ASS203 - Being Human (With the Nonhuman)

Unit details

Year:

2023 unit information

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online, CBD*

Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Gillian Tan
Cohort rule:

Nil

Prerequisite:

Nil

Corequisite:

Nil

Incompatible with:

Nil

Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

 1 x 1-hour class per week, 1 x 1-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - online:

1 x 1-hour class per week (recordings provided), 1 x 1-hour online seminar per week

Note:

*CBD refers to the National Indigenous Knowledges, Education, Research and Innovation (NIKERI) Institute; Community Based Delivery

Content

This unit introduces students to the various ways that “being human” is understood and experienced among different groups of people, particularly in their classifications of, and relationships with, nonhumans, such as animals and deities. A framework of what it means to be human often presupposes a certain definition of consciousness. For the most part, this is predicated on the subjective “I” and a corollary understanding of the individual. But is this framework universal? How do people in non-modern societies, for example, convey what it means to be human? This unit explores the multiple ways of “being human” and suggests that one articulation reveals itself through relationships with nonhumans. By examining how nonhumans are included into society – through kinship structures, for example – and the implications on notions of personhood and consciousness, this unit opens up the possibilities of what it means to be human while simultaneously clarifying its scope.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes
ULO1

Define and assess broad approaches within human-nonhuman relations, with a critical awareness of dualism and its implications

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking

ULO2

Analyse (articulate, synthesize and compare) how personhood is understood among various groups of peoples from non-modern societies

GLO4: Critical thinking

ULO3

Conduct ethnographic observations of everyday classificatory categories in student pairs to demonstrate how categories are constructed

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO7: Teamwork

ULO4

Compare and contrast human-nonhuman relations across the globe, and reflect on the observations with awareness of one's own assumptions and practices

GLO8: Global citizenship

Assessment

Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 - Seminar/Online Exercises 800 words
or equivalent
20% Week 5
Assessment 2 - Journal 1200 words
or equivalent
30% Week 9
Assessment 3 - Essay 2000 words
or equivalent
50% Week 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link ASS203
Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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