Beyond Chaos - Winter Session ‘Critique: PANDEMIC!’

Offered in Winter Session 2021

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Beyond Chaos

Beyond Chaos is a Special Topics course which challenges and supports later-year students to explore and respond to contemporary topics and to tackle pressing issues through interdisciplinary inquiry. By moving Beyond the Chaos of issues, we learn to appreciate multiple perspectives, competing interests, historical factors and the dynamics of the given topic. Each offering of the course will focus on a different contemporary topic of critical importance, with convenership from experts from across ANU.

Students should come to this course with an open mind and a thirst for knowledge. There is no assumed knowledge about the topic required for enrolment in this course. The only requirements are that students be willing to step outside their comfort zone, explore previously unfamiliar materials and work collaboratively with students from other disciplines.

“Critique: PANDEMIC!” - Winter Session 2021

Convened by Prof Desmond Manderson (ANU College of Law) and Dr Nick Cheesman (ANU College of Asia and the Pacific)

Winter Session intensive - June 28- July 9 2021

This course encourages application by students interested in interdisciplinary and critical approaches to contemporary problems, with an emphasis on law, the social sciences and the humanities. For further information, download the syllabus.

Here we all are. The 2020s. Coronavirus. A time that in certain ways is much like some that have come before, and in others is unprecedented. How do we think our way through this time together, and ready ourselves for the post-pandemic world? Drawing on political and legal theory, science and technology studies, history and historiography, art and literature, environment and development studies, Critique: PANDEMIC! will offer participants materials, ideas and language not with which to muddle through, managing pandemic time a little bit better, but to diagnose it, and to imagine other ways of being in the world from how we live now.

Critique: PANDEMIC! is not about the Coronavirus pandemic itself. It is, rather, a response to it. The goal of the course is not to provide, distill and analyze data on current affairs. It is to create breathing space between daily events and our thinking and speaking about them, so as to come up with other terms with which to address pandemic. To do this we forge our course contents from the original theory of crisis, namely, critical theory, which has its genesis and most fertile soil in the social sciences and humanities. And in doing so we aim also to arrest the attention of the student of natural science or engineering who misapprehends pandemic as an essentially biomedical or technical problem, and insist that it is, above all, an historical and sociological one.

Future Offerings

We are always seeking convenors from all ANU Colleges who would like to deliver a Special Topics course as ‘Beyond Chaos’. Please contact the VC’s Courses Convenor, or your local member of the VC’s Steering Committee for more information.

As future offerings are confirmed, they will appear here.

Updated:  16 Jun 2021/ Responsible Officer:  VC Courses Convenor/ Page Contact:  Webmaster