• 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, International Relations, Asian Studies, Asia Pacific Studies, Strategic Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Benjamin Penny
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

In recent years, Taiwan has become increasingly important in discussions of contemporary Asia. However, assessments of its current circumstances rarely take into account roots that lie deep in the past. In this course we will take six topics that loom large in Taiwan now and examine their histories, development and ongoing relevance. These will be: Is Taiwan under threat?", "Who are the Taiwanese?", "Taiwan and Japan: The Legacies of Colonialism", ""Violence, Dictatorship, and Democracy", "Taiwan's Indigenous Peoples", and "Taiwan's Social and Economic Challenges". In our examination of these topics, we will also discuss the justifications for the positions taken by groups within Taiwan and those taken by other countries. This course will make use of feature films, documentaries, music videos, and other cultural products to supplement lectures and extended discussion of primary historical sources in seminars.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyse issues facing contemporary Taiwan, and identify their origins in earlier periods, extending back to the Qing dynasty.
  2. Describe and explain the history of ideas relating to Taiwanese identity.
  3. Analyse and evaluate the impact of colonial and autocratic governance in Taiwan, including moves toward transitional justice.
  4. Apply interdisciplinary methods and critical analysis to conduct independent research on Taiwan.
  5. Describe and explain current economic, social, and cultural issues facing Taiwan, particularly those related to demography and to Taiwan's indigenous peoples.
  6. Demonstrate advanced skills of communication, both through oral discussion and written exposition, justifying methods and approaches.

Other Information


Indicative Assessment

  1. 3 x seminar presentations (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  2. Exam (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Research Essay (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]

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.


The weekly face-to-face component of the course will be a two-hour seminar or lecture and one hour of viewing supplementary material - films documentaries, short videos, music videos, artworks, etc. The total workload for the course is 130 hours.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

Prescribed texts will be provided through the Wattle site.

Preliminary Reading

Chou Wan-yao (trans. Carole Plackitt and Tim Casey), A New Illustrated History of Taiwan (Taipei, SMC Publishing, 2020)

John J. Metzler, Taiwan's Transformation, 1895 to the Present (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

Assumed Knowledge



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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2024 $4080
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6000
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
8594 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person N/A

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