• Class Number 8634
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Justine Chambers
    • Justine Chambers
  • 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

The course will introduce students to multiple drivers of social conflict against the backdrop of environmental change over the past century in Asia and the Pacific. Such challenges and conflicts emerge out of historical, social, economic, political, religious and cultural movements and debates, often linked to wider global forces. Topics include: the impact of colonialism, the politics of gender, nationalism and the environment; the postcolonial state and its role in conflict and environmental degradation. We also explore how indigenous knowledge and cultural traditions that have been enrolled in the service of an ecological ethic and the kind of ideologies and activities have inspired environmental activism .

More generally, the course is considers the critical question: how have Asian and Pacific societies redefined their relationship to the environment from the colonial period until present day. We investigate the relationships between environmental degradation, urbanization, migration, technological change and public health to reveal the critical role that state and non-state actors play in influencing social conflict and mediation.  

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate advanced analytical, research, and communication skills drawing on anthropological, historical and interdisciplinary sources 
2. Demonstrate the knowledge and skill sets to engage successfully and critically in civil society projects across a variety of urban, regional and rural settings
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the history and theory of environmental change and social conflict across the Asia Pacific.
4. Demonstrate expertise in specialist fields and sub-fields of environment and development studies. 

Required Resources

Scott J 1998 Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, Yale University Press.

Tsing A 2005 Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection, Princeton University Press. 

Anderson, W (1995) “Excremental Colonialism: public health and the poetics of pollution” Critical Inquiry 21(3): 640-669

Ballard C and G Banks (2003) Resource Wars: The Anthropology of Mining, Annual Review of Anthropology, v32:281-313

Baviskar, A (2000), ‘Claims to knowledge, Claims to control: Environmental Conflict and the Great Himalayan National Park, India” in in Roy Ellen et al, Indigenous environmental knowledge and it transformations: critical anthropological perspectives (Harwood), pp. 101-120.

Chakrabarty, D (2009) “The Climate of History: Four Theses,” Critical Inquiry 35, no. 2 (2009): 197– 222

Crang M, Nicky Gregson, Farid Ahamed, Raihana Ferdous and Nasreen Akhter (2012) “Death of the Phoenix and Pandora: transforming things of value in Bangladesh” in Catherine Alexander and Joshua Reno (eds.) (2013), Economies of Recycling: The global transformation of materials, values and social relations (London: Zed Books)

Doron, A & Raja I (2015) ‘The Cultural Politics of Shit’, Journal of Postcolonial Studies

Jacka J (2001) Coca Cola and Kolo: Land Ancestors and Development, Anthropology Today V17 1- 8.

Klein, Neomi (2016), "Let Them Drown (https://www.lrb.co.uk/2016/05/04/naomi-klein/video-let-the m-drown)", LRB 4 May

Li T M (2014) Land's End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier, Duke University Press.

Li T (2000) ‘Locating Indigenous Environmental Knowledge in Indonesia’ in Roy Ellen et al, Indigenous environmental knowledge and it transformations: critical anthropological perspectives (Harwood), pp. 120-147.

Williams, A. (2008).'Turning the Tide: Recognizing Climate Change Refugees in International Law' LAW & POLICY, Vol. 30, No. 4, October 2008.

Shah, A (2007) ‘The Dark Side of Indigeneity?: Indigenous People, Rights and Development in India’, History Compass, 5(6): 1806-1832.

Rademacher, A & Sivaramakrishnan, S. (2013, eds). Ecologies of Urbanism in India (Hong Kong University Press)

Tsing A (2005) Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection, Princeton University Press.

Xin Tong, Jici Wang (2012) “The shadow of the global network: e-waste flows to china” in Catherine Alexander and Joshua Reno (eds.), Economies of Recycling: The global transformation of materials, values and social relations (London: Zed Books)

Yusoff, K (2015) “Anthropogenesis: Origins and Endings in the Anthropocene” Theory, Culture and Society (Online First)

Zimmerman, F (2014) “The Jungle and the Aroma of Meats: an ecological theme in Hindu Medicine” in Dove, M (ed), The Anthropology of Climate Change (Wiley Balckwell: Oxford)

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 22 July: Introduction to Course --- overall scope and objectives Expectations and Assessments Seminar Presentations and selecting topic and week. Keywords and definitions
2 29 July: Climate Change and the Age of the Anthropocene
3 5 August: Colonialism, dispossession and the plantation economy
4 12 August: Local knowledge, land laws and the environment
5 19 August: Public health, gender and sanitation Research Essay Due (25/8/2019)
6 26 August: Capitalism, social conflict and the environment
7 16 September: Landscapes of Insurgency
8 23 September: Global garbage and economies of recycling
9 30 September: Environmental cosmologies in Asia
10 7 October: Governance and water wars
11 14 October: Extractive resource industries and affected communities
12 21 October: Nature and the state

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Class Presentation and Contribution in Seminars 10 % 05/08/2019 21/10/2019 1, 2
Research essay 30 % 25/08/2019 08/09/2019 1, 3
Final essay 60 % 04/11/2019 18/11/2019 1, 2, 3, 4

* 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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 05/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

Class Presentation and Contribution in Seminars

Demonstrate communication skills involved in scholarly inquiry and critical review of issues pertinent to the course content and specialist topics addressed in lectures.


Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 25/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 08/09/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3

Research essay

2000 words (not including footnotes and references)

Critical analysis of scholarship, writing and resources on and about social impacts leading to conflict due to and exacerbated by environmental change.

Topics will be discussed with Lecturer.


Assessment Task 3

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 04/11/2019
Return of Assessment: 18/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Final essay

4000 words (not including footnotes and references)

Demonstrate an informed and critical appreciation of selected course themes and debates around conflict and environmental change at postgraduate level of scholarship.

(Topics for the essay will need to be discussed with Lecturer in advance)

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

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).
Justine Chambers

Research Interests


Justine Chambers

Monday 14:00 16:00
Monday 14:00 16:00
Justine Chambers

Research Interests

Justine Chambers

Monday 14:00 16:00
Monday 14:00 16:00

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