- Class Number 3679
- Term Code 3330
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Prof Celia Roberts
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 20/02/2023
- Class End Date 26/05/2023
- Census Date 31/03/2023
- Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
In many ways, contemporary life profoundly challenges our understandings of what it is to be human. This course explores the ways in which our bodies might be better described as ‘posthuman.’ We will examine our engagements with technology (from Fitbits to IVF), our entanglements with scientific and medical understandings of the body (such as those produced in genomics and neuroscience), and our ever-changing embodied relations to non-human animals and the material planet. Drawing on research and concepts from Science and Technology Studies, the Sociology of Health and Medicine, Feminist and Queer Theory, and Animal Studies, we will work through specific examples – relating to reproductive technologies, pharmaceuticals, self-tracking, and animals in space amongst others – to think about who and what we are today.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- apply theories of the posthuman to contemporary issues;
- assess and synthesise arguments about new forms of human and other-than-human life;
- analyse specific examples and case studies using the key concepts introduced in the course; and
- reflect on and discuss their own learning as it relates to the subject matter of this course.
We will go to The National Museum of Australia in the second part of the semester, connected to Weeks 8 and 9.
Additional Course Costs
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
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.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||What is the posthuman?|
|2||Are we all cyborgs?|
|5||Health technologies: reshaping the human|
|7||The Child: Almost human?|
|9||Indigenous knowledges and the human|
|10||Trees and other plants|
|11||Alterlife: Bodies in the Anthropocene|
|12||Posthuman or posthumus?|
|Short paper: Glossary entry||20 %|
|Short paper: Case study||20 %|
|Research essay||50 %|
* 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:
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.
See Assessment 1
Assessment Task 1
Assessment will be continuous throughout the class. Participation involves turning up to live classes (I will take a roll), having done the reading, bringing along requested items, actively contributing to discussions, actively listening to others, and participating in Wattle discussions and debates (I can see via the Wattle platform how often you post entries and access other documents).
Assessment Task 2
Short paper: Glossary entry
This assessment involves writing about one of the key terms in debates on posthumanism. We will compile a list of terms in class and allocate the terms in a group process. Your glossary entry should explain the meaning of the term, discuss its origins, and explain its use in relevant debates on the posthuman. The writing is for your colleagues to read and use. After they have been marked and returned to you (after the mid term break) you will have an opportunity to revise your work, and then should upload your piece on the course Wattle site. Collectively, the pieces will then become a resource for the whole class. The entries should be interesting and engaging to read.
This assessment tests your understanding of the theoretical debates, and your ability to write clearly and engagingly for peers and to understand and respond to feedback.
Assessment Task 3
Short paper: Case study
For this piece of writing you must select an example or case study that you have encountered in the course. This could be an object, a film, an artwork, a particular practice (such as fitness or menstrual self-monitoring). We will discuss these selections in class. You should write a detailed description of this example, providing information about its history and context and making links to the theoretical debates we have been discussing. This is not the place to make detailed theoretical arguments, however. Instead the task here is to practice writing about examples or case studies in academic work.
Assessment Task 4
This assessment is your chance to demonstrate that you can apply theories of the posthuman to relevant examples. In consultation with me and in discussion with your peers, you will choose an example/ case study (this could be an embodied practice you engage in, an object in the museum or in your life, a film, an artwork....) and answer the following question: How does this example articulate posthuman bodies? Does it demonstrate the limitations or difficulties of existing theorisations of the posthuman? If so, in what ways?
The essay must provide detailed analysis of your chosen case study (visual images would be great) and also engage in-depth with at least 3 theorists covered in the course. You should situate your argument in wider debates about the posthuman and/or similar cases. The essay must be properly referenced, using Harvard style, and be clear and interesting to read. You should reference at least 10 academic articles or books. Please use the additional references provided on this site, as well as conducting your own, more specifically relevant searches. Length is approximately 3000 words.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students