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HSY1060 - Asian Civilisations: Crisis and Transformation

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Ian Copland


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


Imperialism, colonialism and modernisation in the shaping of Asian societies and politics from the 16th to the 20th centuries. How did India, China, and Japan manage to throw off the shackles of imperialism, and how did they adjust to the economic and cultural challenge posed by a confident, industrialised and democratising Europe? Was the postwar East Asian 'economic miracle' the beginning of an era of Asian world dominance? How far has this sea-change been arrested or undercut by the 'meltdown' of 1997?


Upon successful completion of this unit students will have:

  1. Been introduced to the body of knowledge that has been built up about the transformation of Asia between the 16th and 20th centuries under the impact of Western 'imperialism'.
  2. Been introduced to debates about 'imperialism', 'colonialism', 'race', 'nationalism',
'gender', 'modernization' and 'globalization'.
  1. Gained an understanding of how different societies function and change over time.
  2. Gained an understanding of how the dynamic trading world to Australia's 'near north' came into being, and offer perspectives about where Asia might be headed in the 21st century.
  3. Developed intelligent reading habits and learned to exploit library and internet sources efficiently and intelligently for specific purposes.
  4. Become acquainted with the way scholars use 'evidence' to construct an 'argument'.
  5. Been introduced to the technical elements of scholarly writing, such as the use of footnotes or endnotes.
  6. Be prompted to think about the role of human agency in historical change, through specific exercises focusing on 'heroic' characters in modern Asian history.
  7. Gained an understanding of what we can learn from studying and 'representing' past events and episodes.


Written (2500 words): 60%
Examinations (2 hours): 30%
Class participation/attendance: 10%

Contact hours

3 hours (2 lectures and 1 tutorial) per week