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ASIA301 Topics in Asian Studies

A comparative study of selected themes in the history of Asian societies, such as nationalism, modernisation, and transnational issues.

In this seminar/discussion paper, we will look at the crucial social, cultural, political and economic issues raised by the forces of modernisation, nationalism and globalisation in major Asian countries such as China, Japan, India, Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia, and we will also consider the relevance of all this to New Zealand.

Paper title Topics in Asian Studies
Paper code ASIA301
Subject Asian Studies
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $886.35
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,766.35

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One of ASIA 201, CHIN 242, CHIN 243, CHIN 244, CHIN 245, JAPA 242, JAPA 243, JAPA 244, JAPA 245
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Students who have not passed the normal prerequisite may be admitted with approval from the Head of Department.
Teaching staff
Convenor: Associate Professor Roy Starrs
Paper Structure
Co-ordinated by Associate Professor Roy Starrs, this course provides a seminar for the discussion and assessment of issues that are of major significance in contemporary Asian societies. Students will be encouraged to assess these issues critically in order to develop a better understanding of their complexity and to be more aware of the way in which historical factors may influence future developments within the region.

The main topics will revolve around the issues of "globalisation and nationalism in Asia". We will examine the variety of Asian nationalisms - political, cultural, ethnic, religious, economic, etc. - and analyse the ways in which they have responded to the challenges and opportunities of globalisation. The focus will be on major Asian countries such as China, Japan, India, Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia, and we will also consider the relevance of all this to New Zealand.
Teaching Arrangements
Seminar-style discussion with some lectures.
The required reading for the seminars will consist of chapters taken from two books edited by Roy Starrs:

Asian Nationalism in an Age of Globalization (Richmond: Curzon Press, 2001)

Nations Under Siege: Globalization and Nationalism in Asia (New York: Palgrave, 2002).

Photocopies of these two books will be available at cost from UniPrint. (Or students may order original copies over the internet or from the UBS.)
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
By actively participating in the seminar discussions, students will gain:
  • A wide understanding of the history and cultural traditions of the Asian region in both their national and transnational aspects
  • An understanding of some of the key issues impacting on Asian societies and cultures today
  • A more in-depth knowledge of some more specialised disciplinary approaches to the study of Asia
By reading the assigned material and completing the assigned tasks, students will develop:
  • A capacity for critical analysis of scholarship on issues related to Asian cultures, societies and histories
  • An ability to independently investigate a specific cultural, social or historical issue in the Asian region, understand its meaning in context and explain its role and importance both within and beyond Asian geopolitical and cultural boundaries

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 16:00-17:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
T1 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41