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GEOP262 – The Ecological Humanities: Australians and their Environment

2017 – S1 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Sandie Suchet-Pearson
Contact via sandie.suchet@mq.edu.au
W3A-428
Please email me to make an appointment
Lecturer
Emily O'Gorman
Contact via emily.ogorman@mq.edu.au
W3A-420
Please email me to make an appointment
Tutor
Ashraful Alam
Contact via Email
Tutor
Sara Judge
Contact via Email
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
12cp at 100 level or above
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
The ecological humanities bring together ways of knowing and interacting with the world from the sciences and the humanities, as well as from Indigenous and other 'non-western' worldviews. This unit introduces the ecological humanities and aims to nourish students' understanding of the connectivities and possibilities that these dialogues produce for people and the more-than-human environment. It gets students outside their comfort zones in thinking about relationships with the planet, other species and other peoples, and provides a vocabulary of key words and concepts to frame the opportunity to think about these relationships and connections. This unit includes short and spicy readings to provoke tutorial discussions and a range of opportunities to rethink the 'environmental' through multiple perspectives from science, social science and the humanities.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the value of ecological and geographical thinking to their programs of study in other discipline areas, and their wider lives
  2. Apply key concepts from the ecological humanities in a range of disciplinary and geographical settings
  3. Identify and discuss different ways of relating to and conceptualising the environment
  4. Express and discuss complex ideas about connection, belonging and relationships between themselves and the non-human world around them clearly
  5. Recognise ethical issues in human-environment relations and articulate a position on environmental justice

General Assessment Information

Where can I find out more general information about assignments?

Please consult the folder labeled 'Assessment' on iLearn webpage for more information about marking criteria and rubrics for each of the assessment tasks. You are encouraged to post questions about assignments in the general discussion forum.  

I am confused: how do I know what is due and when?

Ongoing assessment tasks (such as journals and tutorial presentations) that take place over the course of the 13 weeks can seem a bit confusing at first.  We have put together an 'Assessment' folder in iLearn (look for it at the top of the page).  We ask you to hand in some of your work separately so you can receive marks and feedback at different stages in the semester.  The assessment information in the section above provides a general overview - the information in the Assessment folder will provide a more detailed breakdown of the tasks, what is due and when, and information about how we will mark your assignments (criteria and marking rubrics).

Handing in your assignments

Unless otherwise specified, you are required to submit your assessments via Turnitin links on iLearn, this includes submitting your journal in electronic format (Word, PDF).  If online, electronic journalling absolutely will not work for you, please contact Sandie to arrange to hand in a paper-based journal. Your journal is private and will only be seen by yourself and GEOP262 teaching staff. 

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Reflective Journal 35% 5pm Friday Week 13
Sharing the World with Others 40% 5pm Friday Week 9
Tutorial Discussion Leader 10% Weeks 4-11
GEOP262 3M Showcase 15% Weeks 12 and 13

Reflective Journal

Due: 5pm Friday Week 13
Weighting: 35%

Topic: 'Relationships and Connections Across Species'

The journal is a substantive assessment task that you will carry out throughout the unit.  Please note that this is an accumulative task and you will be required to submit some of the journal items for marking and feedback before the final due date. You are asked to document and include critical reflections on the following tasks in your journal:  

1. Identify a nonhuman animal 'mate' to observe throughout the semester. Document your encounters and reflect on them in your journal. You will be asked to submit a 500 word 'Introduction' to your mate and what you hope to achieve in this exercise in week 3.  

2. Collect a selection of 10 media articles about animals or human-animal relationships.  You are required to select 3 of the media articles to write a 500-word critical summary of each that connects the article to ideas that are explored in the unit.  

You must complete tasks 1 and 2 for your journal to receive the full range of marks (35%).  More information about this assessment task, including: due dates for specific tasks and the marking criteria will be made available on iLearn.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the value of ecological and geographical thinking to their programs of study in other discipline areas, and their wider lives
  • Apply key concepts from the ecological humanities in a range of disciplinary and geographical settings
  • Identify and discuss different ways of relating to and conceptualising the environment
  • Express and discuss complex ideas about connection, belonging and relationships between themselves and the non-human world around them clearly
  • Recognise ethical issues in human-environment relations and articulate a position on environmental justice

Sharing the World with Others

Due: 5pm Friday Week 9
Weighting: 40%

The topic of your major essay will draw its inspiration from one or more of the following:  the weekly lecture/tutorial discussions, your investigations with your mate, a story you have come across while collecting media articles.  Your task is to write an essay on the theme of 'Sharing the World with Others' - relating this to key concepts and readings covered in GEOP262.  The essay should demonstrate your ability to synthesise key ecological humanities concepts and apply them to real world contexts. The essay will demonstrate evidence of independent research on your selected topic.

More information about this assignment, including a marking rubric and criteria will be made available on iLearn.

 

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the value of ecological and geographical thinking to their programs of study in other discipline areas, and their wider lives
  • Apply key concepts from the ecological humanities in a range of disciplinary and geographical settings
  • Identify and discuss different ways of relating to and conceptualising the environment
  • Express and discuss complex ideas about connection, belonging and relationships between themselves and the non-human world around them clearly
  • Recognise ethical issues in human-environment relations and articulate a position on environmental justice

Tutorial Discussion Leader

Due: Weeks 4-11
Weighting: 10%

Each week, 1-2 students will lead the tutorial discussions of the weekly topics and readings.  The discussion leaders will provide a brief summary of key ideas or points for discussion and relate this to a real world story (you can use one of the media articles you have collected for the journal).  This is an individual task - though you may consult with other students leading the discussion in the same week to avoid doubling up on the readings.  

On the day of your presentation, please hand in a 500-word written summary of your media selection and how it relates to a key concept from the readings. 

Please make sure you sign up to lead a discussion in the first tutorial.  If you have any questions about this, please contact your tutor.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the value of ecological and geographical thinking to their programs of study in other discipline areas, and their wider lives
  • Apply key concepts from the ecological humanities in a range of disciplinary and geographical settings
  • Identify and discuss different ways of relating to and conceptualising the environment
  • Express and discuss complex ideas about connection, belonging and relationships between themselves and the non-human world around them clearly
  • Recognise ethical issues in human-environment relations and articulate a position on environmental justice

GEOP262 3M Showcase

Due: Weeks 12 and 13
Weighting: 15%

This task requires you to give a 3M (3 minute) presentation. Using just one picture - you are asked to make a presentation based on your encounters with your nonhuman mate. Your presentation should develop a persuasive argument about what 'thinking with' nonhuman animals can teach us.  

You must attend the showcase of these presentations in weeks 12 and 13 to receive your mark for this assessment.  More information about this assessment will be made available in iLearn.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the value of ecological and geographical thinking to their programs of study in other discipline areas, and their wider lives
  • Apply key concepts from the ecological humanities in a range of disciplinary and geographical settings
  • Identify and discuss different ways of relating to and conceptualising the environment
  • Express and discuss complex ideas about connection, belonging and relationships between themselves and the non-human world around them clearly
  • Recognise ethical issues in human-environment relations and articulate a position on environmental justice

Delivery and Resources

Classes

Study Modes

This unit is available in both internal and external study modes.  The information below is for both internal and external students.

This unit will run as a lecture series (2 x 1hour lectures weekly), and a tutorial program (1 session weekly). Please note that all students can also listen to or download digital audio recordings of lectures on iLearn through Echo360 although we strongly encourage internal students to attend the live lecture - especially the guest lectures as this keeps the guest lecture program going. Copies of lecture slides will also be made available through iLearn.

Remember to check the MQ 2017 timetable on the day of the first class to make sure that there are no last minute room changes to the lecture venue! Tutorials can also be subject to change - so please check your email or iLearn in Week One to ensure that you are on top of any unanticipated changes.

Lectures     Tutorials               
           
Tuesday 9am-11am  W6B 325 Tuesday 11am-12pm W5C 302
      Tuesday 12pm-1pm

W5C 302

      Tuesday 2pm-3pm W5A 203

 

Class Attendance 

Attendance in both on-campus and off-campus 'online' tutorials is compulsory and will be recorded by your tutor.  In weeks 4-11 students will be leading class discussions.  It is therefore essential that all  enrolled students are prepared (by having done the readings) and ready to participate in the tutorial program.  

Externally enrolled students will be participating weekly in their own online version of the tutorial program. Your weekly attendance in online tutorials will be recorded.  Attendance is demonstrated by making one substantive post to each of the weekly online tutorial discussions in iLearn. Prolonged silences will be treated as non-attendance.  We do not like to sound 'big-brotherish'  - but iLearn does track online activity - so logging in at the end of the semester and doing all your posts in one session will not work. 

Listening to different perspectives and actively discussing important and provocative issues and ideas is a key component of GEOP262. It is something we value highly and we think you will get a lot out of it too.  Students who miss more than 2 tutorials without proper documentation (see 'Disruption to Studies' policy in the 'Policies and Procedures' section below) are at risk of failing the unit.  

It is compulsory for on-campus students to attend and present in the Ecological Humanities 3M showcase in weeks 12 and 13. External students will participate in an online version of this and will 'record' their attendance by commenting on other student's presentations.  To make things fair, everyone must be ready to present in week 12.  Please be respectful and encouraging of your fellow classmates by being actively engaged with other people's work.

Required Class Readings

The required readings for ENVG262 are available electronically through the library e-reserve, which can be accessed via the Multisearch tool on the Library website (type in the unit code). Please let Sandie know if you have trouble accessing the required readings. 

Please note that reading is an integral and compulsory part of this unit. The readings will complement and support the lecture program, and will be referred to extensively in tutorials and assessments.

Unit Webpage and Technology Used and Required 

Technology Use

GEOP262 provides all students with significant web-based support using iLearn. The unit website will be maintained regularly, providing you with copies of lecture PowerPoint slides either before, or as soon as possible, after each lecture.

Please make use of the iLearn discussion tools and post questions to GEOP262 students and lecturers.  Access should be possible at the University (Library and Computer Labs) as well as remotely via modem. All students should be able to use Public Library facilities to access the site regularly. If you have difficulty with access, let Sandie know so we can discuss alternative arrangements.

Please note that essential information will be made available to ALL STUDENTS via the iLearn website for GEOP262, so all students are expected to regularly check the website for notices.

Unit Schedule

Week

Lecture/Tutorial Topic

Please note that speaker availability might mean some minor alterations to the order of weekly topics. Details regarding the program are available on iLearn - this includes a detailed unit schedule, information about the weekly readings, suplemental materials, questions for discussion, etc.

1

L1 What is the ecological humanities?

L2  What is the ecological humanities?

2

L3 What is kinship with nature?

L4 What is kinship with nature?

3

L5 What is the question of the animal?

L6 What is the question of the animal?

4

L7 How do we get to know diverse others? 

L8 How do we get to know diverse others?  

5

L9 What is environmental philosophy?

L10 What is environmental philosophy?

6

L11 What is playing favourite with species?

L12 What is playing favourite with species?

7

L13 What is political ecology?

L14 What is political ecology?

8

L15 What is environmental history?

L16 What is environmental history?

9

L17 What is life and death?

L18 What is life and death?

10

L19 What are geographies of containment and proliferation?

L20 What are geographies of containment and proliferation?

11

L21 What is a multispecies city?

L22 What is a multispecies city?

12

Ecological humanities 3M showcase (attendance in compulsory)

13

Ecological humanities 3M showcase (attendance in compulsory)

 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the value of ecological and geographical thinking to their programs of study in other discipline areas, and their wider lives
  • Apply key concepts from the ecological humanities in a range of disciplinary and geographical settings
  • Identify and discuss different ways of relating to and conceptualising the environment
  • Express and discuss complex ideas about connection, belonging and relationships between themselves and the non-human world around them clearly
  • Recognise ethical issues in human-environment relations and articulate a position on environmental justice

Assessment task

  • GEOP262 3M Showcase

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the value of ecological and geographical thinking to their programs of study in other discipline areas, and their wider lives
  • Apply key concepts from the ecological humanities in a range of disciplinary and geographical settings
  • Identify and discuss different ways of relating to and conceptualising the environment
  • Express and discuss complex ideas about connection, belonging and relationships between themselves and the non-human world around them clearly
  • Recognise ethical issues in human-environment relations and articulate a position on environmental justice

Assessment tasks

  • Sharing the World with Others
  • Tutorial Discussion Leader
  • GEOP262 3M Showcase

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Identify and discuss different ways of relating to and conceptualising the environment

Assessment task

  • GEOP262 3M Showcase

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the value of ecological and geographical thinking to their programs of study in other discipline areas, and their wider lives
  • Identify and discuss different ways of relating to and conceptualising the environment
  • Express and discuss complex ideas about connection, belonging and relationships between themselves and the non-human world around them clearly

Assessment tasks

  • Reflective Journal
  • Tutorial Discussion Leader
  • GEOP262 3M Showcase

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the value of ecological and geographical thinking to their programs of study in other discipline areas, and their wider lives
  • Apply key concepts from the ecological humanities in a range of disciplinary and geographical settings
  • Identify and discuss different ways of relating to and conceptualising the environment
  • Express and discuss complex ideas about connection, belonging and relationships between themselves and the non-human world around them clearly
  • Recognise ethical issues in human-environment relations and articulate a position on environmental justice

Assessment tasks

  • Sharing the World with Others
  • Tutorial Discussion Leader
  • GEOP262 3M Showcase

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the value of ecological and geographical thinking to their programs of study in other discipline areas, and their wider lives
  • Apply key concepts from the ecological humanities in a range of disciplinary and geographical settings
  • Identify and discuss different ways of relating to and conceptualising the environment
  • Express and discuss complex ideas about connection, belonging and relationships between themselves and the non-human world around them clearly
  • Recognise ethical issues in human-environment relations and articulate a position on environmental justice

Assessment tasks

  • Sharing the World with Others
  • Tutorial Discussion Leader

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the value of ecological and geographical thinking to their programs of study in other discipline areas, and their wider lives
  • Apply key concepts from the ecological humanities in a range of disciplinary and geographical settings
  • Identify and discuss different ways of relating to and conceptualising the environment
  • Express and discuss complex ideas about connection, belonging and relationships between themselves and the non-human world around them clearly
  • Recognise ethical issues in human-environment relations and articulate a position on environmental justice

Assessment tasks

  • Reflective Journal
  • Sharing the World with Others
  • Tutorial Discussion Leader
  • GEOP262 3M Showcase

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the value of ecological and geographical thinking to their programs of study in other discipline areas, and their wider lives
  • Apply key concepts from the ecological humanities in a range of disciplinary and geographical settings
  • Identify and discuss different ways of relating to and conceptualising the environment
  • Express and discuss complex ideas about connection, belonging and relationships between themselves and the non-human world around them clearly
  • Recognise ethical issues in human-environment relations and articulate a position on environmental justice

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Express and discuss complex ideas about connection, belonging and relationships between themselves and the non-human world around them clearly

Assessment tasks

  • Reflective Journal
  • Sharing the World with Others