• Class Number 3604
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Caroline Schuster
    • AsPr Caroline Schuster
    • Dr Guillaume Molle
    • Dr Katharine Balolia
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
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.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

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 Studying culture Keywords: ethnocentrism and cultural relativism, fieldwork methods and ethics, applied anthropologyCase Study: nature/cultureAssessment: 400 word response essay or equivalent  
4 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 practiceCase Study: Research methods in the three disciplinesAssessment: 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 Food, health, medicine and diseases body Keywords: Primate diet, nutritional balance, meat eating in human evolution, palaeodiet, ancient medicine, human skeleton, bioarchaeology, palaeopathologyCase Study: Paleodiet and PalaeopathologyAssessment: 400 word response essay or equivalent
7 Food-Getting and Economics Keywords: Economic resources, cultural embeddedness, reciprocity, food producersCase Study: Fisheries, waterways planning and infrastructureAssessment: 400 word response essay or equivalent
8 Approaches to text and writing Keywords: Text, discourse, metaphor, narrative, ethnography, translation, data, theory, analysis, qualitative, quantitative, comparative, reflexivity, positivismCase Study: Reading and writing in the three disciplinesAssessment: 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 Language and culture Keywords: semiotics, signs and symbols, ethnolinguistics, language in the digital ageCase Study: linguistic anthropologyAssessment: 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 Integrity 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 Skills website. 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. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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 within two weeks of submission, late submissions are not feasible. Students are therefore encouraged to simply choose an alternate week for submission.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Two weeks after submission (approximate)

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, environmental 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
Dr Guillaume Molle

Research Interests

Economic anthropology, environmental anthropology, gender and sexuality studies, Latin America

Dr Guillaume Molle

By Appointment
Dr Katharine Balolia

Research Interests

Economic anthropology, environmental anthropology, gender and sexuality studies, Latin America

Dr Katharine Balolia

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions