Students

FOAR7005 – Research Theme 1: Living in the Anthropocene

2022 – Session 1, In person-scheduled-weekday, North Ryde

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Jessica McLean
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://www.mq.edu.au/study/calendar-of-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

Unless a Disruption to Studies request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – 10 marks out of 100 credit will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted seven days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Anthropocene Field Project 45% No 17:00 2/06/2022
Weekly Reflective Summaries 30% No 17:00 18/3/2022
Living in the Anthropocene Blog 25% No Mondays 9:00, from weeks 3-10

Anthropocene Field Project

Assessment Type 1: Essay
Indicative Time on Task 2: 60 hours
Due: 17:00 2/06/2022
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: 17:00 18/3/2022
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.

Living in the Anthropocene Blog

Assessment Type 1: Non-academic writing
Indicative Time on Task 2: 20 hours
Due: Mondays 9:00, from weeks 3-10
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.

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 Writing Centre 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 Bringing your disciplines into the Anthropocene Dr Jess McLean
3 Indigenous peoples and the Anthropocene Dr Miri Raven
4 Education possibilities in the Anthropocene Dr Susan Caldis
5 More-than-Human geographies in the Anthropocene A/Prof Andrew McGregor
6 Global Climate Politics Dr Jon Symons
7 Equity, sustainability and law in the Anthropocene Dr Michelle Sims
8 Does digital information represent an existential crisis for humanity? Prof Michael Gillings
9 Digital geographies of the Anthropocene Dr Jess McLean
10 Debating the Anthropocene Student led
11  Researching the Anthropocene Dr Jess McLean
12 Workshopping Anthropocene Field Projects Dr Jess McLean
13 Reflections and summary Dr Jess McLean
     

 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

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

To find other policies relating to Teaching and Learning, visit Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au) and use the search tool.

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

Academic Integrity

At Macquarie, we believe academic integrity – honesty, respect, trust, responsibility, fairness and courage – is at the core of learning, teaching and research. We recognise that meeting the expectations required to complete your assessments can be challenging. So, we offer you a range of resources and services to help you reach your potential, including free online writing and maths support, academic skills development and wellbeing consultations.

Student Support

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

The Writing Centre

The Writing Centre provides resources to develop your English language proficiency, academic writing, and communication skills.

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

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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 assessment structure has changed in this offering to reduce the amount of Weekly Reflective Summaries that students need to submit. Rather than scheduling them over the whole semester, one submission of two Weekly Reflective Summaries is now due at the end of week 4.