• Class Number 4150
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Joseph MacKay
    • Dr Joseph MacKay
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
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

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 Introduction: Pandemics, Epidemiology, and World Politics
2 History 1: The Black Death and the Premodern World
3 History 2: Empire and Cholera
4 History 3: WWI and the Spanish Flu
5 The Other Contemporary Pandemic: AIDS and World Politics
6 COVID-19 and World Ordering
7 7. Pandemic Fictions and Ends of the World
8 Pandemics and Organizations: Infectious Disease Management
9 War and Infectious Disease
10 The Body Politic: Democracy, Movement, and Protest
11 Cholera, the UN, and Haiti Guest Lecture: Nicolas Lemay-Hébert
12 Pandemics and Memory, Pandemic Futures

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment
Short Paper 20 % 29/03/2021 12/04/2021
Book Review 20 % 10/05/2021 17/05/2021
Research Paper 50 % 27/05/2021 30/06/2021
Participation 10 % * *

* 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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 29/03/2021
Return of Assessment: 12/04/2021
Learning Outcomes: 

Short Paper

Write a paper answering the assigned question in broad terms, with reference to the materials discussed up to week four. No outside research is required or permitted. You may draw on the recommended background texts, if you wish. 1250 words.

Question: Are pandemics central historical drivers of world politics? Why or why not? Explain, with examples, comparing to one other major factor: war/conflict, empire/colonialism, trade/economics, or cultural exchange.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 10/05/2021
Return of Assessment: 17/05/2021
Learning Outcomes: 

Book Review

Read, then write a review of one of the following pandemic-themed novels. 1250 words.

Albert Camus, The Plague (1947)

Max Brooks, World War Z (2006)

Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven (2014)

Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year (1722)

Mary Shelly, The Last Man (1826)

Tony Kushner, Angels in America, parts 1 and 2 (1993)

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 27/05/2021
Return of Assessment: 30/06/2021
Learning Outcomes: 

Research Paper

Choose a major infectious disease (other than COVID-19), past or present. Briefly describe its features spread, infectiousness, virulence. Explain its impact on human politics and society, with an emphasis on international or world politics. If the disease is in the past, will it likely recur and how widely? If it is ongoing, what are its chances of defeat? What policies or other actions would you advocate to defeat it or prevent it from recurring?

2500 words

Options include polio, malaria, smallpox, Ebola, tuberculosis, typhus, but feel free to choose something else.

Choose a disease and notify me by email by April 28.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 


Students are expected to participate actively in seminar discussions.

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. Extensions may be granted 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 Joseph MacKay
6125 5744

Research Interests

Dr Joseph MacKay

By Appointment
Dr Joseph MacKay
6125 5744

Research Interests

Dr Joseph MacKay

By Appointment

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