Studying online

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Unit Overview


This unit's central theme is the rapid social, political and economic transformations that characterise the Asian region. The unit introduces processes and phenomena such as colonialism and postcolonialism, resistance, modernity and globalisation, and explores their relevance and significance in contemporary Asia. Topics covered include refugees, popular culture, human rights, feminism, the environment, media and communications, urbanisation, tourism and labour migration.

The academic objectives of the unit are to provide an introduction to the study of Asia which is of benefit to students undertaking any degree program and those students doing Asian language studies and higher level Asian Studies units/major. It achieves these objectives by having students critically evaluate and research the various themes mentioned above. Students are introduced to various theories and ideas used extensively in the study of Asia such as those relating to colonialism/postcolonialism, nationalism, modernisation, urbanisation, cultural studies and gender. Students who take this as a broadening unit are equipped with a higher level of cultural competence and global awareness. It enables them to describe and evaluate the rapid social, political and economic transformations that have swept Asia and the world from the nineteenth century to the present. Issues of globalisation, cultural diversity and the interconnected nature of the world in which we live are central to all the themes of the unit.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Asian Studies; International Relations major sequences
  • Level 1 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate a basic knowledge and understanding of various debates and discourses around contemporary Asia's rapid social, political and economic transformations from the colonial period to the present; (2) demonstrate and explain the complexities of Asia's rapid modernisation following the end of colonialism and look at postcolonial transformations and interactions in the social, cultural, political, environmental and economic spheres; (3) critically and sensitively evaluate and discuss the diverse scope of positive and negative impacts brought about by the processes of modernisation and globalisation on the societal systems and peoples of contemporary Asia; (4) use arguments in both oral and written forms which demonstrate a basic level of understanding and appropriate use of theoretical ideas and literature relevant to discussing postcolonial Asia in Asian Studies; (5) demonstrate an ability to use appropriate academic source materials and conventions (such as academic referencing and appropriate source materials); and (6) develop basic cross-cultural awareness founded on understanding of the diversity and complexity of the Asian region's postcolonial experiences and be able to discuss these understandings competently.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial participation; (2) written assignments; and (3) an examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Caleb Kelso-Marsh
Unit rules
ASIA1102 Creating Asian Modernities
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
tutorials: 1 hour per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.