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AN2013 - Culture, Knowledge and Environment

[Offered in odd-numbered years in Townsville. Offered in even-numbered years in Cairns. ]

Credit points: 3
Year: 2011
Student Contribution Band: Band 1
Administered by: School of Arts & Social Sciences

This subject explores the key concepts and debates concerning the nature of knowledge, how it relates to ecological and other ideological issues and the position of indigenous knowledge systems in these concerns. Science will be examined as a culturally specific approach to the environment and its protection and preservation. Indigenous knowledge systems, modes of production and conceptions of technology will be explored to assess what they may offer in terms of generating new approaches to environmental management issues. Some of the guiding ideas relating to key concepts such as human being, nature, ecology, civilised, wild, resource and conservation will be examined from a historical and cultural perspective. The focus of the subject is to understand eco-cosmologies in a variety of cultural contexts ranging from Australia to Asia and to explore the intersection of local with global environmental politics.

Learning Outcomes

  • to appreciate the diversity of knowlege systems, modes of production and conceptions of technology and how these relate to environmental concerns;
  • to become familiar with how indigenous and scientific knowledge intersect and the extent to which bureaucratic and political contexts determine the relevance given to each;
  • to identify issues associated with culturally specific approaches to the environment and to locate them in a broader global context;
  • to understand and critique popular representations of science and place these in the context of debates about the nature of reality;
  • to view indigenous conceptual schemes and practices in a non-hierarchical manner.
To undertake this subject, students must have successfully completed 12 credit points (four subjects) of level 1 study at tertiary level
AN3013 AND AR2415 AND AR3415


Townsville, Internal, Study Period 2
Census Date 25-Aug-2011
Coordinator: Assoc. Professor Anita Lundberg
Lecturers: Professor Rosita Henry, Assoc. Professor Robin Rodd.
Workload expectations:
  • 26 hours lectures
  • 12 hours tutorials
Assessment: end of semester exam (40%); tutorial attendance and participation (20%); essays (40%).

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.