- Code ASIA8050
- 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 Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Asia Pacific Studies, Climate, Public Health
- Academic career PGRD
- Justine Chambers
- Mode of delivery Online or In Person
Winter Session 2022
See Future Offerings
The course will introduce students to multiple drivers of social conflict against the backdrop of environmental change over the past century in Asia and the Pacific. Such challenges and conflicts emerge out of historical, social, economic, political, religious and cultural movements and debates, often linked to wider global forces. Topics include: the impact of colonialism, the politics of gender, nationalism and the environment, the postcolonial state and its role in conflict and environmental degradation. We also explore how indigenous knowledge and cultural traditions have been enrolled in the service of an ecological ethic and the kind of ideologies and activities have inspired environmental activism.
More generally, the course considers the critical question of how Asian and Pacific societies have redefined their relationship to the environment from the colonial period until the present day. We investigate the relationships between environmental degradation, urbanisation, migration, technological change and public health to reveal the key roles that state and non-state actors play in influencing social conflict and mediation.
The course will be of particular interest to students intending to pursue a career in the Asian and Pacific region. It will also be of interest to those seeking to expand their expertise in a range of practical topics related to governments, non-government organisations, development agencies, education sectors, media, public health directives, gender relations, global trade practices, and climate policy initiatives.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of social conflict and environmental change across Asia and the Pacific.
- Build an intercultural knowledge and skill set necessary to engage successfully and critically in applied projects across a variety of urban, regional and rural settings.
- Understand and apply a range of perspectives to engage with critical issues facing Asia and the Pacific.
- Conduct independent research related to social conflict and environmental challenges, drawing on anthropological, historical and interdisciplinary sources.
- Communicate findings effectively to specialist and/or professional audiences.
12 July: Live Zoom seminar (6-8PM AEST): Introduction to the Course. We will discuss the overall scope and objectives of the course; as well as expectations and assessments (such as seminar presentations). We will discuss keywords and definitions related to the course material.
14, 19, 21, 26, 28 July: One hour pre-recorded lecture.
- These lectures will cover the chief issues driving environmental issues, social conflicts, policy and practice in Asia and the Pacific. Some of the lectures will be presented by guest speakers who are expert in these fields. Topics will include Ethnonational Conflict; Land Grabs and Governance; Climate Change; Access to Justice; and more. Engaging in tutorial discussions will contribute to your overall participation in the course.
In the lead up to the intensive face to face component, students will have approximately 5 hours of pre-recorded lectures. These will be timetabled and made available in Zoom/Echo 360 format, appearing twice a week. Engaging with the pre-recorded lectures through embedded online activities will contribute to your overall participation in the course.
4 Aug: Reflective Essay Due (20%)
5-7 Aug (9-5PM AEST): Intensive Face to Face Lecture, tutorials, class presentations. During these days we will cover topics such as conflict, land governance, water security, migration and labour, gender, and climate change, among others. The face to face component will include tutorials, discussions in groups and class presentations by students, to help with their main essay. It will also include conversations with activists and practitioners working in relevant fields.
23 Aug: Live Zoom seminar (6-8 PM AEST): Policy and Practice, roundtable with policy practitioners
30 Aug: Live Zoom seminar (6-8 PM AEST): Policy and Practice, roundtable with policy practitioners
13 Sep: Final Essay Due
- Seminar participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Discussion posts (35) [LO 2,3,4,5]
- In-class presentation (20) [LO 4,5]
- Research Essay (3000 words) (35) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
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.
This course requires a total of 130 hrs commitment, including of independent study.
Prescribed TextsScott J 1998 Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, Yale University Press.
Tsing A 2005 Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection, Princeton University Press.
Anderson, W (1995) “Excremental Colonialism: public health and the poetics of pollution” Critical Inquiry 21(3): 640-669
Ballard C and G Banks (2013) "Resource Wars: The Anthropology of Mining," Annual Review of Anthropology, 32: 281-313
Baviskar, A (2000), "Claims to knowledge, Claims to control: Environmental Conflict and the Great Himalayan National Park, India” in in Roy Ellen et al, Indigenous environmental knowledge and it transformations: Critical anthropological perspectives (Harwood), pp. 101-120.
Chakrabarty, D (2009) “The Climate of History: Four Theses,” Critical Inquiry 35, no. 2 (2009): 197—222
Crang M, Nicky Gregson, Farid Ahamed, Raihana Ferdous and Nasreen Akhter (2012) “Death of the Phoenix and Pandora: transforming things of value in Bangladesh” in Catherine Alexander and Joshua Reno (eds.), Economies of Recycling: The global transformation of materials, values and social relations (London: Zed Books)
Doron, A & Raja I (2015) ‘The Cultural Politics of Shit’, Journal of Postcolonial Studies (forthcoming)
Jacka J (2001) Coca Cola and Kolo: Land Ancestors and Development, Anthropology Today V17 1-8.
Li T M (2014) Land's End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier, Duke University Press.
Li T (2000) ‘Locating Indigenous Environmental Knowledge in Indonesia’ in Roy Ellen et al, Indigenous environmental knowledge and it transformations: critical anthropological perspectives (Harwood), pp. 120-147.
McWilliam A.R. (2015) ‘Hunting and Harvesting the Commons: On the cultural politics of custom in East Timor’, in R Feijo and S Viegas (eds) Co-habitations and Power Dynamics: Land, Exchange, and Governance Contexts for Timor-Leste. ICS: Lisbon
Shah, A (2007) ‘The Dark Side of Indigeneity?: Indigenous People, Rights and Development in India’, History Compass, 5(6): 1806-1832.
Rademacher, A & Sivaramakrishnan, S. (2013, eds). Ecologies of Urbanism in India (Hong Kong University Press)
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