• Class Number 1651
  • Term Code 2920
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Benjamin Penny
    • AsPr Benjamin Penny
    • Prof Hong-Zen Wang
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 02/01/2019
  • Class End Date 08/02/2019
  • Census Date 18/01/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 14/01/2019
SELT Survey Results

For Australians, Taiwan typically figures only as an issue in the geo-politics of the East Asian region, as one half of “Cross-Strait Relations”. Yet, it is a fully functioning democracy and an independent state in all but name that can be studied in its own right. Taiwan has almost the same population as Australia but is about half the size of Tasmania. Like Australia, its indigenous population plays a significant part in politics and society, and Taiwan is also moving towards legalising same-sex marriage. This course provides an overview of contemporary Taiwan’s society and politics while also paying attention to the historical events that formed its present shape and which remain live issues today. It will analyse Taiwan’s political system and its established and new parties; its ethnic, linguistic and cultural mix; its economics and class relations; indigenous politics; questions of gender and sexuality; environmental activism; and the growing sense of what it means to be “Taiwanese”. The course will use Taiwanese films to supplement the lectures and seminars.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyse the pre-1949 history of Taiwan, and trace its later developments in the political and economic contexts of first the martial law period and then the democratic period.
  2. Describe and explain the history of and relations between different groups of Han Chinese on Taiwan.
  3. Evaluate current social tensions and developments, including the rise of grass-roots political and social movements.
  4. Analyse the crucial importance of debates over Taiwanese identity, with particular reference to gender relations, indigenous peoples, and environmental politics.
  5. Demonstrate skills of communication, both through oral discussion and written exposition.

Research-Led Teaching

This course is being taught by a noted professor of sociology in Taiwan and convened by a specialist in Taiwanese history and culture. The topics in the course and the readings are based on the research of both teachers.

Examination Material or equipment

Only writing materials required.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

Comments on assessments

Face-to-face meetings will be held with students whose first assignment is unsatisfactory before next assignment is due.

Face-to-face meetings will be held with other students on request.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Mon. 14.1.19 Lecture and Seminar topic: Introduction: Brief history, socio-political structures Film: Seediq Bale (part one)
2 Tue. 15.1.19 Lecture and Seminar topic: Ethnicities (1): Indigenous people, colonizations Film: Seediq Bale (part two)
3 Wed. 16.1.19 Lecture and Seminar topic: Ethnicities (2): ethnic politics Film: Cape No. 7
4 Thu. 17.1.19 Lecture and Seminar topic: Politics (1): state apparatus and governance Film: Hand in Hand
5 Fri. 18.1.19 Lecture and Seminar topic: Politics (2): Chinese factor in Taiwan Film: Hou Hsiao-hsien film Assessment exercise one due
6 Mon. 21.1.19 Lecture and Seminar topic: Economy: Regional, global and migration Film: On Happiness Road
7 Tue. 22.1.19 Lecture and Seminar topic: Cultures (1): Families Film: The Wedding Banquet
8 Wed. 23.1.19 Lecture and Seminar topic: Cultures (2): Religions Film: Out/Marriage
9 Thu. 24.1.19 Lecture and Seminar topic: Cultures (3): Gender and Sexualities Film: Small Talk Assessment exercise two due
10 Fri. 25.1.19 Exam
11 Fri. 1.2.19 Essay due

Tutorial Registration

None required. Tutorial groups will be formed on the first day of the course.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Assessment One 10 % 18/01/2019 21/01/2019 1,2,5
Assessment Two 10 % 24/01/2019 28/01/2019 1,2,5
Essay 40 % 01/02/2019 08/02/2019 3,4,5
. 30 % 24/01/2019 08/02/2019 1,2,3,4,5
. 10 % 25/01/2019 08/02/2019 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


10%, mark assigned 2019-2-8


30%, 2019-1-25, mark assigned 2019-2-8

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 18/01/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/01/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,5

Assessment One

Taking one of the films screened on the first five sessions of this course, assess its value as an interpretation of Taiwan's history and its contemporary relevance.

Length 500 words.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 24/01/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/01/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,5

Assessment Two

Taking one of the films screened on sessions six to nine of this course, assess its value as an interpretation of Taiwan's society and its contemporary relevance.

Length 500 words

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 01/02/2019
Return of Assessment: 08/02/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3,4,5


This essay is an opportunity to address one topic that relates to the themes of the course. Students should have discussed with, and had their proposed topic approved by, Professor Wang or Dr Penny.

Length 2000-2500 words

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 24/01/2019
Return of Assessment: 08/02/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5



Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 25/01/2019
Return of Assessment: 08/02/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5



Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignment one will be returned 2019-1-19

Assignment two will be returned 2019-1-28

Essay will be returned 2019-2-8

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission will follow the policies of CAP.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Benjamin Penny
02 6125 6158

Research Interests

AsPr Benjamin Penny

Monday 09:00 10:00
AsPr Benjamin Penny
6125 6158

Research Interests

AsPr Benjamin Penny

Monday 09:00 10:00
Prof Hong-Zen Wang

Research Interests

Prof Hong-Zen Wang

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