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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2010
Coordinator(s)Alison Tokita


This unit explores various kinds of narrative in Asian countries, from oral narrative to the modern novel and will analyse the global impact of the modern Western novel as a key marker of cultural modernity. A number of case studies (in India, China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam) will introduce oral narratives and classical literature as precursors to the novel, before studying the modern novel in each context. The novel will be discussed as a vehicle of displaced identity in Asian diasporic literatures. Finally we will ask whether Asian literature can be global literature.


Students who successfully complete this subject will have:

  1. developed an understanding of the development of oral and literate cultures in the Asian context
  2. developed an understanding of the impact of modernity on a selection of Asian cultures, as seen in the creation of the modern novel in vernacular languages
  3. developed critical insights into dynamics of modernity in the Asian context through literature
  4. become familiar with the struggle for national identity in Asian countries faced with the threat of Western domination and the role of literature in exploring individual and national identities in a globalizing world
  5. developed their skills in the areas of research, textual analysis and interpretation, and communication, both oral and written, through the application critical perspectives to the analysis and interpretation of one or more texts
  6. Students taking the unit at third-year level will be expected to demonstrate that they have read more widely in both the prescribed texts and the recommended critical texts.


Written work (2500 words): 50%
Tutorial contribution 10%
Examination (2 hours): 40%.

Third-year students will be encouraged to formulate their own essay question, and will be expected to engage reflectively with theoretical work.

Contact hours

Two hours per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Japanese studies
Chinese studies
Asian studies


Any first-year sequence in Arts