit is 1500 words. Essays are due on 29 March.

1) ‘There is much more power and many more forms of power in international relations than is conventionally assumed’ (Cynthia Enloe). Discuss.*

2) ‘Defining a culture, saying what it is… is always… a democratic contest’ (Edward Said). Discuss with reference to the study of International Relations.

3) Choose as a case study any nation or nation-state. To what extent can your chosen nation be described as an ‘imagined community’?

4) What role have images played in contemporary debates about migration?

*If you answer this question, you cannot answer question 1) for Assessment Task 3

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 07/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Final Essay

For the final essay, you can choose either to answer one of the questions below, or to develop your own question on a topic of your choice. If you write your own question, please confirm it with me, either via e-mail or in my office hours. Your question can focus on one of the topics covered in the course, or it can look at something different entirely - there's plenty we haven't covered. All questions must in some way reflect the basic concerns of the course. Remember: A good question poses a problem that requires nuanced and informed discussion, not a simple black-and-white choice.

The word limit is 3000 words. Essays are due on 7 June.

1) ‘There is much more power and many more forms of power in international relations than is conventionally assumed’ (Cynthia Enloe). Discuss.*

2) How have maps influenced the development of the international system?

3) Does the tourism industry contribute to better international relations?

4) 'We became aware that our language lacks words to express this offence' (Primo Levi). To what extent can visual and/or popular culture contribute to an understanding of atrocity?

5) 'Popular culture distances and disengages citizens from the realities of war'. Discuss.

6) 'Non-human objects... have social, cultural, and political values embedded within their very physical nature'. Discuss the relevance of material objects to global politics with reference to one of the following:

  • The shipping container
  • A museum or gallery exhibit or exhibition of your choice
  • Anything else (please email me to discuss).

7) What would it mean to 'decolonise' the academy?

8) 'Academic writing should aim for objectivity'. Discuss with reference to autoethnographic research methods.

*You cannot answer this question if you answered question 1) for Assessment Task 2.

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

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. 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.

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.

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 Alister Wedderburn

Research Interests

Political and IR theory, the politics of visual and popular culture, post-structuralist philosophy

Dr Alister Wedderburn

Friday 15:00 17:00
Dr Alister Wedderburn

Research Interests

Dr Alister Wedderburn

Friday 15:00 17:00

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