• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Gender Studies
  • Areas of interest Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Pacific Studies

This intensive course explores the encounters between Oceanic and Western models, values, and embodied experiences of gender and sexuality. The course examines the debates about universalism and relativism, nature and culture, and personhood and identity, in understanding the differences between women, men, and transgendered persons. The course takes a historical and contextual approach to examine the transformations of patterns of gender and sexuality in the Pacific through the successive encounters of exploratory voyages, Christian missions, labour trade and plantation development, World War II and militarism, and mobility and the diaspora. Key thematic areas will include historic influences on gender and sexuality in the Pacific, historical and contemporary portrayals of gender and sexuality; contemporary debates about women’s influence and participation in church and state; gendered economies, kinship and land; transnational and regional feminisms and human rights; gender violence; gender, sexuality, health and HIV; and gender and sexual identities. The course will integrate readings and performances of literature, drama, and visual media by both Oceanic and foreign authors and artists. Indigenous Pacific Islander approaches to engaging and learning about Oceania are highlighted. The course draws upon the extensive academic expertise at ANU in gender and Pacific studies and is especially suitable for students of anthropology, history, politics, gender, sexuality and culture, Pacific studies, and development studies in both CAP and CASS. It will focus on an examination and comparisons of case studies from countries across Oceania. 

GEND3002 is essential for anyone seeking to work in the Pacific region and/or with Pacific communities. The course provides a foundational understanding of gender and sexuality in Pacific Island societies, reinforced with culturally specific case studies, and it complements and builds on the learning outcomes of PASI2001.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Speak and write about theories, contexts, and research approaches relevant to gender and sexuality in Pacific Studies;
  2. Understand and use key concepts from transnational gender and sexuality studies and demonstrate how these concepts engage or not with the Pacific in a critical and original way;
  3. Identify relevant ethnographic, historical, and theoretical literature for understanding models, values, and embodied experiences of gender and sexuality in the Pacific;
  4. Demonstrate understanding of the diversity of perspectives - Indigenous, popular, policy ,and scholarly - in debates in Oceania on gender and sexuality and how these different perspectives influence contemporary issues;
  5. Create coherent and original arguments through scholarly and/or creative forms.

Other Information

This is a co-taught course. Any cap on enrolments in one course applies to both courses combined.

This course starts on 19 June, when students can access materials for the course.

The intensive portion of the course will run on:

Monday 3rd July: 9am to 5pm.

Thursday 6th July: 9am to 5pm.

Monday 10th July: 9am to 5pm

Thursday 13th July: 9am to 5pm

Monday 17th July: 9am to 5pm

This course will end on 31 August, when the final assessment is due.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Participation: Class attendance and student led discussion. (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Reflective writing: Two online reflections to online film, documentary or artworks (200-300 words) (20) [LO 1,4,5]
  3. Group reflective project. (20) [LO 2,3,5]
  4. Analytical writing: Major research essay (2500 words) (50) [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 is a winter intensive course currently taught over 5 days. Total workload for the course is 130 hours, inclusive of 37 contact hours.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed at least 48 units of university courses. Incompatible with PASI8008 and PASI3002.

Prescribed Texts

·        Kauanui, J. Kehaulani. 2018. Paradoxes of Hawaiian Sovereignty: Land, Sex, and the Colonial Politics of State Nationalism, Durham and London, Duke University Press. (Chapter 4, pp. 153-193: Savage sexualities). 

·        Besnier, Niko, and Kalissa Alexeyeff. 2014. Gender on the edge: identities, politics, transformations. In Gender on the Edge: Transgender, Gay and other Pacific Islanders, edited by Niko Besnier and Kalissa Alexeyeff, pp. 1–30. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. 

·        Katherine Lepani 2012 Islands of Love Islands of Risk, Culture and HIV in the Trobriands. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press. 

·        Margaret Jolly and Christine Stewart (with Carolyn Brewer 2012 Engendering Violence in Papua New Guinea. Canberra: ANU E-Press; 

·        Holly Wardlow 2006, Wayward Women: Sexuality and Agency in a New Guinea Society Berkeley University of California Press. 

·        Nicole George 2012 Situating Women: Gender Politics and Circumstance in Fiji Canberra: ANU E-Press.Tengan, Ty Kavika 2008. Native Men Remade. 

·        Upolu Luma Vaai and Unaisi Nabobo-Baba (eds). The Relational Self: Decolonising Personhood in the Pacific, pp.61–78. Suva: University of the South Pacific and the Pacific Theological College. 

Preliminary Reading

Readings and audiovisual resources are available online on the Wattle Site


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $3960
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5100
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4503 19 Jun 2023 28 Jun 2023 07 Jul 2023 31 Aug 2023 In Person View

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