AIH383 - Global Disasters


2023 unit information

Enrolment modes: Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online
Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125
Cohort rule:






Incompatible with:


Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the trimester 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


How can we understand and survive a more disastrous world? In the twenty-first century, disasters are becoming more common, more frequent and more dangerous all around the globe. This unit examines catastrophic events in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries to help us better understand disasters, and be more prepared for our future. We begin with the eruption of Krakatoa in the Sunda Strait in 1883, which is still one of the deadliest volcanic eruptions on record. Over the course of the trimester we investigate a series of disasters around the world, including the 1918 influenza pandemic, London's Great Smog of 1952, the Bhopal industrial disaster in India in 1984, Hurricane Katrina in the United States in 2005, and the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria in 2009. Each disaster offers us a case study in the experiences, impacts, and long-term effects of catastrophic events. They demonstrate the way that disasters can make a society's divisions, inequalities and vulnerabilities both more visible and more pronounced. They also show that disasters can be disruptive in a range of other ways, including by prompting major social, political and cultural change. This unit concludes with an examination of the world's most recent disaster in global and local contexts: the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. 

Unit Fee Information

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