• Class Number 4745
  • Term Code 3150
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Desmond Manderson
    • Dr Nick Cheesman
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 01/07/2021
  • Class End Date 30/09/2021
  • Census Date 23/07/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 23/07/2021
SELT Survey Results

Beyond Chaos is open to undergraduate students from all Colleges at the ANU. 

This is a Special Topics course which challenges and supports later-year students to explore and respond to contemporary topics and to tackle pressing issues through interdisciplinary inquiry. By moving Beyond the Chaos of issues, we learn to appreciate multiple perspectives, competing interests, historical factors and the dynamics of the given topic. Each offering of the course will focus on a different contemporary topic of critical importance, with convenership from experts from across ANU. 

Students should come to this course with an open mind and a thirst for knowledge. There is no assumed knowledge about the topic required for enrolment in this course. The only requirements are that students be willing to step outside their comfort zone, explore previously unfamiliar materials and work collaboratively with students from other disciplines. 

For details on current and future offerings, visit: https://vc-courses.anu.edu.au 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Draw connections between individual experience, discipline knowledge and real-world issues
  2. Explain intersecting scales of action which contribute to complex social, environmental and technological phenomena
  3. Effectively collaborate and develop shared models of understanding across disciplinary boundaries
  4. Apply a broad repertoire of disciplinary skills across learning contexts, including formal and informal settings and face-to-face and virtual environments
  5. Plan and engage in a critical or creative investigation and evaluation of a relevant topic

Research-Led Teaching

This course grows directly out of the commitment of the two teachers to engage in inter-disciplinary research outside established boundaries, and in light of the particular problems and conditions made visible by the COVID-19 epidemic. The course asks teachers and students to think in new ways about the relationship between the many crises and paradoxes of the contemporary world, but also to think in new ways bout the relationship between their own experience and their reading and thinking about the world. The course therefore reflects our shared research interests in law, crisis, colonialism, and power; and our shared commitment to dialogues and discourses across disciplinary lines.

Required Resources

There are no prescribed textbooks for this class. Each class has a set of prescribed readings (extracts, essays, or chapters) which all students will be expected to read in preparation for each class; and a larger set of recommended readings that can be pursued by students as they wish and/or as part of their essay for the research essay set down for this course. the readings will all be accessible via links on the wattle site for this course.

A draft syllabus is available on the vice-chancellors course web site for this unit - https://vc-courses.anu.edu.au/study/beyond_chaos/.

A wattle site will be available for this course and will include PDFs and links to all required reading and to a wide variety of recommended readings.

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

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.

Other Information

For further information and to apply for this course (enrolment will be on the basis of application process in order to limit numbers and to ensure a mix of diverse disciplinary

backgrounds amongst the student group for this course) go to https://vc-courses.anu.edu.au/study/beyond_chaos/.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 This is an intensive course that will be delivered on campus 28 Jun to 9 July; Mon, Wed, Fri; 9am-12pm, 1:30pm-4:30pm. Part 1 - Introduction and Frameworks Where are we?
2 What is Pandemic?
3 Why Critque
4 Part 2 - Nexus and Analysis Modernity/Technology
5 Pathology/Politics
6 Quarantine/Empire
7 Race/Gender
8 Law/Disorder
9 Care/Work
10 Humanity/Animality
11 Climate/Change
12 Part 3 - Conclusions What now? What next?

Tutorial Registration

The course is designed in seminar format, there are no separate tutorials.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Creative Writing, Creative Thinking 20 % 04/07/2021 24/07/2021 1,2,4
Brief Description: A short piece of written work will be due at the end of the first week of the intensive. The question will ask you to connect your own experience of the pandemic with one or more of the assigned readings. It will ask for a reflection on 20 % * * 1,2,3,4,5
Participation 10 % 09/07/2021 * 1,2,3,4
Final Research Essay 50 % 20/08/2021 * 1,2,3,4,5

* 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 Academic Integrity . 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.


Attention, enthusiasm, and a commitment to read and participate in each class.

The course is taught on an intensive basis during the Winter semester and teaching will take place in two three hour sessions, three days per week, for two weeks (June 28 - July 9). The final assessment will not be due until late august to ensure students have sufficient time to research and to absorb the material discussed in class. Because the course is taught in seminar format and in intensive mode, we expect students to be present for all sessions and to participate throughout the course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 04/07/2021
Return of Assessment: 24/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Creative Writing, Creative Thinking

A short piece of written work will be due at the end of the first week of the intensive. The question will ask you to connect your own experience of the pandemic with one or more of the assigned readings. It will ask for a reflection on the relationship between experience and critique.

Due: 5pm, Sunday 4 July 2021 via Wattle. Due to the nature of the task, late submission or extension is not permitted. If you would like feedback on your progress before 50% of the teaching period elapses, feel free to submit this task by 5 pm on Friday 2 July, and it will be marked and returned to you prior to Monday 5 July.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to complete the task will result in a 0 for the task.

Weighting: 20%

Word Limit: 400 words

Estimated return date: 24 July 2021

Assessment Criteria: Writing, Comprehension, and Critical ability. A rubric will be uploaded on to Wattle.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Brief Description: A short piece of written work will be due at the end of the first week of the intensive. The question will ask you to connect your own experience of the pandemic with one or more of the assigned readings. It will ask for a reflection on

We will form interdisciplinary study groups at the beginning of the course, in which you’ll work with other participants throughout the course. For assessment purposes, your study group will produce a short video together, addressing one or another of themes relevant to a particular class. You’ll upload the video prior to the class to which it relates and we’ll use it as part of our discussions.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to complete this task will result in a 0 for this task.

Weighting: 20%

Duration: 5 minute video

Due date: Upload onto Wattle no later than 5:00 PM the day before the class to which the video relates. Due to the nature of the task, late submission or extension is not permitted.

Estimated return date: when final results are released

Assessment Criteria:

  • collaborative work, ability to work well in groups
  • knowledge of readings and themes of course
  • creativity and communication skills in new media
  • critical and analytic thinking

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 09/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4


Brief Description: At the end of the intensive component of the course you will be asked to assess the participation in the course of other members in your study group.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to complete the task will result in a 0 for the task.

Weighting: 10%

Word Limit: N/A

Due date: 9 July 2021 – via submission in class. Due to the nature of the task, late submission or extension is not permitted.

Estimated return date: incorporated in final grade for this unit

Assessment Criteria:

Participation and attendance

  • listening ability
  • articulation and reflection
  • ability to contribute constructively to class discussions
  • ability to respond respectfully to the contributions of others

Students will be assessed on both their analytic and critical ability, the quality of their questions, and their willingness to participate.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 20/08/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Final Research Essay

Details of Task: There will be a research essay component due after the completion of the intensive component of the course in which you will have an opportunity to apply your knowledge and interdisciplinary skills to an area or question of your choosing. Students are encouraged to devise their own questions relevant to the course materials and to consult with the course convenors before they begin research and writing. The format of the course will allow students to complete the essay on their own schedule. This will give students greater capacity to explore their research and develop their interests. The convenors will be available to consult with students over their essays by email phone and face to face. Specific research questions will be provided by the course convenors ; but students are encouraged to think of their own research questions and to discuss them with the course convenors. Students should not write and answer their own research questions without first consulting with the course convenors.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to complete this task will result in a 0 for this task.

Weighting: 50%

Word limit: 2000 words.

Due date: 5 pm, 20 August 2021 via Turnitin . Late submissions (without an extension ) are accepted after the due date, but late penalties apply according to standard ANU College of Law guidelines

Estimated return date: when final results are released

Assessment Criteria:

knowledge of readings and themes of course,

  • ability to research in the areas of interdisciplinary study covered by the course,
  • ability to design and carry out independent research and writing,
  • writing ability,
  • critical ability,
  • understanding of course materials.

A rubric will be uploaded onto wattle.

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.

Spacific late submission policy is detailed in each assessment task.

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

All efforts will be made to return mid-term assessments within 3 weeks of submission. The final research essay will be returned via Turnitin after the finalisation and announcement of first semester grades.

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).

Desmond Manderson
+61 2 6125 5792

Research Interests

contemporary theory - jurisprudence - aesthetics - colonialism - rule of law - art history and criticism - politics and social change - contemporary issues

Desmond Manderson

By Appointment
Dr Nick Cheesman
+61 2 6125 0181

Research Interests

Dr Nick Cheesman

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