Students

FOAR7005 – Research Theme 1: Living in the Anthropocene

2021 – Session 1, Weekday attendance, North Ryde

Notice

As part of Phase 3 of our return to campus plan, most units will now run tutorials, seminars and other small group activities on campus, and most will keep an online version available to those students unable to return or those who choose to continue their studies online.

To check the availability of face-to-face and online activities for your unit, please go to timetable viewer. To check detailed information on unit assessments visit your unit's iLearn space or consult your unit convenor.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor and Lecturer
Jessica McLean
Room 414, Level 4, 25B Wally's Walk
Tuesdays 9am-11am
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MRes
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

Geologists are investigating whether we have entered a new geological epoch known as the Anthropocene in which humanity is a driving force of global environmental change. With human activities increasingly connected to processes of planetary degradation there is an urgent need for multidisciplinary research that overcomes traditional divides between physical scientists, social scientists and environmental humanities researchers. This unit offers an interdisciplinary and critical introduction to Anthropocene studies, an important area for current and future research. The unit focuses upon how we should live in the Anthropocene and respond to the knowledge that current socioecological practices are not sustainable. Some key themes include: histories of the Anthropocene; human-nature relations; social and environmental justice; Indigenous knowledges; non-human agency; environmental governance; activism and impacts. The unit is team taught involving leading thinkers from across the university. It is designed to be accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds and incorporates considerable flexibility to steer assessments towards your research interests.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Develop advanced multidisciplinary knowledge and understanding of the challenges posed by the Anthropocene.
  • ULO2: Identify and reflect on novel areas of research and engagement across human and non-human boundaries.
  • ULO3: Conceptualise links between Anthropocene issues and personal research interests.
  • ULO4: Develop and apply research design and practice skills that engage with emergent themes of the Anthropocene.
  • ULO5: Improve skills in written, verbal and conversational forms of research communication.

General Assessment Information

Late Assessment Penalty

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline. No late submissions will be accepted for timed assessments – e.g. quizzes, online tests

 

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Living in the Anthropocene Blog 25% No From weeks 2-10
Anthropocene Field Project 45% No Week 13, Friday 4th June 5pm
Weekly Reflective Summaries 30% No Weekly

Living in the Anthropocene Blog

Assessment Type 1: Non-academic writing
Indicative Time on Task 2: 20 hours
Due: From weeks 2-10
Weighting: 25%

A substantive 1500-word blog linked to a unit theme. The blog is written in a topical and engaging style that competently engages with complex concepts associated with the topic and the broader challenges associated with living in the Anthropocene.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Develop advanced multidisciplinary knowledge and understanding of the challenges posed by the Anthropocene.
  • Identify and reflect on novel areas of research and engagement across human and non-human boundaries.
  • Conceptualise links between Anthropocene issues and personal research interests.
  • Develop and apply research design and practice skills that engage with emergent themes of the Anthropocene.
  • Improve skills in written, verbal and conversational forms of research communication.

Anthropocene Field Project

Assessment Type 1: Essay
Indicative Time on Task 2: 60 hours
Due: Week 13, Friday 4th June 5pm
Weighting: 45%

A small field 3000-word research project informed by ideas, theories and debates associated with the Anthropocene. The ‘field’ is flexibly defined in this task and can involve a combination of textual, media and observational analysis.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Develop advanced multidisciplinary knowledge and understanding of the challenges posed by the Anthropocene.
  • Identify and reflect on novel areas of research and engagement across human and non-human boundaries.
  • Conceptualise links between Anthropocene issues and personal research interests.
  • Develop and apply research design and practice skills that engage with emergent themes of the Anthropocene.
  • Improve skills in written, verbal and conversational forms of research communication.

Weekly Reflective Summaries

Assessment Type 1: Log book
Indicative Time on Task 2: 18 hours
Due: Weekly
Weighting: 30%

Thoughtful and reflective record of the weekly required readings assigned the unit. It will include a summary of the reading material and a reflection on new insights gained, what was interesting, and any points of disagreement.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Develop advanced multidisciplinary knowledge and understanding of the challenges posed by the Anthropocene.
  • Identify and reflect on novel areas of research and engagement across human and non-human boundaries.
  • Develop and apply research design and practice skills that engage with emergent themes of the Anthropocene.
  • Improve skills in written, verbal and conversational forms of research communication.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Learning Skills Unit for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

FOAR7005 will be taught through a series of two-hour discussion-based workshops hosted by researchers from across the University.  Students will be set required readings before the workshop and these readings will form the basis for in-depth workshop discussions.  The unit is supported by  an iLearn website – where readings and assessment instructions and criteria will be made available.  Please note that this unit requires compulsory participation in the workshops. 

Unit Schedule

Week

Topic

Facilitator

1

 

Introduction to Living in the Anthropocene: possibilities and problems

 

Dr Jess McLean

2

 

The Anthropocene is a very big deal! A historical introduction to the Anthropocene

TBC

3

 

Indigenous engagement with the Anthropocene

Jess McLean

'Undermined' film

4

 

Encountering the Anthropocene: recalcitrant natures

A/Prof Donna Houston 

5

 

Equity and sustainability in the Anthropocene

Dr Michelle Lim

6

 

Does Digital Information Represent an Existential Crisis for Humanity? Prof Michael Gillings

7

 

Multi-species worlds and plantationscapes in the Anthropocene

 

Dr Sophie Chao

Recess

 

 

8

 

Building resilience in the Anthropocene

Dr Peter Rogers

9

 

Activating a digital Anthropocene

Dr Jess McLean

10

 

Educating young people in the Anthropocene

 

Dr Sarah Powell

11

 

Urban responsibilities in the Anthropocene

Dr Sara Fuller 

 

12

 

Researching the Anthropocene

Jess McLean

13

 

Reflections and summary

Jess McLean

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/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/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) 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 or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@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 help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

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

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@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.

Changes from Previous Offering

The unit schedule and content has changed in 2021 in terms of content and structure. Contributions from Law (Dr Michelle Lim) and Education (Dr Sarah Powell) are now included in the curriculum, along with Anthropology (Dr Sophie Chao), Biology (Prof Michael Gillings), Sociology (Dr Peter Rogers) and Geography (A/Prof Donna Houston, Dr Sara Fuller, Dr Jess McLean and A/Prof Andrew McGregor).