This course looks at deception in public life. It considers the nature of lying in public, the strategies used to deceive others, techniques for seeing through deceit, the reasons why many people seem to be pleased to be deceived, and the social and political consequences of deception. The course is interdisciplinary, with a core element of history. The focus is on the Asia-Pacific region, but topics and cases are also drawn from other parts of the world. We will examine the political circumstances in which untruth is an attractive strategy, the potential benefits and costs which it brings, and the shadowy lines between outright lies, distortion, misrepresentation, propaganda and spin. We will examine the manipulation both of particular events and of world views though indoctrination and propaganda, all with sideways attention to the philosophical problem of determining what might constitute truth. We pay special attention to conspiracy as a form of lie which directly affects politics and to propaganda as a complex strategy for political manipulation. The course will consist of both theoretical lectures and lectures (some by guest lecturers) devoted to particular cases. Most of the (limited) theoretical writing about deception, conspiracy and propaganda is based on Western examples. A major aim of this course is to enrich this literature by drawing on events and experiences from the Asia-Pacific region.
Prior assumed knowledge: some studies in Asian Studies, Arts or Law.
One essay 3500 words (60%), short outline essay 400-500 words (10%), annotated bibliography (10%), class participation (20%).
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Workload4 hours per week in 1st eight weeks of semester, mix of lecture and seminar formats
Asian Societies and Histories Program
Requisite and Incompatibility
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- 6 units
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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|3367||16 Feb 2015||06 Mar 2015||31 Mar 2015||29 May 2015||In Person||N/A|