• Class Number 6087
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Jane Ferguson
    • Dr Jane Ferguson
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

 While aviation continues to inspire our imaginations, the traveling public is often eluded by the geo-political, technical, and cultural complexities of this massive industry in the Asia-Pacific region (and beyond). This course consists of three major sections: human-machine relationships, aviation labor, and finally aviation consumers/passengers. Drawing upon engineering history and human-machine relationships, but considering these via social geography and anthropology, this course will discuss how aviation developed in relation to other forms of transportation and surveillance, as well as how “human factors” discourses are used to assess aviation disasters. Next, it will examine aviation labor, taking on board theory and approaches from gender studies: from the highly sexualised, sometimes Orientalised icon of the flight attendant. Who is Singapore Girl? What does she represent? How do Thai Airways flight attendants use Buddhist philosophy to cope with the stresses of their job? Finally, the consumers of aviation: passengers and cargo. How has the container revolution changed our tastes in foods? How have the demographics of the flying public changed? How have marketing strategies and loyalty programs sought to segment elites? Following a general history of the industry and selected case studies from the Asia-Pacific, this course will explore the histories, laws, economies and cultures as they come together in the machines, labor, and consumers that form the aviation industry today.

Learning Outcomes

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

After successful completion of the course, students will have the skills and knowledge to:
1. Analyse transportation networks and how they relate to globalisation in the Asia-Pacific 
2. Develop a nuanced interpretation of how airline work and iconography relate to national identity and gender role expectations.
3. Illustrate the ways in which aviation infrastructure construction is controversial, and has led to social resistance.
4. Observe the tensions between global standardisation of operation with cultural differences in specific Asian contexts
5. Articulate how logistical infrastructure is also related to larger socio-cultural issues in the Asia-Pacific region.

Research-Led Teaching

This is part of my work with the ARC linkage grant, "Heritage of the Air" and related to the years of ethnographic research and publishing I have completed in relation to airline work.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment

Independent Research Paper

Required Resources

Access to the websites, download PDFs and view videos on line.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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 Aviation: Technology, Labour and the Public In-class introduction and exercise
2 Aviation and Colonialism Readings and discussion
3 Aerial Nationalism: Siam as Nobody's Aviation Colony Readings, video analysis and discussion
4 Social Movements and Sabotage of the World's Most Revolutionary Space In-class Trial, discussion and debate
5 You Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore Readings and discussion
6 Crew Resource Management: Culture Clash Readings and discussion
7 Emotional Economy, Emotional Labour: The Flight Attendant Readings and discussion, video analysis
8 Local Culture: Aviation Admiration, Aviation Fears Readings and discussion
9 Aviation Consumers and Attendant Frights Readings and discussion, video exercise in semiotics
10 Aviation Desire - Loyalty schemes, symbolic value Readings and discussion
11 Engineering the Future: How Transnational Spaces Challenge the State Readings and discussion
12 Student Research Presentations Student-led class meeting

Tutorial Registration


Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Essay #1 25 % 23/08/2021 31/08/2021 1, 3, 4
Essay #2 25 % 27/09/2021 06/08/2021 2, 5
Independent Research Paper 40 % 08/11/2019 30/11/2019 1, 3, 4, 5
In-class critical summaries 10 % * * 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. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.


Presence in class is expected, as it active engagement with the lectures and tutorial discussions. There are in-class exercises and student-led teaching experiences throughout the class.


Independent Research Paper

Assessment Task 1

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 23/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 31/08/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 4

Essay #1

Essay 1: topics released: 09 August, papers due: 23 August; based on assigned readings

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 27/09/2021
Return of Assessment: 06/08/2021
Learning Outcomes: 2, 5

Essay #2

Essay 2: topics released:  13 September, due 27 September; based on assigned readings or video analysis

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 08/11/2019
Return of Assessment: 30/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 4, 5

Independent Research Paper

Independent Research Paper due 8 November; original research with in-class guidance.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

In-class critical summaries

Students will present short introductions and lead class discussion on two of the assigned readings, as chosen by a sign up sheet distributed via the course Wattle site.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

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) submission must be through Turnitin.

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission 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 Jane Ferguson
send email

Research Interests

Southeast Asia; Myanmar; Aviation; Ethnicity; Unpopular Culture; History and Anthropology

Dr Jane Ferguson

Wednesday 13:00 17:00
Wednesday 13:00 17:00
Dr Jane Ferguson
send email

Research Interests

Dr Jane Ferguson

Wednesday 13:00 17:00
Wednesday 13:00 17:00

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