• Class Number 7005
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Shameem Black
    • Dr Shameem Black
  • 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

What are “gender” and “cultural studies,” and how do these influential concepts shape our understanding of Asia and the Pacific? One strand of our course will consider how our ideas of male, female, and transgender translate in Asian and Pacific contexts. We will explore both historical and contemporary questions, including such possible topics as the influence of imperialism and religious conversions on gender, the relation between feminisms and nationalisms, the contemporary configurations of gender and development, and current debates about gendered violence, human rights, HIV, sex work, same-sex sexualities and gender crossing. The second strand of our course will turn to art, film, popular culture, and literature to investigate the imaginative and political work of cultural production. Possible topics include the links between culture and political power, culture in the age of capitalism, the role of globalisation, and the rise of digital cultures. We will introduce key theories and methods of inquiry through discussions of scholarly literature and visual/artistic materials from the two regions.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyse, evaluate and apply contemporary theories of gender and culture in Asia and the Pacific;
  2. Use the conceptual vocabulary of gender and cultural studies to analyse contemporary issues and problems in Asia and the Pacific;
  3. Use the methods of gender and cultural studies to analyse the way gender and sexuality are produced in culture, including written and visual texts from Asia and the Pacific;
  4. Identify and understand interdisciplinary approaches to gender, sexuality and culture in Asia and the Pacific;
  5. Communicate complex ideas in speech and writing;
  6. Reflect critically on the knowledge and skills developed in the study of gender and culture in Asia and the Pacific.

Research-Led Teaching

This course incorporates ANU scholarship in gender and cultural studies, including new work on Islam and gender, sexual violence, cultural politics, climate change, embodied knowledge, and gender and politics.

Field Trips

One field trip to a museum or gallery as conditions permit; details TBA.

Additional Course Costs

Public/private transportation for a local field trip. You will also need to pay the subscription cost for one month of Marvel Pro, which is the internet platform we use to create one assessment. One month of Marvel Pro currently costs $12 and it is expected that you can share this cost across a group of 3.

Required Resources

Required resources will be available on Wattle or through internet platforms. You will need to bring a device with an internet connection to class.

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.

Other Information

This integrated seminar of lectures, discussions, and workshops will be offered in a remote mode to ensure that students can participate in this class no matter where they are located. Opportunities for face to face small groups will be offered as well, depending on student interest and public health regulations.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Week 1: Gender and Cultural Studies This week we will introduce ourselves and learn more about what you will do in this course. Then we will dive into the question of "gender studies" and "cultural studies." How did gender become something that could be studied and recognised at a university? What is cultural studies, and what makes it different from other disciplines that deal with "culture," such as anthropology, literature, or art history? How have gender and culture been important to different political movements in Asia and the Pacific?
2 Week 2: Truth, Power and Knowledge This week we examine influential theorists who underpin the fields of gender and cultural studies: they are thinkers who invite us to understand how gender and culture are connected to questions of power.
3 Week 3: Gender and Ideology This section explores how ideas about appropriate gender norms gain force in shaping everyday lives, creating what we think of as "ideologies." We examine a range of important ideologies across Asia, such as Confucian and neo-Confucian norms in East Asia, heterogender frameworks in Southeast Asia, or religiously shaped ideal femininity in South Asia.
4 Week 4: Feminism and its Discontents What does it mean to be a feminist? Is feminism necessarily a Western construct? This week we explore diverse ways in which feminism can be defined and redefined in different parts of Asia and the Pacific, and we ask what kinds of theoretical perspectives might best account for this diversity.
5 Week 5: Embodiment, Sexuality, and Masculinity In this week we explore how different ideas of embodiment, including sexuality and masculinity, have changed over time in Asia and the Pacific and shaped by diverse public cultures. How do these formations respond to global trends, and how do they challenge Western assumptions?
6 Week 6: Sexual Violence in Asia This week we examine sexual violence in Asia. #MeToo has drawn renewed global attention to this problem: how does this moment resonate with broader histories of sexual violence in Asia? What are the structural conditions that lead to sexual assault in different parts of the region? What are the conditions under which people can speak about sexual violence?
7 Week 7: Museums and Heritage Studies Field Excursion This week we will explore a museums or gallery (details depend on local conditions, exact destination TBA). What are the politics of knowledge that shape museums? What kind of relationship between Australia and Asia and the Pacific is produced through exhibitions? How are you positioned differently in a museum than you are in the classroom?
8 Week 8: Orientalism and Beyond Edward Said's theory of Orientalism revolutionized the Western study of Asia and the Pacific through a new lens. In this week we explore Said's key ideas, the widespread use of his paradigm, and investigate how contemporary culture may complicate some of the assumptions behind Orientalism.
9 Week 9: Popular Culture and Soft Power What is pop culture and why should we study it? How has pop culture evolved in our understanding of Asia and the Pacific? What kinds of power circulate through popular culture, and how have states tried to harness the energies of popular culture for their own purposes?
10 Week 10: Gender and Politics How does gender shape political participation, leadership, and international order? And how does participation in political activity potentially reaffirm, disrupt, or reconfigure gender roles in many aspects of society and culture? What are the prospects for female leadership in Asia and the Pacific today?
11 Week 11: Gender, Culture, and the Environment Climate change and environmental destruction disproportionately affect women in many parts of Asia and the Pacific. This week we examine how and why cultural norms around gender play a role in the politics of the environment.
12 Week 12: Cultures, Gender and Health How does understanding gender and culture save lives? How has our understanding of gender and culture changed the way we approach issues such as health and disabilities? How might the perspectives that you have gained in this course help us understand practical problems in the world around us?

Tutorial Registration

This class will offer two seminar streams, one in person and one on Zoom. Details on how to sign up for a specific seminar stream will be available on Wattle.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Class Participation 10 % * 15/11/2021 1,2,3,4,5,6
Research Essay 30 % 19/08/2021 31/08/2021 1,2,3,4,5
Group Project: Smartphone Application Prototype (no coding required) 25 % 21/10/2021 07/11/2020 1,2,3,4,5
Reflective Essay 25 % 28/10/2021 07/11/2020 1,2,4,5,6
Digital Learning Journal 10 % * 15/11/2020 1,2,3,5

* 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:

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.


Participation involves a) demonstrating that you have read and thought about the course readings; b) actively engaging in class and small group discussions, orally or in short written tasks; c) engaging with your peers in workshop activities.


There is no examination for this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Return of Assessment: 15/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Class Participation

You should attend class consistently and effectively prepared to discuss the course readings, to engage in oral and written tasks, to work independently and collaboratively with your peers, and to show intellectual curiosity and analytical thinking. Details will be available on Wattle. A hurdle requirement to be awarded your full participation mark is the final seminar meeting, where groups will share their final projects with the class.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 19/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 31/08/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research Essay

You will research and write a 2000-word analytical essay on a question and area relevant to the course. Detailed instructions will be available on Wattle.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 21/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 07/11/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Group Project: Smartphone Application Prototype (no coding required)

In small groups, you will design a prototype of a digital smartphone application that uses the critical principles of gender and cultural studies to engage your audience in a specific issue that affects Asia and the Pacific. No coding skills are required and no prior experience is needed. Details will be available on Wattle. This assessment will include a hurdle component, a collaborative site where each member uploads research material and shares ideas. Meeting this hurdle requirement means that you can be awarded your full group mark. At the end of the project, you will have a working prototype of your application.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 28/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 07/11/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5,6

Reflective Essay

You will write a 1500-word individual reflective essay on your group prototype that explains the central argument of your prototype, shows how your prototype draws upon research and ideas from this course, and sets out how you have developed new skills in group collaboration. Details will be available on Wattle.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Return of Assessment: 15/11/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Digital Learning Journal

You will contribute to an ongoing digital learning journal where you give evidence of how you are consistently listening to and engaging with the ideas you encounter in lectures and readings throughout the semester. You will complete entries in this digital learning journal through online activities that will be embedded in lecture recordings. Details will be available on Wattle.

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.

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.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be returned via Wattle.

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 Shameem Black

Research Interests

gender and cultural studies, India and its diaspora, culture and soft power, globalisation and ethics

Dr Shameem Black

Tuesday 11:00 13:00
Tuesday 11:00 13:00
Dr Shameem Black

Research Interests

Dr Shameem Black

Tuesday 11:00 13:00
Tuesday 11:00 13:00

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