• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Cultural Studies, Asian Studies, Asia Pacific Studies, Asia-Pacific Studies, Politics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Benjamin Penny
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Summer Session 2024
    See Future Offerings

2024 dates: Course materials will be available online from 1 Jan. The intensive portion of the course will run from Mon 8 Jan to Fri 19 Jan inclusive.

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.

Other Information

The course will start on 23 January when the materials will be available online.

The intensive portion of the course will run from Monday 30 January to Friday 10 February, inclusive.

  • Classes each day will run from 10.00 until (approximately) 5.00.
  • The lecture will be from 10.00-12.00
  • The seminars will run simultaneously from 1.00-3.00.
  • Each day’s film will start at 3.30 and finish at 5.00 (or later if the film is more than 90 minutes).

There will be two short pieces of assessment during the course and a short exam at the end.

The class will end on Friday 24 February when the last essay is due.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Active class participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Two short essays of 500 words (20) [LO 1,2,5]
  3. One essay of 2,000-2,500 words (40) [LO 3,4,5]
  4. One final exam (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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.


This is an intensive course running in Summer session on ANU campus. The total workload for the course is 130 hours including in-class time and independent study. 

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

Course materials will be provided on Wattle.




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 $5280
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.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1377 08 Jan 2024 12 Jan 2024 19 Jan 2024 02 Feb 2024 In Person N/A

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