- Code ASIA8048
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Culture History and Language
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject Asian Studies
- Areas of interest Development Studies, Environmental Studies, History, Pacific Studies, Asian Studies
- Academic career PGRD
- Mode of delivery Online or In Person
Natural disasters and epidemics present risks on a new scale for the Asia-Pacific region, which has been characterised by dramatic increases in population density and in economic growth. More recent events need to be understood in the context of the region's long history of cataclysmic disasters, including earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, volcanic eruptions, flood and drought, and a sequence of devastating epidemics, from the Plague through to avian flu. This course addresses the social, cultural and economic dimensions of the history of disasters and epidemics in Asia and the Pacific, the role of these events in shaping societies in the region, and the recent transformations in the scale of their impacts and the nature of trans-national, state and community responses. Case studies of particular disasters and epidemics address questions of their causes and consequences, and will be grounded through guest lectures in an understanding of the science of disasters. The scope for reducing future impacts is considered within the framework of both state and community-based strategies for the promotion of resilience and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), the unequal distribution of risk, risk assessment and insurance, and the additional contribution of global climate change.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Upon completion of this course, student should be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the broad history and scope of disasters and epidemics in the Asia-Pacific region, as covered in this course
2. Identify the distinctive characteristics and impacts of different forms of disaster and epidemic
3. Recognise issues of difference and debate in the study of disasters and epidemics
4. Distinguish between and assess the roles of different actors in the response to disasters and epidemics
5. Locate and critically evaluate a wide range of scholarly, government and NGO sources on disasters and epidemics
6. Communicate relevant material in presentations and well-supported and cogent essays.
Indicative AssessmentResearch seminar (notes and reading list) 20%
Case study essay (2000 words) 35%
Thematic essay (4000 words) 45%
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WorkloadThe course will consist of 3 contact hours per week over 12 weeks, including two one hour lectures; the first outlining the characteristics of a particular disaster or epidemic, and the second addressing case studies in detail. The third hour will be devoted to a research seminar, with group discussion of student presentations on research relating to their essay topics. In addition to assessment of preparation and presentation of the research seminar, the student will produce two major essays, the first on a case study (2000 words) and the second on a thematic question (4000 words).
McGuire, Bill 2012. Waking the Giant: how a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Oliver-Smith, Anthony and Susanna M. Hoffman (eds) 1999. The Angry Earth: disaster in anthropological perspective. New York: Routledge.
IBRD/World Bank 2014. Community Mapping for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management: harnessing local knowledge to build resilience.
Sakai, Minako, Edwin Jurriens, Jian Zhang and Alec Thornton (eds) 2014. Disaster Relief in the Asia Pacific: agency and resilience. London: Routledge.
Shaw, Rajib 2012. Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction. Bingley UK: Emerald.
Wolfe, Nathan 2011. The Viral Storm: the dawn of a new pandemic age. London: Allen Lane.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
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- 6 units
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