Understanding Asia

Subject MULT10003 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - 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: Two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week. The subject will also run optional screenings during semester.
Total Time Commitment: Total of 8 hours per week.
Prerequisites: none
Corequisites: none
Recommended Background Knowledge: none
Non Allowed Subjects: none
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Description, Course Objectives and Generic Skills of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Dr Kate Mcgregor


Dr Kate McGregor


Subject Overview:

The subject begins by exploring historical and geographic definitions of Asia. Students will be introduced to an historical overview of the history of Asia and Asia's relationship with the West. In the second part of the subject students will examine the formation of early cultural identities within the Asian region, including the emergence of diverse Asian civilisations, the major religions and belief systems of Asia. The final part of the subject focuses on key processes of transition and contestation in 20th century East and Southeast Asia. We focus on religious revival, the lasting impact of World War Two and Japan's role within it, the rise of the Asian miracle economies and contestation over territory and resources in Asia. Finally we return to an examination of ideas about Asia.

Students will be introduced to Asia through a variety of Asia-produced media. They will learn to analyse historical sources, maps, images and extracts from religious teachings in addition to secondary sources.


Students who complete this subject should:

  • be able to reflect critically on Western and Asian ideas of Asia and Asian identities.
  • comprehend the key religions and value systems of Asia and their origin.
  • have an understanding of key features of early Asian civilisations.
  • appreciate key historical and cultural links between Asian societies.
  • comprehend processes of economic transition in Asia.
  • understand sources of contestation within and between Asian societies.
  • be able to challenge commonly held Western views about Asia.
  • be able to critically analyse primary documents and religious and cartographic texts.
Assessment: An interpretive map exercise of 750 words 20% (due around week 4 of semester), a document analysis/case study exercise based on section 2 of the subject, 1250 words 30% (due in mid semester break), and a 2-hour exam 50% (in the examination period). Students must attend a minimum of nine tutorials, demonstrate familiarity with online resources, and participate in the Faculty of Arts online learning community in order to qualify to have their written work assessed.
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available.
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:
  • provide students with cross-cultural perspectives on their own experiences
  • expose students to multi-disciplinary teaching
  • teach students to critique their own preconceptions
  • teach students how to analyse a variety of documents, artefacts and visual sources
  • allow students to develop their oral and written skills
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Geography
Interdisciplinary Foundation Subjects

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