Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Over three and a half billion people live on the Asian continent. In this subject, you will discover how this concentration of humanity occurred, and explore the consequences. Some of the earliest civilisations developed next to Asia's rivers. Then, as now, the peoples of Asia were reliant on Monsoonal rains and Himalayan ice-melt for their agriculture. But as the human population increased, other creatures retreated, especially the wild elephants that once inhabited much of Asia. Along with the continent's largest creatures, we examine its smallest: the bacteria and viruses that hitched rides with travelling armies, creating deadly epidemics. We focus on three case studies: the Mongol Empire (13th-14th Centuries) and the Bubonic Plague; the British Empire(18th-20th Centuries) and Malaria; and the Japanese Empire and tuberculosis. You will debate key concepts in Asian and Environmental Histories: the relationship between humans and the natural world, the role empires and nation-states have had on both human and natural history, and the complex interdependent systems that underpin these interactions.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorRuth Gamble

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Available as ElectiveYes

Learning ActivitiesLectures, tutorial activities and assessments

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites 60 credits of level 1 subjects or subject coordinator's approval


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Demonstrate and apply detailed understanding of human/environmental impacts, and the concepts of empires and power.
02. Develop creative, critical and analytical skills to understand and address problems of the relationship between humans and the environment in the context of Asia.
03. Demonstrate high-level, ethical, professional and culturally aware communication skills
04. Conduct historical research into complex problems relating to environmental histories, considering ethical implications and multiple perspectives
05. Navigate, critically assess and utilise information from a range of sources, primary and secondary, relevant to the field of Asian environmental history

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 1, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorRuth Gamble

Class requirements

LectureWeek: 10 - 22
Twelve 2.00 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

TutorialWeek: 10 - 22
Twelve 1.00 hour tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

Tutorial activities (equivalent to 800 words) Activities could include a combination of short primary source analyses, responses to readings and comprehension checks.

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo20 SILO1, SILO5

Essay (1,600 words)

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo40 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO4, SILO5

Take-Home Exam (1,600 words)

N/AOther written examIndividualNo40 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO4, SILO5