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Handbooks Courses Units

AST4220 - Investigating other societies: Area studies in Global perspective

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Professor Ross Mouer and Marika Vicziany


Caulfield Second semester 2008 (Day)


This unit addresses the challenges of research work in the Asian region and seeks to equip students with some of the skills needed for it. In a series of modules, students will be introduced to a range of potential source materials for the study of Asia, such as documents, census reports, fictional texts, and films, and to a range of research methodologies applicable to the study of Asia including fieldwork in villages, archival work, data collection and interviews. Students will be encouraged to think about issues of ethical obligations in relation to fieldwork, such as those raised by non-Asian scholars making judgments about Asia, cultural bias, and the "ownership" of knowledge.


Students successfully completing AST4220 will:

  1. Be able to converse intelligently about issues of cultural bias and the ownership of knowledge.

  1. Have a firm grasp of a range of sources and methodologies applicable to research in Asia and a firm understanding of the scholarly principles that underpin them.

  1. Have a firm understanding of the link between scholarship, public debate and nationalistic political agendas in Asia.

  1. Be able to put together a sophisticated Asia-related research or consultancy proposal.


Class participation: 20%
Research/consultancy proposal (6000 words): 50%
Closed book examination (2 hours): 30%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week


Enrolment in a postgraduate program


At least one other unit in a postgraduate program

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