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Course Descriptions

GAUS 330 – Culture, Place and Identity in Australia (3 credits)
This interdisciplinary seminar provides students with an overview of Australian history and an introduction to Australian culture and representations of national identity, particularly in relation to its location in the Asia-­‐Pacific. Along with the program’s extended visit to Bali, the course will also introduce students to Balinese culture and history, enabling students to develop a comparative regional perspective on key issues. Through readings, films, excursions, guest speakers and class discussions, students will consider the major social, political, and cultural themes of contemporary society and how they have been shaped by past thinking, policies and practices. Of particular importance will be the impact of colonialism, issues of social justice and the question of human rights for Indigenous peoples, for those seeking asylum, and for other marginalized groups. Students will explore the impact and application of important theoretical concerns and relevant contemporary debates in Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies and Indigenous Studies around questions of race, gender and class in order to enrich their understanding of local, national and global issues. To this end, comparisons with North America and other settler societies will be included in course discussions, enabling students to both learn about Australia and Bali as well as consider their own identity, culture and history in light of the critiques presented in this course.

GAUS 331 – Environmental Sustainability (3 credits)
Faculty: Nigel Hayes

In addition to offering an ongoing critique of current approaches to resource use in modern fossil-­‐ driven, industrial-­‐based societies, the course provides an overview of principles and applications of ethically sound and ecologically sustainable approaches to resource and land use, energy harvesting and application, and architecture design in Australian, Balinese and global contexts. We will study the principles of other appropriate designs for living, including a focus on the use of Permaculture and its importance for sustainable land settlement, and on alternative agriculture as a path to sustainable food production in local and regional communities. We will also look at the issue of local, community-­‐based economics, and the notion of ‘Alternative Economics’ as a basis for a sustainable society. Another key focus of the course will be the concept of ecological and social entrepreneurship and its viability as a means to address critical global issues around environmental protection, food security and social justice. We will use a combination of seminars, readings, DVDs, workshops, field trips, site visits, and hands-­‐on experience in Australia and Bali to present course material.

GAUS 332 –Encountering Nature in Australia and Bali (3 credits)
Faculty: Soenke Biermann
Based on an experiential learning framework consisting of intensive reading, field trips and structured reflection, this innovative outdoor course allows students to directly experience and relate to Australia’s unique environment as well as challenge their own understanding of concepts such as nature, culture and wilderness. Through engaging with cutting-­‐edge thinking in the ecological humanities and via a range of outdoor activities such as camping in national parks, swimming under waterfalls and hiking in rainforests, students will gain a first-­‐hand understanding of diverse ecosystems, different ways of knowing and relating to the land, and the relationships between natural and cultural landscapes, particularly by spending time with Indigenous peoples on their lands. During their extended visit to Bali during the second half of the semester, students will also be able to compare and contrast their experiences in Australia with the ecosystems, philosophies and relationships to place they encounter in the geographically proximate, but culturally distinct island society of Bali.

GAUS 333 - Australia's First Peoples (3 credits)
Faculty: Marcelle Townsend-­‐Cross

The course introduces students to the diversity and complexity of Indigenous Australian Peoples, philosophy and cultures. Through quality print and audio-­‐visual materials, guest lectures, field trips and class discussions students will be introduced to a diverse and challenging range of Indigenous perspectives, cultural values and practices. Students will consider Indigenous knowledges as valid contemporary ways of knowing, relevant to informing a sustainable and socially just global future. Through an investigation of the interactions between Indigenous and non-­‐Indigenous Australian society and comparative analysis of Balinese society, students will be encouraged to develop a critical awareness of diverse dominant processes of Indigenous exploitation as a result of colonization and the imperative of human rights and social justice for Indigenous peoples in Australia and globally.

GAUS 334 - Australian and Indo-­‐Pacific Perspectives on Coastal Environmental Issues (3 credits)
Faculty: Zan Hammerton

The coastal zones of Australia and the Indo-­‐Pacific contain iconic beaches, world-­‐heritage reefs, sites of cultural significance, rainforests, tidal rivers and wetlands. These diverse environments provide critical habitat for a range of fauna and flora; human populations also rely heavily on the resources available for commercial and subsistence harvesting. However, increases in human populations and the resultant urbanisation significantly contribute to ongoing environmental pressure and impacts. Through field trips within the coastal and marine areas of Australia and Bali, Indonesia, lectures, seminars and workshops, students will explore Australian and Indo-­‐Pacific coastal environmental issues, and how communities respond by developing advocacy, policy and entrepreneurial solutions. Students will examine local and national initiatives leading to an understanding of how the human population and coastal interface is managed across the Australian and the Indo-­‐Pacific regions.