Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - 16:15
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Enrolments are now open for the World101x: Anthropology of Current World Issues Massive Open Online Course

What can refrigerators tell us about life in Cuba?

A free online course from The University of Queensland that attracted students from more than 180 countries last year is back to answer such perplexing questions in 2015.

Enrolments are now open for the World101x: Anthropology of Current World Issues Massive Open Online Course, run through not-for-profit online learning platform edX.

Dr Gerhard Hoffstaedter leads the course which introduces students to anthropology studies and the topics that are shaping our world.

“Anthropology is the study of human diversity and this is something we all interact with on a daily basis,” Dr Hoffstaedter said.

“World101x will encourage students to learn about the way in which anthropology as a discipline can shed new perspectives on current world issues.”

It will also cover topics such as refugees, “indigeneity”, which is the quality of being indigenous, “what refrigerators can tell us about life in Cuba”, and multiculturalism in Australia, he said.

To explore this, the team interviewed notable anthropologists including Alex Golub, founder of popular blog Savage Minds, and: Sarah Kendzior, journalist, researcher and demystifier of Central Asia, social inequality and higher education amongst others.

The World101x team collected interviews with academics in the United States and travelled with fellow UQ anthropologists.

“We have travelled with Professor David Trigger to remote North Queensland, Dr Annie Ross to Toowoomba, Dr Anna Pertierra to Cuba and Dr Sally Babidge to Chile to provide the students with a first-hand account of what anthropologists do in the field,” Dr Hoffstaedter said.  

The course was first offered in September 2014, and over 16,000 students from more than 180 countries enrolled.

The second run of World101x includes a new episode filmed with Kim de Rijke in and around the coal seam gas fields near the towns of Tara and Chinchilla in Queensland.

It will also be self-paced, meaning students can work through the course at their own pace before the end of April 2016.

The course takes about nine hours, and anyone is invited to enrol by registering here. The World101x trailer is available here.

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