• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

Taking a broad definition of war to include revolution, espionage and postwar militarized societies, this course examines some of the main regional wars in East Asia over the last century and scrutinizes the biographies of some of the extraordinary women – spies, collaborators and 'comfort women' - who played a part in them. The course begins by examining women's troubled relationship with the state, and goes on to question assumptions about patriotism, collaboration and the mobilization of female subjects in wartime. In this course we explore the painful complicity of women in war and occupation societies, as we examine the life of famous Korean aviatrix and collaborator Park Kyong-won, and the 'unbearable heroism' of women in the Vietnam War. We shall examine the roles war, foreign occupation and military service have played in women's political enfranchisement in Japan and in Vietnam. We will also study the gendered politics of state violence in North and South Korea in the 1980s. Using a host of translated primary material, guest lectures, interviews and autobiographies from Vietnam, China, Japan, and South and North Korea, as well as selected film and documentary, this course surveys East Asia's most turbulent years through the lives of women.

Learning Outcomes

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

This course will extend students' knowledge of twentieth century East Asian history. Following the course students will be able to critically evaluate the role that war has played in shaping women's political status in emerging nation states, and interpret the gender ideologies used to mobilise entire populations.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial contribution(30%), Research essay (40%), Final examination/essay (30%).

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Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed ASIA1025 and ASIA1030




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

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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