• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest History, Asian Studies, Asia Pacific Studies, Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Benjamin Penny
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

Understanding the contemporary Chinese world must be predicated on its extraordinary complexity. The China that is growing in confidence and power, and with which Australia’s present and future are inextricably bound, is a product of powerful social and cultural forces that demand explanation but resist analysis from a single point of view.

This course approaches contemporary China through the lenses of different disciplines and styles of analysis. It assesses such topics as the varieties of Chinese modernity, the nature of political power and regulation, protest and resistance, legal reform and human rights, the relationships between the urban and the rural, gender and sexuality, indigeneity and ethnicity, the flourishing of religion and the decline of ideology, and the contested understandings of China’s history that critique or provide the foundations for contemporary policy and practice, implicitly and explicitly. 

This course is framed by the annual China Story Yearbook series, which collects and shapes Chinese contemporary stories from multiple voices and different perspectives under an annual theme. As such, the course takes as its overarching focus the theme of the current Yearbook. Students will address that theme through the various topics set out in the course structure.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify and evaluate the major themes, issues, and methods in the study of the contemporary Chinese world.
  2. Appraise the ways in which different aspects of the contemporary Chinese world relate to its past.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to locate, analyse, and critique official and unofficial sources on contemporary Chinese society.
  4. Present findings of research analysis in both academic written forms and also ways that an audience of policy-makers, politicians, and the general public will find accessible.

Indicative Assessment

  • Four 750-word blog posts (40%) [LOs 1, 2, 4];
  • One seminar presentation, recorded, with handouts/powerpoint slides submitted (20%) [LOs 1, 2, 4];
  • One 3,000-word research essay, with submission of research proposal (10%) and final essay (30%) [LOs 1, 2, 3, 4].

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.


A three-hour weekly seminar, with an additional eight hours of reading and research per week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed at least 48 units of university courses.

Prescribed Texts

Lists of prescribed and recommended primary and secondary readings, specific to the overarching theme of each year's version of the course, will be supplied by the course convenor. These will vary from year to year to fit the focus of the current Yearbook and, as a corollary, of the present thematic framework of the course.
The China Story Yearbook series
The China Story website



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
2019 $3000
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $4560
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9482 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person View

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