• 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
    • Prof Kenneth George
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings
Lives in Motion: The Politics of Culture and Everyday Experience in Postcolonial Asia (ASIA1030)

Lives in Motion: The Politics of Culture and Everyday Experience in Postcolonial Asia (ASIA1030) aims to give students a feel for the way individuals and communities have lived their lives and put their cultural sensibilities to use in navigating the global currents, aspirations, and social crises that have shaped Asia in the postcolonial era (1945-present).  Using ethnographic studies, artworks, films, novels, and memoirs, we explore the horizons of Asian "lifeworlds" and the open-ended, generative connections between people, objects, animals, spirits, ghosts, and the region's natural surrounds.  We also will consider how Asians dwell with the summons of the nation-state, global capitalism, and other ethicopolitical forces. Lectures provide themes, problems, and case-studies; each lecture will include break-out workshop sessions for students to collaborate and present as teams in internet and online "fact-finding" research related to lecture content.  Tutorials are devoted to discussion of course readings.  The course will help students hone their research and analytic skills, and acquaint them with key themes in regional scholarship from the fields of anthropology and cultural studies.

Learning Outcomes

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

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. better understand how everyday life and everyday cultural sensibilities in Asia relate to the broad political and economic forces shaping the region; 
2. display a deeper curiosity about Asia, and equip them with critical tools for subsequent study in the region;
3. develop a firmer grasp of basic academic practice, learning to approach sources critically and to write persuasively; 
4. show an awareness of the theoretical standpoints adopted by others and reflect critically on their own standpoints; and
5. master basic academic skills of research, reading, writing and presentation.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial assignments  20%  
Book-review essay 40%
Take-Home 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.


Three hours of lecture/tutorial, plus 7 hours of additional reading and assignment work each week.

Preliminary Reading

Daniel, Valentine. Charred Lullabies: Chapters in an Anthropology of Violence. 1996.
Demick, Barbara. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea. 2010.
George, Kenneth M.  Picturing Islam: Art and Ethics in a Muslim Lifeworld. 2010.
Hamid, Mohsin. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia.  2014.
Kwon, Heonik. Ghosts of War in Vietnam. 2013.




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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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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1323 20 Jul 2015 07 Aug 2015 31 Aug 2015 30 Oct 2015 In Person N/A

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