• Class Number 3637
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In-Person and Online
    • Prof Geoffrey Clark
    • AsPr Christopher Ballard
    • Prof Geoffrey Clark
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

The Pacific, home to a broad of the range of societies, cultures, languages, and polities, is one of the world’s most diverse regions. This interdisciplinary foundations course brings together the perspectives of anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics and history to explore questions of continuity and change that can help us understand this diversity. How and to what extent have people’s ways of life been shaped by their past, how are they adapting to changing circumstances in the present, and what challenges do they face for the future? The course combines environmental, cultural and anthropological perspectives to show students how natural and human systems have interacted over millennia to create the dynamic and often precarious world of Oceania. Globalisation extended to the Pacific in the 17th century and brought new ideologies, languages, diseases, products and people to remote islands. The course looks at the impact and legacies of Western arrival and examines how island societies have responded to the challenges posed by global systems.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the Pacific from the application of specific archaeological, anthropological, palaeoecological and linguistic techniques;
  2. Critically evaluate and synthesise evidence-based arguments including advanced theoretical perspectives about the transformative events that have shaped the contemporary Pacific;
  3. Understand the persistence of traditional political and economic structures in modern societies and the role of globalisation in contemporary socio-cultural formations;
  4. Communicate arguments and findings effectively, both orally and in writing.

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Session 1: Ways of Seeing: Geography, Politics and People Session 2: Origins of Micronesia, Polynesia and Melanesia
2 Session 3: Surviving new landscapes Session 4: Early humans and their dispersal Map quiz (in-class) Week 2
3 Session 5: Maritime Migration – Lapita Session 6: Maritime Migration – Polynesia
4 Session 7: Environmental Change and Challenges Session 8: Emergence of Complex Societies
5 Session 9: Encounters 1 – European exploration of the Pacific Session 10: Encounters 2 – New Guinea Highlands in 1930s Essay 1 due Week 5
6 Session 11: Colonisation Session 12: Missionaries Critical review 2
7 Session 13: Colonial Rule Session 14: Land
8 Session 15: World War II and Transformation Session 16: Resistance and Rebellion
9 Session 17: Decolonisation and Independence Session 18: Resources and Conflict Critical review 3
10 Session 19: Indigenous Violence and Warfare Session 20: Culture Contact - Social and Population Impacts Essay 2 due Week 10
11 Session 21: World Heritage in Asia-Pacific Session 22: World Heritage in Asia-Pacific
12 Session 23: Climate Change Session 24: New Visions for the Pacific Critical review 4

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Quiz 10 % 1, 3, 4
Essay 30 % 1, 3, 4
Class Presentation 20 % 1, 2, 4
Seminar Discussion 10 % 2, 3, 4
Essay 30 % 1, 2, 3, 4

* 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.


Students are expected to participate in discussions and debates through the course and particularly in the class seminar presentations.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 4


Short map quiz on the bio-geographic and cultural-political divisions of the Pacific held in Week 2

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 4


Long essay (3000 words) on the societies of Oceania before European contact due Week 5

Marking Rubric

1.    Argument. How clearly have you expressed your argument? Is it persuasive? Is it insightful? Does it work with and develop the themes of the course? 25%


2.    Critical Analysis. Do you critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of your sources and the available arguments? Are you able to position your analysis within class discussions and broader theoretical debates? 25%


3.    Structure and Organisation. Is your essay clearly structured and presented? Is your evidence used appropriately? Are you within the word limit – not too high above it, and not too far below it? [See CAP/ANU guidelines] 25%


4.    Sources and Citation. Have you drawn on a wide enough range of sources? Are the sources you have used reputable and relevant ones? Have you cited all sources appropriately and listed them correctly in the bibliography? 25%


5.    A penalty of 5% accrues for each day the essay is late.

Assessment Task 3

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

Class Presentation

Class presentation and critical review of two prescribed readings

Presentations are scheduled during class time in Week 3, Week 6, Week 9 and Week 12.

Assessment: Assessment for the Critical Review Presentation is based on the following factors:

a)    Comprehension – have you understood the key points and the arguments of the readings?

b)    Criticism – have you made a compelling case for your perspective on the individual papers, and for the contrast or comparison between them that you offer?

c)    Communication – have you communicated your findings in a clear and engaging way, making use of PowerPoint or other technologies where relevant?

d)    Conversation – have you encouraged a conversation with your class, and responded clearly and intelligently to their questions?

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4

Seminar Discussion

Participation in seminar discussions and demonstration of critical thinking

Assessment Task 5

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4


2. Long essay (3000 words) Looking to the future: Contemporary problems and issues in the Pacific today due Week 10

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. 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 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).
Prof Geoffrey Clark

Research Interests

Pacific history, politics, archaeology, colonisation, monumental architecture, warfare, environmental and climate change

Prof Geoffrey Clark

Monday 10:00 11:00
Monday 10:00 11:00
AsPr Christopher Ballard

Research Interests

AsPr Christopher Ballard

Wednesday 15:00 16:00
Prof Geoffrey Clark

Research Interests

Prof Geoffrey Clark

Monday 10:00 11:00
Monday 10:00 11:00

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