• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Social Research, Sociology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Ashley Carruthers
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

This advanced thematic seminar is a postgraduate level course designed for students enrolled in the Master of Anthropology and Planetary Futures. This seminar is part of the “special topics” curriculum and offers an in-depth exploration of specific themes and research methodologies aligned with the expertise of the faculty member leading the course (subject to regular rotation). Each offering of this seminar will focus on a different ethnographic and theoretical problem at the forefront of the discipline, providing students with a unique opportunity to engage in high-level thinking, collaborate with faculty, and contribute to research projects rooted in ethnographic methods and writing.

The course is structured to critically examine the chosen theme, enabling students to develop a comprehensive understanding of the underlying social, cultural, political, and environmental dynamics at play. By doing so, students will contribute to the broader field of anthropology and its potential to shape more sustainable and just futures for our planet.

It is important to note that the course content and structure will be reshaped and adapted for each offering based on the expertise and research agenda of the faculty member leading the seminar. The format, assessment structure, reading list, and schedule will be updated to align with the specific theme and research area of the “special topic.” Students enrolled in the Master of Anthropology and Planetary Futures program have the opportunity to take this course up to two times, each time exploring a different theme and scholarly agenda. This seminar provides an unparalleled opportunity for students to engage with cutting-edge research.

Please refer to the class summary for the specific term in which you wish to enrol for a detailed description of the expert guest convenor, theme, format, scheduling, assessment structure, and indicative readings.

Sample topics may include, but are not limited to, the following.

·     Migration & Xenophobia – Crises of white supremacy and the far right

·     Tecno-solutions and limits

·     Monsters

·     Crises of freedom: Slavery, trafficking & other misfits

·     Crises of Waste

·     Financial Crisis

·     Democracies of/in Crisis

·     Conservation and Extinction

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. engage advanced analytical skills in critically examining and evaluating dynamics of social transformation and change;
  2. collaborate effectively with faculty and fellow students to contribute to the development and prototyping of a new research agenda within the field of anthropology and planetary futures. Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively, integrating diverse perspectives and research methodologies;
  3. develop a critical and reflexive approach to understanding the complexities and challenges associated with the “special topic”. Engage in thoughtful analysis and evaluation of theoretical perspectives, empirical evidence, and ethical considerations as you develop new fields of inquiry; and
  4. communicate research findings, arguments, and theoretical concepts effectively through advanced writing skills in anthropology.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Tutorial participation and reflections (1,000 words) (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Formative essay (2,000 words) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Summative essay (3,500 words) (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]

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.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 24 hours of contact with supervisor over 12 weeks; and

b) 106 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

Not applicable.

Preliminary Reading

To be determined by the "special topics" expert guest convenor

Assumed Knowledge

It is recommended that students be enrolled in or have completed ANTH8061 Anthropology and Planetary Futures.


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
2024 $4080
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6000
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9028 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person View

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