The Australian National University


Available Courses

This course introduces students to the diversity of First Peoples’ perspectives, knowledges, experiences, and places in this Country. We examine significant events, including shared histories, drawn from across the Australian continent. We consider the philosophical frameworks of First Peoples’ ways of knowing, and reflect on how these have informed, and continue to inform, First Peoples’ ways of being, knowing and acting today. We explore basic precepts borne of a Country-centred way of being, including relationality and respect for autonomy. Students have an opportunity to develop insight into the significance of kinship, language, place, and their continuities. We explore examples of complex social systems, and consider contemporary relationships in Australia in the context of global developments in First Peoples’ relationships, identity and shared/common experiences. The course creates a space for a learning experience that offers opportunities to develop insight into First Peoples’ perspectives on colonisation in Australia.

This course focuses on First Peoples’ perspectives on experiences since the British commenced colonisation of this place. Students develop understanding and insights into some of the diverse perspectives, ways of knowing and being, and experiences of First Peoples since colonisation across this continent, its islands and seas. In this course, we will focus on selected significant events, reflect on the resilience and agency of First Peoples until now, and learn more about the contemporary context of First Peoples’ resurgence. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the lived reality of First Peoples’ rights in Australia, and reflect upon this in a global content. This is an introductory course in Australian Indigenous Studies that centre First Peoples’ diverse perspectives and that critically engages with scholarly and popular narratives about key events.

The course explores the Australian economy in a historical context. It will examine aspects of the history of the Australian economy from early Indigenous society through to the present. It is intended for students who are seeking a broad understanding of how the economy works. The approach adopted will emphasise that the present Australian economy needs to be seen in the context of the historical pattern of development and change. While the course deals primarily with economic factors, social and political contexts and connections will also be considered.

This course is a practical introduction to an Indigenous Australian language. It is designed to develop basic speaking, listening, reading and writing skills at an introductory level, and to develop a knowledge and understanding of some elements of traditional and current culture, and the importance of language to the community.

Students will spend three weeks exploring issues of politics, culture and society from Australia’s capital. Australia is a dynamic, multicultural society that plays an active role in our globalised and increasingly multipolar world order. In this course, future leaders from across the globe will be exposed to pressing issues of politics, culture and society, with a view to mediating between different viewpoints. We will explore landscapes of politics and power from an Australian vantage, drawing on the unique opportunities presented by Canberra, our national capital. As the seat of the federal government and the home to national institutions, including the Australian National University, Canberra offers inspiring opportunities to consider global affairs in a splendid Australian environment. Students will be encouraged to actively engage with the Australian policy-making community in hands-on sessions that will grapple with the long-term challenges facing every human society.

This course builds an understanding of key processes that have shaped Australia’s biophysical environment. Through a coordinated series of modules, students acquire foundation knowledge across a range of environmental science disciplines. One of the world’s great drainage basins, the Murray Darling Basin, is used as a case study to connect and integrate these modules into a clear narrative about the processes and issues affecting Australia’s environment. In each module the case study is revisited to address topical issues and apply the learning covered in the module. By the end of the course, students will understand the Murray-Darling as an integrated system whose processes and problems reflect the biophysical and social forces that have shaped Australia.

This course introduces students to fundamental aspects of Indigenous relationships to lands, waters and cultural sites. It will provide students with an overview of holistic Indigenous perspectives about the natural environment, their knowledge systems and understandings of it, as well as the legal and policy frameworks of the settler society which frame Indigenous opportunities to actively engage in cultural and natural resource management. It will explore areas of contestation and collaboration between Indigenous natural resources users and other Australians through a series of case studies of land and water management, and will include an opportunity for fieldwork to visit a jointly-managed National Park and to understand more about cultural heritage sites and their protection within the natural environment through joint-management frameworks. The course will also provide students with an opportunity to consider how to engage successfully with Indigenous peoples in many land or natural resource management issues.

This course will survey Australia’s interactions with international and regional affairs through and beyond the twentieth century, from Federation to the Global Financial Crisis, and including debates over climate change response. Building on an account of foreign and defence policies, we will trace the political, economic, social and cultural connections between imperial, national and international development and change, and the ways in which meanings of the nation, the region and the international sphere have evolved. Areas of attention will include the key contexts of Australia’s relations with the United Kingdom, the United States, the Asia-Pacific region and international and non-government organisations; the role of diplomacy, the press, public opinion, party attitudes and expert advise; the dynamics of economic change and population mobility; the ambitions of individuals and the power of interest groups and political movements as reflected in the intersection of national and international issues.

Is Australia just one big Pacific Island? In this course we examine this core question by exploring the history of Australia and Oceania – with a special focus on the island Pacific – through the ‘long’ 19th and 20th centuries. To start, we look at Australia and the Pacific in ‘deep time’, outlining the initial waves of human settlement and prehistoric mobility, before tackling major themes of Australia’s interactions with the island world: through European expansion and first encounters; the thickening relationships of trade, missionisation and formal colonialism in the 19th century; the world wars; the post war period; the era of independence; and developments of the late 20th and early 21st centuries – including Australia’s ‘interventions’ in the Pacific, the growth of Australia’s own Pasifika populations, and changing perceptions of Australia in the region. This course aims to develop a wider understanding of Australia’s shared history with Oceania and the evolution of the Pacific community of which Australia is part. It will highlight the Pacific’s impacts on Australia and the multiplicity of Australia’s past and present engagements with the island region.

Just how involved are we are on a daily basis with the processes, the politics, the social and economic relations and the other formations that constitute this complex and slightly scary thing called globalisation? Beginning with some of the things that are closest and most familiar to us – including the clothes on our backs – we’re going to start at the ground and trace upwards the links that attach us to far off countries, economies, sites of production and fellow humans. In this way, we will trace our own map of the world system and get some sort of critical understanding of how we slot into it. In the process, we will ask ‘Is there a more ethical way for us to approach some of those core global practices in which we all participate: consumption, tourism, inhabiting the city, and using the internet and social media?’ How, in this immensely complex context, are we to be good global citizens? In the process of doing this we will learn the fundamental concepts anthropologists and other social scientists use to make sense of globalisation’s exciting new cultural and social forms and its not so exciting new forms of exploitation and inequality. The focus will be on understanding the language of the anthropology of globalisation, and the practical and critical application of its key concepts to real life global issues. We will use an innovative team based learning approach in which students help each other workshop the weekly readings and carry out critical and interpretive activities in class based on real life case studies.

This course traces the historical development of Asia’s diverse political systems. It examines underlying geo-political realities and their implications for political structure and focusses on the religious and political systems of thought that have shaped Asian political systems, especially regarding leadership, the family, ethnicity, social class and age. The course commences with the emergence of civilization in Asia, examines political structures as they were influenced by Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam and Christianity, the transformation of ethnic and national identities brought about in the era of western imperialism, and the assertion of new political ideals inspired by communism, liberalism, religions and reinterpretations of the past.

This course will apply basic international relations theories encompassing realist, liberal-internationalist and constructivist perspectives to ongoing and emerging political dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region. It complements comparative political perspectives on regional governance by applying state-centric and key sub-state based perspectives on understanding how the region ‘matters’ in a global context. Various perspectives on international political economics, foreign policy analysis, international security and regional/international institutions will supplement the theoretical perspectives that underwrite the subject’s conceptual approach.

When the Cold War ended in 1989, some prominent commentators optimistically proclaimed that ‘the end of history’ had arrived and that international conflict was becoming obsolete. Yet the Cold War never really ended in the Asia-Pacific region. Its legacy is still very much apparent in the form of the U.S.-led bilateral network of security alliances and with the persistence of dangerous flashpoints around the Korean Peninsula and across the Taiwan Strait. Longstanding historical tensions persist between Japan and Korea, China and Japan and India and Pakistan, to name just a few.

In this course, students will learn about five security concepts and their relevance to security in the Asia-Pacific region. These concepts are order/hierarchy, alliances, polarity/balance of power, international reputation (“credibility”), and historical memory. We will explore these concepts through case studies such as the Korean War, the Taiwan Strait crises, the history (and future) of alliances in Asia, the Vietnam War, the Sino-U.S. rapprochement, the post-war order, and territorial disputes.

Australian governments have consistently identified the island chain to the north of Australia, ranging from Indonesia through the Pacific Islands to New Zealand, as the region from or through which a security threat to Australia could most easily be posed. As a result, Australia is engaged in extensive efforts to support stability and security in this region, which has been the site of significant Australian military deployments and policing operations, and remains a focus for Australia’s development expenditure. At the same time, recent years have seen a rise in engagement by “non-traditional” powers in the Pacific islands, in particular China, which some observers have seen as threatening Australia’s interests in the region. This course critically analyses the security challenges facing this region and, in particular, Australia’s role in the security of the region. This includes cooperation on transnational crime and counterterrorism; intervention and stabilisation; criminal justice assistance; governance capacity-building; natural disaster response; and substantial development assistance. The course considers ways in which Pacific understandings of security differ from Australia’s, and the implications of this for Australia’s engagement with Pacific Island governments, security agencies and societies. It also assesses the outlook over the next decade for security in this strategically important and rapidly changing region.

Violent conflicts over natural resources are an enduring feature of social and political life at different scales and levels of organisation. The inter-state and geopolitical dimensions of conflicts over resources such as oil and water loom large in the popular imaginary. However, resource conflicts in the global South are predominantly fought internally, within the boundaries of the nation-state. Indeed, according to the United Nations, at least 40 percent of internal conflicts globally are related to natural resources. It is these sorts of conflicts that are the focus of this course.
A striking conundrum lies at the heart of the inquiry: rather than contributing to peace and prosperity, empirical research demonstrates that natural resource wealth increases the likelihood that a country will experience internal armed conflict. How and why is this the case? What about the role of resource scarcity as driver of violent conflict in developing-country contexts? What sort of policy responses and interventions are available? How might natural resource wealth contribute to peace rather than to conflict? What is the role of political and economic contestation in these struggles over land and natural resources?
The course will be structured around a series of case studies drawn from Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. A political ecology framework will be applied to the analysis of how land and different types of resource complexes – including mining, oil and gas, forestry, and oil palm – can be implicated in violent conflict. Alongside these case studies, students will undertake their own analysis of a natural resource conflict in which they will be attentive to the role of different actors – especially the state, communities and corporations – and to questions of scale, power and identity.

Pacific encounters provides an introduction into the debates about theory and practice that shape how we conceptualise and think about the Pacific region and its peoples. The course is built around three learning modules – the past, present and future. In the past we come to understand the voyages that brought people to the region and the stories they tell about their journeys. We investigate colonisation, the impact it had and still has on the region, and the different ways it can be understood. In the recent present we examine the new voyages that Pacific people have taken into places like Australia, New Zealand and the United States. In doing so we look at how people move within and between these new boundaries and how Pacific cultures and identities have evolved over time and place. Finally, we bring all of these themes together by examining how the past and the present can help us imagine the future.

This course introduces students to the Pacific region and to the wealth of Pacific knowledge, resources and institutions at ANU and in Canberra more broadly. Pacific Worlds will be explored in seminar format and in dialogue with selected scholars and policy-makers, and through visits to institutions such as the National Library, National Archives, and National Gallery of Australia. It will provide students with an exciting opportunity to experience the ways in which the Pacific has been crucial to the development and contemporary cultural, scholarly and political priorities of former colonial powers, including Australia. The course will highlight the ways in which Pacific Islanders themselves have responded critically to these uneven relationships and how documentation and collection practices in Australian institutions reflect these political dynamics.

The course aims at giving ANU students who have demonstrated potential as change-makers a wide understanding of styles of leadership and influence. In line with the interdisciplinary and peer-learning ethos of Vice-Chancellor’s courses, students will be exposed to the varying perspectives different disciplines and individuals have on leadership and influence. The course aims to bring students together early in their degree to make a positive impact on their spheres of influence now and into the future.

This course examines Australian politics from a historical perspective. It explores the foundation and working of democracy, the formation and transformation of the party system, and the relationship of politics to broader changes in society. The first part follows a chronological structure, beginning with traditional Indigenous government and extending through the colonial era to the present day, while the second examines a range of themes such as federation, nationalism and republicanism, women, gender and politics, rural politics, Indigenous politics and the media. The aim is to provide students with a historical grounding in the main political trends, institutions, personalities, ideas and ideologies

Kompleks Kementerian Pendidikan, Kebudayaan, Riset, dan Teknologi. Gedung D Lantai 18, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Pintu Satu, Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia 10270

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