Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


The discipline of History over the years has been marked by a dearth of historiographical study on Asia in general. Recent developments in the field, however, have begun to bridge the gap between European-generated materials and case studies and works on Asia which challenge perceived Eurocentric assumptions. Radical changes within Asia itself, with rapid-fire economic growth in a number of regions, have lead to altered western perceptions and self-perceptions of Asian historical experience. This phenomenon has called forth a shift in approaches to Asian history and the emergence of new modes of analysis. These approaches and methods are increasingly generated by engagement with Asian scholars and others writing outside prevailing European and North American paradigms on nation-state and nationalism, modernisation, national liberation and revolution. This unit takes a critical approach to historicise key aspects of Asian experience, moving beyond the particular Asian history context to situate the historical record within the global historical experience. This approach aims to build relevances to other cultures and historical contexts from a standpoint which equalises the validity of Asian historical phenomena. In the process new approaches and methods are employed to de-centre conventional western European and north American historical discourses and throw new light on historical events of the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries. The unit provides students at Level 3 with alternative ways to interpret and apply recent historical approaches to a range of materials on Asian history from the heyday of nineteenth-century imperialism and colonial expansion through nationalist and anticolonial movements to the cold war divide, and post-1989, the increasing convergence of capitalist and socialist models and their impact on the writing of Asian history. These approaches introduce students to methodologies of historical research which highlight the contested nature of writing on Asian history as a result of imperialism, decolonisation and the Cold War. Through engaging in research on selected historiographical topics and subsequent case studies, students gain a growing understanding of the implications of these debates in the ongoing history of the region.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) describe and assess the basic methodological issues characteristic of the discipline of History; (2) identify and evaluate the methodological problems posed by the Eurocentric modes of study that have been applied to Asian history; (3) demonstrate a detailed understanding of the intersection of Europe and Asia in history; (4) analyse a range of historical material of various kinds for essay assessments using appropriate methodologies; (5) relate their independent interpretations to complex historiographical debates over Eurocentrism; and (6) present advanced arguments in both written and oral assessments using the conventions of the historical discipline.


This comprises tutorial participation, a historiographical essay and a research essay.

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

Unit rules
A level 2 History unit
HIST2259 Nationalism and Modernity
Contact hours
3 hrs 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.