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ASS330 - Cyborg Anthropology

Unit details

Year2015 unit information
Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125

Human Possibilities in the Age of Digital Communication

Unit chair:R Kapferer




Incompatible with:


Contact hours:

Campus: 1 x 1 hour Class per week, 1 x 1 hour Seminar per week.

Cloud (online): Learning experiences are via CloudDeakin.


The contemporary revolution in digital information and communication technologies has transformed the worlds of human experience and interaction.  Global corporations are today employing more and more anthropologists in order to better understand the human-technology interface and the changes that are occurring in this domain.  Recent social movements and popular uprisings are also increasingly mediated through digital technologies and this has led to ongoing debates concerning the regulation and governance of the internet.  If technology is an extension of the human body, then it is also clear that the human being of today extends throughout the world, not only in physical realities but in many different virtual ones as well.  These issues raise important new questions for anthropology and, indeed, the rapid development of digital and biological technologies is opening up new potentials for the understanding of human being.

In this unit, students will be introduced to anthropological perspectives that engage these issues and will explore questions concerning new human possibilities opened up by the dramatic technological transformations of the last few decades. What do new technological discoveries and the interaction of embedded technologies tell us about human beings of today? How are human beings imagined and how is human potential being reconceived in the digital age? What will human beings look like and how will they behave in the future? This course will open up new and exciting ways of thinking about the nature of human being in the context of rapid technological and cultural change, as well asking how human experiences of love, death, culture, gender, identity, community, the body, mind, work and leisure are being transformed in the context of new technologies. Students will be introduced to the important contributions that anthropology is making to the understanding of these dimensions of the contemporary world.


Participation 10%

Quizzes 20%

Multimedia Project (1500 words or equivalent) 30%

Essay (2000 words) 40%

Unit Fee Information

Student Contribution Rate*Student Contribution Rate**Fee rate - Domestic Students Fee rate - International students

* Rate for all CSP students, except for those who commenced Education and Nursing units pre 2010
** Rate for CSP students who commenced Education and Nursing units pre 2010
Please note: Unit fees listed do not apply to Deakin Prime students.

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