• Class Number 2507
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Caroline Schuster
    • AsPr Caroline Schuster
    • AsPr Catherine Frieman
    • Dr Katharine Balolia
  • 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
SELT Survey Results

The three disciplines of Anthropology, Archaeology and Biological Anthropology originally stem from a common quest to understand human beings as embodied subjects of culture and evolution. Each of the disciplines shares a core concern with cultural identity, difference and change across time and space, in both material and nonmaterial worlds. They deploy a wide range of theoretical frameworks and methodologies (fieldwork, lab work, data analysis) that in many ways bridge the divide between the humanities, the social sciences and the physical sciences. In introducing students to ways in which the three disciplines approach Nature and Culture, the course will build on the two overarching themes of Body and Environment. Within these, students will investigate key topics and case studies around bipedality, foodways, totemism, migration, archaeological tourism and more. Although materials and methods differ between disciplines, the challenge of the Anthropocene makes it more critical than ever to understand the past, present and future of our societies, and what it is that makes us human. This course provides a unique cross disciplinary perspective on these vital questions.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. demonstrate foundational disciplinary knowledge of anthropology, archaeology and biological anthropology;
  2. understand the diversity of theoretical and methodological frameworks (differences and similarities) across the three disciplines;
  3. demonstrate capacity for critical analysis of case studies and important empirical and conceptual issues relating to human diversity through the various disciplinary lenses; and
  4. evaluate how the disciplines are relevant to a better understanding of past, present and future societies.

Research-Led Teaching

This course engages theories and research out-puts at the leading edge of three fields in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology and includes research-led guest lectures from experts on specialised topics.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback orally and in writing at all assignment stages.

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

Notes for production of work


  • 1.5 spacing
  • Justified margins.
  • Font size 12: Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, Cambria, etc. Something easy for us to read.
  • Page numbers (we don’t care where on the page).
  • We don’t mind if you print on both sides of the paper.


  • Do not use Wikipedia or other non-specific materials that have no disciplinary value.
  • Your analytic sources should be academic. Ensure web sources are reliable and valid; if in doubt, ask us.
  • Ensure that you go outside the supplied sources to get your information when producing written assessment work.
  • Think of keywords that refer to your topic, and search those to get sources that match up to your task.
  • Anthropology Plus can be helpful. To get there go to the ANU library home page. You’ll see e-resources and databases – click on this link. Click A. Scroll down to the second page of A, and you’ll see Anthropology Plus. There is a space to type in keywords. Type in your keywords. If you are working from home, remember to use the reverse proxy login so you can search and download. Anthropology Plus also appears as a link on the Wattle homepage.
  • Anthrosource is also available. To get to it, follow the same procedures for above. You can search particular journals in this site.


In your paper, use in-text author date:

(Dennis, 2010:22).

For your references:


Dennis, S. 2010. Things to know about anthropology. Journal of Knowing Things. V, 30. no. 5. pp. 23-560.


Dennis, S. 2010. Anthropology: I like it. London: Verso.


Name of site, date of production of material on site (if you know it), author name (if there is one) date accessed.

Other advice:

  • Organise your references alphabetically. Do not number references.
  • Only those sources you refer to in the body of your paper should appear in the reference list. Do not list sources that do not appear in your paper. Do not over-format (i.e., no bolding, underlining, etc. in the reference list).
  • If you are using journals on line, reflect them in your reference list as though they were paper sources. That is how they will appear on line, unless you are using a solely online journal. In that case, there should be an instruction on how this source should be cited – use that.
  • Don’t split your references up into types – keep them together and alphabetise.
  • Are you going to be using materials, like newspapers, archival info, web info, television, radio? If you do, remember these must be treated as research materials, or data to analyse, NOT analytic materials in themselves.

How many?

  •  We want between 5-10 references for reflection and essay pieces.


  • All quotes must be accompanied by page number.
  • Ensure quotes are worked into your sentence structure.
  • If you want to emphasis part of a quote, italicise it and add, after your citation info: my emphasis


  • Use footnotes to tell your reader about a related, but not central, idea. If the idea is central, it should be in your text.
  • Use footnotes to alert us to wider debates that your topic belongs in, but that do not have a specific place in your essay.
  • Do not overuse footnotes (don’t put an essay within an essay).
  • Exclude footnotes from your word count.

Producing an anthropology essay: reading and writing critically

The very first thing to know about approaching writing and reading in anthropology is that there are not many answers to anthropological questions. Few issues in anthropology have been neatly tied up and put to rest. You won't find many generally accepted 'answers', and there are no single authorities who can tell you all you need to know. This means that we expect your essays to demonstrate not just factual knowledge but also some ability to present and assess arguments and counter-arguments about particular problems.

This should tell you right away that when you read or write in the discipline, you will not be looking for facts that are ‘true’ or ‘right’, but instead for the ways in which observations and insights of the social world might be interpreted. It helps to remember that anthropology is not so much a unified body of knowledge as it is a constant and ongoing (and exciting) tension between conflicting ideas.

This is the reason why your lecturers and tutors in the discipline will encourage you to read widely, and to read critically. This is the best way to discover that much of the discipline consists of debate and argument over how and according to what perspective observations of and insight into the social world can be interpreted. Anthropology is a dialectical, ongoing production of ideas.

Reading critically

Reading critically does not mean reading to find fault, or pitting prominent anthropologists against one another to decide who is right. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that reading and writing critically means that you have to make statements that rubbish all theoreticians working in the area of concern to your essay. It means following the author’s argument, and the theoretical framework it comes from, and assessing that argument against the material that she or he is using to support it. Does it make assumptions that are not borne out in the material? Are there gaps or leaps in the logic? Now that you understand the argument the author is trying to make, and the material she or he is using in support of it, does it convince you? Why/not? It is only after you have read a variety of texts on a particular topic or problem that you can appreciate the main approaches that are made to it, and start thinking about your own position.

That a variety of interpretations can be put forward does not mean that any interpretation can be put forward – all the interpretations that are put forward proceed on the basis of validity. But some approaches and arguments you read will convince you more than others. When you read critically, you can come to the conclusion that one way of interpreting something is more valid than another way, and you will be able to say why you think so.

Writing critically

Writing critically means bringing this ‘why I think so’ to bear on the question you have been asked to respond to in your essay. For instance, it is not enough to give us a literature review of the positions that anthropologists have come up with on a particular topic or problem. Familiarity with the literature is essential – but it is not nearly enough on its own. Your essay is precisely that – yours. It must be based on your own thinking, in response to the critical reading that you have done (in and through which you will have developed your own opinion on approaches and arguments in the existing literature). This should give you a bit of a hint also to how many direct quotations and paraphrasing should be in your essay -- extensive quotation or paraphrase will not tell your marker much about your thinking on the matter.

Remember that no one in the discipline expects you to come up with a new and original insight into the essay topic – this is not what is meant by writing critically here. The main evidence we look for of critical writing is a considered evaluation of how the main thinking (as it is expressed in key readings) in the area of concern to your essay impacts on the problem or topic you are dealing with, and your considered opinion on that bearing. A really good way of ensuring you do this is to compare and contrast the work of the main writers.

Giving your own opinion does not mean that you have to decide whose work is the best. It might mean that you argue that a particular theoretician’s work is more fruitful for understanding a specific situation:

‘Where Mary Douglas’s work offers insights into the ways in which the body and the world mirror each other, it cannot tell us much about how they influence one another.  Jackson’s insights about metaphor, however, directly link person with world, and allow a focus on movement and interaction’. 

Saying this does not mean that Mary Douglas’s work should be summarily disregarded; rather, it is not as useful as Jackson’s work for considering the moving relationship between person and world in the case being considered.

You might also not end up deciding between entire interpretations – you might decide that some elements of one theoretician’s work are really useful for making an understanding of the topic you are considering, as are some elements of another. The key is to ensure you understand the argument being made, and its application the material of interest to you, and what you see as the strengths and weaknesses of that.

You might find, after having read widely and critically, that you favour a particular approach. Favouring an approach does not mean that you have been uncritical. It does mean that you have to say why this approach is so very good for understanding the topic at hand. Again, it is bringing that ‘why I think so’ to bear on your writing. In cases where you do favour a particular approach, it is very important to remember that direct quotation and paraphrase will not be sufficient on their own, as you’ll likely find gems that are just what you want to say. In these cases, you must remember to explain why this is such a good approach, rather than simply seeking to demonstrate that it is.


General Assessment Criteria

A PASS paper will indicate that the student has not quite understood yet some of the key ideas and concepts taught in this course. The question addressed or the argument the student is mounting in the piece might be acceptable, but not compelling. If methods are involved, the methods will be appropriate methods, and the student will have been able to give some basic, but not sophisticated, reasons for their choices. Chosen sources will be appropriate to the task, but might show that a limited or basic search has been conducted, or that the sources have not been explored to the extent they might have been.  

A CREDIT paper is one that demonstrates that the student can make a compelling and appropriate question, argument. If methods are used, the methods will have the capacity to reveal much about the situation they are being applied to, and the student may have given compelling reasons for their inclusion based on their suitability to the research. Chosen references will show a good understanding of the relevant literature, and will show that considerable effort has gone into the search for appropriate literature. The literature will be anthropologically based for the most part, and there will not be confusion as to what constitutes a relevant disciplinary source.

A DISTINCTION paper will express that the student is able to give convincing, compelling arguments and raise questions that are sophisticated and well developed. If methods are involved, the methods will be highly appropriate to the task, and compelling reasons for their inclusion will be given, based on their suitability to the planned research. There may also be some sense of why other methods were considered but excluded, or why some methods are more suited than others for particular reasons. Choice of references will show a developed understanding of the included sources, will show that very considerable effort has gone into the search for appropriate literature, and will evidence a broad research imagination.

A HIGH DISTINCTION paper will showcase a lively, critical approach. The student will have been able to give convincing, compelling and nuanced arguments. The methods will be highly appropriate to the task, and compelling reasons for their inclusion will be given, based on their suitability to the planned research. There will also be some sustained discussion as to the selection of these methods that will be of excellent quality. References will show a highly developed understanding of the included sources, will show that great effort has gone into the search for appropriate literature, and will evidence a broad and critical research imagination.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to the course and explanation of assessment structure Keywords: Anthropology, Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, social sciences, physical sciences Case Study: A “three field” perspective on human beings as embodied subjects of culture and evolution
2 What makes us human? Keywords: Biological and cultural evolution, biological and cultural difference, cultural construction of race, natures-cultures, humans and human ancestors Case Study: Cultural and biological difference
3 Natures-Cultures: body and environment Keywords: Natures-cultures, the body, anthropocentrism, biocentrism, environment Case Study: Introducing three field perspectives on body and environment Assessment: 400 word response essay or equivalent
4 Approaches to text and writing in the 3 disciplines Keywords: Text, discourse, metaphor, narrative, ethnography, translation, data, theory, analysis, qualitative, quantitative, comparative, reflexivity, positivism Case Study: Reading and writing in the three disciplines Assessment: 400 word response essay or equivalent
5 Origins of the human body Keywords: Skeleton, origins, primates, arboreality, bipedality, Homo, environmental adaptations, natural selection, body size and shape Case Study: Neanderthal adaptations to a cold environment: Bergmann’s rule and Allen’s rule Assessment: 400 word response essay or equivalent
6 The cultural body Keywords: Primitivism, authenticity, embodiment, foodways, imaginaries, lifestyles Case Study: The “Paleo” movement Assessment: 400 word response essay or equivalent
7 Food, health, medicine and diseases Keywords: Primate diet, nutritional balance, meat eating in human evolution, palaeodiet, ancient medicine, human skeleton, bioarchaeology, palaeopathology Case Study: Paleodiet and Palaeopathology Assessment: 400 word response essay or equivalent
8 Research and methodology in the three fields Keywords: Deductive/inductive reasoning, Fieldwork, excavations, participant observation, interviews, oral history, surveys, archival research, hypotheses, models, sampling, measurements, pilot-study, protocols, laboratory-work, techniques and methods, statistics, data visualization, ethics, good practice Case Study: Research methods in the three disciplines Assessment: 400 word response essay or equivalent
9 People making/occupying environments Keywords: Cultural ecology, Socio-ecosystems, subsistence economy, multispecies, ontologies Case Study: Introducing three field perspectives on people and environments Assessment: 400 word response essay or equivalent
10 Mobility and migrations Keywords: Mobilities, walking, migrating, landscapes, ethnoscapes, borderscapes Case Study: Walking through landscapes; Borderscapes Assessment: 400 word response essay or equivalent
11 Landscapes as palimpsests Keywords: Cultural geography, core and periphery, stratigraphy, Urbanism, development, rituals, monumentality, cultural heritage, tourism, conservation Case Study: Angkor as a palimpsest: city, ruins and postcards... Assessment: 400 word response essay or equivalent
12 Looking at the three fields – final discussion Assessment: 400 word response essay or equivalent

Tutorial Registration

Required via MyTimetable

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Weekly 400 word Response Essay or Comparable Task 100 % 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 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.


Assessment Task 1

Value: 100 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Weekly 400 word Response Essay or Comparable Task

Students will be responsible for weekly assessments addressing key concepts and assigned readings

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

Students will be responsible for choosing the weeks the weeks for submission; as marks will be returned weekly, late submissions are not feasible. Students are therefore encouraged to simply choose an alternate week for submission.

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

Approximately weekly

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).

AsPr Caroline Schuster

Research Interests

Economic anthropology, gender and sexuality studies, Latin America

AsPr Caroline Schuster

By Appointment
By Appointment
AsPr Caroline Schuster

Research Interests

AsPr Caroline Schuster

By Appointment
By Appointment
AsPr Catherine Frieman

Research Interests

AsPr Catherine Frieman

By Appointment
Dr Katharine Balolia

Research Interests

Dr Katharine Balolia

By Appointment

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