Evolution of Consciousness

Subject 121-069 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 2 hour lecture and a 1 hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: 3 contact hours/week, 5.5 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Usually 50 points of first year subjects.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Douglas Lewis


Dr Douglas Lewis


Subject Overview: This subject will examine recent advances in anthropology, paleontology, the neurosciences, psychology, and evolutionary biology which are producing new ideas about the origins of and relationships between the human brain, mind, language, behaviour, and culture. Specific topics to be discussed will include recent studies of the evolution of culture and language and the relationships between the morphological, mental and cultural evolution of Homo sapiens, with reference to recent advances in the neurobiology of consciousness. On completion of the subject students should have a grounding in evolutionary anthropology and in evolutionary approaches to the study of culture and human sociality.
  • acquire a grounding in the role of evolutionary theory in anthropological approaches to the study of language, culture and human sociality.
Assessment: An essay of 2500 words 60% (due at the start of the examination period) and two 800 word tutorial papers 40% (due in the 5th and 9th weeks of semester).
Prescribed Texts: Readings will be available from the University Bookshop prior to the start of semester..
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have practice in conducting research and speaking articulately;
  • have practice in writing clearly in a variety of formats and reading with attention to detail;
  • have experience of systematically evaluating a body of empirical data and identifying its theoretical context;
  • have experience of methods of critical inquiry and argument leading to improved analytical skills;
  • have acquired awareness of issues relating to cross-cultural communication.
Related Course(s): Diploma in Arts (Anthropology)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology
Anthropology & Social Theory
Anthropology and Development
Anthropology and Social Theory

Download PDF version.