Logo Students

ANTH818 – Anthropology of Human Rights and Intervention

2017 – S1 Evening

General Information

Pdf icon Download as PDF
Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor
Chris Vasantkumar
W6A, Room 600
Wednesday 1-3 and by appointment
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MDevStud or MGlobalHlthDevStud or MSocEntre or GradCertGlobalHlthDevStud or MDevStudGlobalHlth or GradCertDevStudGlobalHlth or MAppAnth or MDevCult or MPASR or GradDipPASR or GradDipPP or MPPP or 4cp in ANTH units at 800 level
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
ANTH 718
Unit description Unit description
This unit offers an overview of anthropology of human rights. Human rights, broadly understood, is a field that employs anthropology, especially as many difficult issue for the human rights movement today revolve specifically around cultural diversity, whether multiculturalism is successful, and how to bring about culture change to increase respect for human rights. This unit examines the difficult issues that arise when trying to apply human rights and humanitarian principles across cultures. Although we consider critical perspectives on human rights, we will also focus on how anthropology might contribute to human rights practice around the globe.

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. Develop familiarity with the history and evolution of human rights in legal, philosophical, and institutional contexts.
  2. Develop the ability to assess received understandings of human rights discourses using anthropologically informed holistic and relativistic descriptions of cultural practices.
  3. Critically evaluate the validity of a number of prominent critiques of human rights using anthropologically informed approaches
  4. Apply a critical understanding of human rights and its critics to real world situations and phenomena.
  5. Analyze how cultural difference affects the interpretation, institution, and enforcement of human rights in different societies.
  6. Improve writing skills, especially structuring of argument, organization, and use of supporting evidence and data.

General Assessment Information

How to Submit Your Work All assessments must be submitted via turnitin no later than 11:59pm on the due date. 

Extensions and Late Submissions Late submissions on any assignment will incur a penalty, unless the unit convenor has granted an extension due to “unavoidable disruption” certified as such via the formal Disruption of Studies request process (see Undergraduate Student Handbook). Requests for extensions are more likely to be approved if they are submitted well in advance of the deadline.  The late penalty is a 5% deduction in your mark per 24-hour period. The unit convenor at his discretion may waive this deduction for assignments turned in within 1 hour of the deadline.

Word Limits You will be deducted 1 percentage point for each 25 words by which you exceed the word limit. Please take the word limit very seriously and try to make your argument concisely and clearly. It is unfair to fellow students if one person has much more space to argue their case while another student sticks firmly to the length guidelines. The word limit is designed to level the essay-writing field, so to speak. You must provide a word count beneath the title when you submit your work. If you fail to provide a word count, you will be deducted 1 percentage point and the assessor will estimate length and mark accordingly. The word limit excludes end-of-text references but it includes footnotes and in-text citations. 

Failure to reach the minimum word count for an assessment will result in a penalty determined by calculating the percentage of the required word total you were able to complete. For example, if you wrote an essay 734 words in length for an assessment with a minimum word count of 1000 words, your mark would be penalized by 26.6% because you only completed 73.4% of the assessment. Example: your work would have received a 77D had it been 1000 words long, you wrote 734 words, your final mark would be 77 * 0.734 = 56 P. 

Plagiarism The fundamental principle of the University’s Academic Honesty Policy is that all staff and students act with integrity in the creation, development, application and use of ideas and information. This means that:

  • All academic work claimed as original is the work of the author making the claim.
  • All academic collaborations are acknowledged.
  • Academic work is not falsified in any way
  • When the ideas of others are used, these ideas are acknowledged appropriately.

The University defines plagiarism in its rules: "Plagiarism involves using the work of another person and presenting it as one's own." Plagiarism is a serious breach of the University's rules and carries significant penalties. You must read the University's definition of plagiarism and its academic honesty policy. These can be found in the Handbook of Undergraduate studies or on the web here.The policies and procedures explain what plagiarism is, how to avoid it, the procedures that will be taken in cases of suspected plagiarism, and the penalties if you are found guilty.  In this class I use turnitin to detect plagiarism and I take it very, very seriously. Plagiarism may result in a mark of zero for that assignment and, depending on the severity of the plagiarism, may also result in failing the unit and/or referral to the University Discipline Committee.

No consideration for lost work or technology issues It is the student’s responsibility to keep a copy (electronic or otherwise) of all written work submitted for each unit. No consideration will be given to claims of ‘lost work’ or technology issues no matter what the circumstances. It is your responsibility to ensure that your computer is fully compatible with iLearn during exam periods. 

Returning assignments Student work will usually be marked and returned within two to three weeks of receipt. Students who hand their work in before the due date will not have it returned early. Do not ask when marking will be finished. If you turned in you assignment late, it will likely be marked later.

Disruptions to Study: Please view the Disruption to Studies Policy here. All Disruption to Studies notifications are to be made online via the University’s Ask MQ system.

Remember, the University has determined that some circumstances routinely encountered by students are not acceptable grounds for claiming Disruption of Studies. These grounds include, but are not limited, to:

  • Routine demands of employment
  • Routine family problems such as tension with or between parents, spouses, and other people closely involved with the student
  • Difficulties adjusting to university life, to the self-discipline needed to study effectively, and the demands of academic work
  • Stress or anxiety associated with examinations, required assignments or any aspect of academic work
  • Routine need for financial support
  • Routine demands of sport, clubs and social or extra-curricular activities

Conditions existing prior to commencing a unit of study are not grounds for Special Consideration. The student is responsible for managing their workload in light of any known or anticipated problems. The student is responsible for contacting Student Support Services if they have a chronic condition.

Remember that you can miss one tutorial and two lectures without having to complete the Disruption to Studies process. This allowance is to reduce the documentation burden for you and your convenor. 

Re-mark of Work During the Semester A re-mark will be considered only on the following grounds:

1. Administrative error 2. The feedback provided on the assessment does not justify the grade awarded

Student Procedure:

1.  The student must contact the original marker of the assessment (usually your tutor) to discuss the mark or resolve the administrative error. 2.  If the marking issue cannot be resolved by the original marker, the student will email the unit convenor.  This email must clearly detail the marking issue at hand.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Class Preparation: DPG 15% Continuing
Participation in seminar 20% Continuing
Leading Seminar Discussion 15% Twice/semester
Short Essay 20% 31 March via turnitin
Research Essay 30% 9 June via turnitin

Class Preparation: DPG

Due: Continuing
Weighting: 15%

Each week, you must fill out a Discussion Preparation Guide and bring it to class.  

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Develop familiarity with the history and evolution of human rights in legal, philosophical, and institutional contexts.
  • Improve writing skills, especially structuring of argument, organization, and use of supporting evidence and data.

Participation in seminar

Due: Continuing
Weighting: 20%

Each student is expected to participate actively and constructively in the seminar discussion. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Develop familiarity with the history and evolution of human rights in legal, philosophical, and institutional contexts.
  • Develop the ability to assess received understandings of human rights discourses using anthropologically informed holistic and relativistic descriptions of cultural practices.
  • Apply a critical understanding of human rights and its critics to real world situations and phenomena.
  • Analyze how cultural difference affects the interpretation, institution, and enforcement of human rights in different societies.

Leading Seminar Discussion

Due: Twice/semester
Weighting: 15%

Each student is responsible for leading the seminar discussion twice during the semester.  (Dates for each person’s turns leading discussion will be worked out during first class meeting.)


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Develop familiarity with the history and evolution of human rights in legal, philosophical, and institutional contexts.
  • Develop the ability to assess received understandings of human rights discourses using anthropologically informed holistic and relativistic descriptions of cultural practices.
  • Critically evaluate the validity of a number of prominent critiques of human rights using anthropologically informed approaches
  • Apply a critical understanding of human rights and its critics to real world situations and phenomena.

Short Essay

Due: 31 March via turnitin
Weighting: 20%

Write a short paper (1250-1750 words, double-spaced) on an assigned topic (see iLearn for topics)


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Develop the ability to assess received understandings of human rights discourses using anthropologically informed holistic and relativistic descriptions of cultural practices.
  • Critically evaluate the validity of a number of prominent critiques of human rights using anthropologically informed approaches
  • Analyze how cultural difference affects the interpretation, institution, and enforcement of human rights in different societies.
  • Improve writing skills, especially structuring of argument, organization, and use of supporting evidence and data.

Research Essay

Due: 9 June via turnitin
Weighting: 30%

A research paper (3000-3500 words, double-spaced) analyzing a relevant aspect of contemporary Human Rights discourse and/practice in light of the material we have covered in the unit. You have wide latitude in terms of the focus that you select as long as you bring it into productive conversation with the unit’s themes, concerns and materials. Using Harvard reference style recommended.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply a critical understanding of human rights and its critics to real world situations and phenomena.
  • Analyze how cultural difference affects the interpretation, institution, and enforcement of human rights in different societies.

Delivery and Resources

Readings will be available on electronic reserve. See iLearn for full details. Topics to be covered include the following:

Week

Topic

1

Introduction to Culture and Human Rights: What Do Human Rights Do?

2

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

3

 Anthropology and Human Rights: What is Culture Anyway?

4

The Limits of the "Human:" Concepts and Case Studies

5

"Rights" and Their Critics: The View from "Asia"

6

Universal Rights, Local Practices

7

Human Rights, Some Influential Critiques

Mid-semester Recess

8

Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Foreign Fighters: Human Rights and Security since 9/11

9

Blood, Sweat and Tears: Are Human Rights and Global Capitalism Compatible?

10

Indigeneity, Nature and the Right to Difference

11

Human Rights and the Non-Human

12

After Human Rights?

13

 

No Class

 

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 http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

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

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Develop familiarity with the history and evolution of human rights in legal, philosophical, and institutional contexts.
  • Develop the ability to assess received understandings of human rights discourses using anthropologically informed holistic and relativistic descriptions of cultural practices.
  • Critically evaluate the validity of a number of prominent critiques of human rights using anthropologically informed approaches
  • Apply a critical understanding of human rights and its critics to real world situations and phenomena.
  • Analyze how cultural difference affects the interpretation, institution, and enforcement of human rights in different societies.

Assessment tasks

  • Class Preparation: DPG
  • Participation in seminar
  • Leading Seminar Discussion
  • Short Essay
  • Research Essay

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Improve writing skills, especially structuring of argument, organization, and use of supporting evidence and data.

Assessment tasks

  • Class Preparation: DPG
  • Short Essay

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Develop familiarity with the history and evolution of human rights in legal, philosophical, and institutional contexts.
  • Develop the ability to assess received understandings of human rights discourses using anthropologically informed holistic and relativistic descriptions of cultural practices.
  • Critically evaluate the validity of a number of prominent critiques of human rights using anthropologically informed approaches
  • Apply a critical understanding of human rights and its critics to real world situations and phenomena.
  • Improve writing skills, especially structuring of argument, organization, and use of supporting evidence and data.

Assessment tasks

  • Class Preparation: DPG
  • Participation in seminar
  • Leading Seminar Discussion
  • Short Essay
  • Research Essay

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Improve writing skills, especially structuring of argument, organization, and use of supporting evidence and data.

Assessment tasks

  • Class Preparation: DPG
  • Short Essay

PG - Engaged and Responsible, Active and Ethical Citizens

Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Develop familiarity with the history and evolution of human rights in legal, philosophical, and institutional contexts.
  • Develop the ability to assess received understandings of human rights discourses using anthropologically informed holistic and relativistic descriptions of cultural practices.
  • Apply a critical understanding of human rights and its critics to real world situations and phenomena.
  • Analyze how cultural difference affects the interpretation, institution, and enforcement of human rights in different societies.

Assessment tasks

  • Class Preparation: DPG
  • Participation in seminar
  • Leading Seminar Discussion
  • Short Essay
  • Research Essay