AMU3560 - Contemporary feminisms in Asia - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Malaysia School of Arts and Social Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Joseph Goh


Dr Joseph Goh

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.


This unit as a whole explores what constitutes feminist knowledges and practices in Asia. As feminisms are historically 'western-centred', the unit considers the ways in which these resonate with lived realities in Asia. As such, feminist knowledges and practices of 'women of colour' (e.g. feminist-postcolonial thought) are privileged in this unit. Highly interdisciplinary in its concerns, the unit examines fluid and contextual characteristics of a 'who is a feminist'; how feminisms are practised vis--vis transformations in and through the body, dress (e.g. veiling) or fashion, gender-based violence and gender justice; what constitutes feminist knowledge (i.e. standpoint epistemologies) and who owns or produces such knowledge (e.g. those who inhabit the margins such as queers, masculinities, diaspora, cyborgs, etc.). The unit aims to enable students to reflexively engage with the relevance of feminist theorising and practice by critically applying concepts and questions of identity, agency and feminist praxis to contemporary debates, issues or concerns. Feminisms have relevance when it potentially questions assumptions or biases even prejudices, reviews existing practices, particularly those that lead to gender-based discrimination and violence, opens-up possibilities for providing solutions to a particular problem or redress to a social injustice or spaces of negotiation to a controversy or impasse.


Students successfully completing this unit should be able to:

  1. Identify contemporary issues related to feminisms in an Asian context;
  2. Relate key feminist concepts to your lived reality;
  3. Apply key concept learned - often Western-based and centred - to show its relevance to a contemporary debate, issue or concern in Asia;
  4. Examine and compare feminist debates in Asian and global contexts;
  5. Appraise the complexities, possibilities, and limitations of linking feminist theories and practices;
  6. Compose responses to questions based on weekly requisite readings that demonstrate a clear understanding of how feminisms operate in Asia and the broader Western context;
  7. Communicate perceptively, effectively and with cultural sensitivity and develop collaborative skills;
  8. Demonstrate ethical values, cross-cultural competency as a responsible and effective global citizen.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

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