• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Non Language Asian Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Robert Cribb
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

Culture and Power in Asia is one of three introductory courses for the Bachelor of Asian Studies. It is also suitable for students from other programs who would like to learn the basics of understanding the societies in Australia's neighbourhood. The course deals with important things students should know as a basis for studying modern Asia -- the geopolitical environment, the way languages work, religion, history and social structure. The scope of the course is broad - we deal with China, India, Japan, Southeast Asia, Korea and Mongolia.  Students successfully completing these courses will be well on the way to possessing what is sometimes called 'Asia literacy', a valuable attribute in any career in the 21st century. The courses will also develop students' research and essay-writing skills. These skills are fundamental to success in most university courses.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

Demonstrate a good grasp of the fundamental issues and themes shaping contemporary Asian societies; Demonstrate a good understanding of basic academic practice;
Approach sources critically;
Write persuasively but dispassionately;
Demonstrate awareness of the theoretical standpoints adopted by others;
Reflect critically on their own standpoints;
Demonstrate basic academic skills of research, reading, writing and presentation.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial participation  10%  
Map test   5%  
Diagnostic essay and citation test  15% 
Essay  30%  
Exam  40%

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Two lectures and one tutorial per week

Prescribed Texts

Brass, Scott's Zomia
Smethurst, Mountain geography
Tokata, Changes in the Asian monsoon
Shukla, Monsoon mysteries
Sloan, 'Sir Halford J. Mackinder'
Scott, The art of not being governed
Florian Coulmas, 'What writing is all about'
Lucy - Linguistic relativity
Salikoko S. Mufwene, 'Language Birth and Death' Annual Review of Anthropology, 33 (2004), pp. 201-222.
Reid, Southeast Asian names
Wilkinson, Chinese names
Fazlur Rachman - Islam and social justice
Houben - Southeast Asia and Islam
Moffett, Christianity in Mongol China
Gillman and Klimkeit, Christians in India
Chapman, Introduction of the Luminous Religion to China
Reid, Female roles in pre-colonial Southeast Asia
Kandiyoti, Bargaining with patriarchy
Pollock, Sanskrit cosmopolis
Chaudhuri - Nomads and nomadism
Borofsky, Cook, Lono, Obeyesekere, and Sahlins
Kato, Change and continuity in Minangkabau matriliny
Anderson, Imagined communities
McLaughlan, Silk ties
Evans, Sources of peasant consciousness




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1323 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions