Course syllabus


ASIAN 701AB: East Asia: Civilisation, Tradition and Globalisation

ASIAN 701A: SEMESTER 1 (15 points)

ASIAN701B: SEMIESTER 2 (15 points)


Asian701AB Class schedule 2019.docx

Course Convenor:

Dr. Rumi Sakamoto 

Office: Arts 2, 207-435 



Rumi Sakamoto


Course delivery format:

2 hours seminar per a week (Timetable and room details can be viewed on Student Services Online)


ASIAN 701 AB East Asia: Civilisation, Tradition and Globalisation


Co-ordinator:  Dr Rumi Sakamoto

Lecture time and location: please check SSO

Phone: 373 7599 ext 84600

Office: 417. 435 (CLL, 4th floor)


Office Hours: Tue12-2

Course Description

This is a core course for Asian Studies, which introduces students to an interdisciplinary study of East Asia through different approaches. It aims to equip students with critical analytical skills for area studies, with particular reference to East Asia. It is also designed to give students an opportunity to consider East Asia as a historically, geographically, culturally and politically connected region. It will expose students to issues concerning regions and cultures beyond their immediate research interests, which may be limited to a single nation-state. In most weeks, students present weekly readings and lead seminars. We will also dedicate some time to formulating individual research questions and designing individual research though presentations of your research essay outline and feedback from the others in class. This course supports your major research that you are undertaking such as BA(Hons) dissertations and MA thesis proposal by providing you with an opportunity to discuss and present your materials outside immediate supervision and share your research with other students.


100% Coursework:


Class presentation: 5%

Critical review #1 (2,500 words, excluding reference list and footnotes; you may choose one of the assigned articles for this course): 20%

Critical review #2 (2,500 words, excluding reference list and footnotes; you must choose an article relevant to your essay in the second semester): 20%

  1. Class presentation of the week’s reading
  • A 20-minute presentation of an assigned article/chapter. You need to summarise the main points and offer your perspectives. You may refer to a few other writings to supplement your readings if you choose to do so, though this is not necessary. The focus should be on the assigned reading itself and your critical engagement with it.


  • Please submit a copy of your PPT at the end of your presentation, either printed as a ‘handout’ (6 slides per sheet) or sent to me as an email attachment by the end of the day of your presentation.

The best mark out of all your presentations will become your formal mark.

  1. Critical review (2,500 words plus reference list and footnotes) x 2: choose an academic journal article in the field relevant to your discipline/area/research you are thinking of doing in ASIAN701B, and write a critical review. Or, if you prefer, the first article can be one of the assigned readings for this course. You may like to consider:


  • What is the research question?
  • What is the objective?
  • What methods are used to answer the research question? Are they appropriate?
  • How is the data interpreted?
  • What is the main argument? How does it engage with other research on the same topic?
  • Does it provide sufficient/appropriate evidence to support the argument?
  • What are the strength and weakness/limitation?
  • What original contribution does it make, and how important is it?
  • How is this article related to your research topic/field?


  1. Class presentations: 5%
  2. Research essay proposal (2,000 words): 20%
  3. Research essay (4,000 words): 30%

Students to formulate their own question in consultation with the course instructor. It must demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of relevant literature
  • Ability to create a sustained argument supported with the effective use of evidence.
  • Critical thinking
  • Analysis and interpretation at a level of sophistication expected of PG students
  • Confident, scholarly style of writing, including meticulous references and bibliography
  • Ability to handle resources in original Asian languages
  • Choice of theory and methodology adequate for the topic


Class schedule



ASIAN701A (Sem1, Tue 10)

Week 2

12 March



·       Edward Said, “From Orientalism” (excerpt from his Orientalism)

Please prepare your summary and questions

Week 3

19 March


Techno orientalism and Japan/East Asia

Please prepare a 20 min PPT presentation on the following readings:

·       Artur Lozano-Mendez, 2010. ‘Techno-Orientalism in East-Asian Contexts: Reiteration, Diversification, Adaptation.’ in Counterpoints: Edward Said’s Legacy. Edited by Telmissany, May, and Stephanie Tara Schwartz. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 185-210

           Student presentation:


·       Yoshiko Nozaki, ‘Critical Teaching about Asia: Orientalism, Postcolonial Perspectives and Cross-cultural Education.’

Student presentation:


If you are not presenting, prepare a summary and questions.


By the end of this week, choose an article for your critical review #1. Ideally on a topic relevant to your research essay for Asian701B, but can be one of the readings from this course.


Week 4

26 March

Asian Studies and the ‘crisis of area studies’

Please prepare a 20 min PPT presentation on the following readings:

·       Lucian Pye, ‘Asia Studies and the Discipline’ (2001) and

·       Tessa Morris Suzuki, ‘Anti-area studies’ (2000)

Student presentation:


·       Terrence Wesley-Smith and Jon Goss, ‘Introduction: Remaking Area Studies’ (2010)

Student presentation:


Please prepare your summary and questions for the piece you are not presenting. If you are presenting, submit PPT.


Please send me your draft for review#1 by Friday 4pm this week.

Week 5

2 April

Critical review #1 individual consultation

Please meet in Rumi’s office





Week 6

9 April


Using Orientalism in research

Please prepare a 20 min PPT presentation on the following readings:

·       Moon, Chung-in; Suh, Seung-won, “Historical Analogy and Demonisation of Others: Memory of 1930s’ Japanese Militarism and its Contemporary implications’ in Korea Observer Vol. 46, Iss. 3 (2015): 423-459

Student presentation:


·       Heejung Kang, “Another Form of Orientalism: Koreans’ consciousness of Southeast Asia during the Japanese Colonial period.” Korea Journal Vol. 54, No. 2 (2014)

Student presentation:


If not presenting, please prepare a summary and questions.


Critical review #1 due this week Friday 4pm. Submit to CANVAS.



Mid semester break 15-27 April


Week 7

30 April



Please prepare a 20 min PPT presentation on the following readings:

·       Xiaomei Chen, Occidentalism, “Introduction.”

Student presentation:


·       Qingfei Zhang, “Sexuality and the official construction of Occidentalism in Maoist and early post-Mao China” in European Journal of Cultural Studies Vol 18 Issue 1 (2015)

Student presentation:


If not presenting, please prepare a summary and questions.



Week 8

7 May

Case studies: using Occidentalism in research

Please prepare a 20 min PPT presentation on the following readings:


·       Toshio Miyake, “Doing Occidentalism in contemporary Japan”

Student presentation:


·       Rebecca Suter, “Orientalism, Self-Orientalism, and Occidentalism in the Visual-Verbal Medium of Japanese Girls’ Comics”

Student presentation:


If not presenting, please prepare a summary and questions.


Week 9

14 May


Beyond Orientalism

Please prepare a 20 min PPT presentation on the following readings:


Francois Pouillon and Jean Claude Vatin, After Orientalism. Conclusion chapter

Student presentation:


Leah Misemer, “Breaking barriers: moving beyond Orientalism in comics studies” Forum for World Literature Studies. 3.1 (2011)

Student presentation:


If not presenting, please prepare a summary and questions.


Send your draft for review #2 to Rumi by Friday 4pm

Week 10

21 May



Critical review #2 individual consultation

Please meet in Rumi’s office

Week 11

28 May

No class: 1) please work on your critical review #2 due this Friday 4pm; 2) prepare for next week’s research workshop; choose your article to present and send it to the class by the end of this week; read article(s) chosen by other students.


Week 12

4 June

Research essay workshop


·       Doing research in Asian Studies

·       Identifying topic, research question, sources

·       Analysing and writing abstracts

Reading: to be selected by students and circulated in advance. Not the same piece you used for the critical review. Be prepared to talk about the article you have chosen. Read articles chosen by the others, and compare them with yours.




Class schedule for the second semester




Week 1

Planning your research project: individual consultation (Please see me in my office; bring your topic for research essay, your research questions and a reading list)

Week 2

Pan-Asianism: historical perspectives #1



·       Mark Selden, ‘East Asian Nationalism and its Enemies in Three Epochs’ The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol. 9-4-09, February 25, 2009.

Student presentation:


Dissertation progress report


Pan-Asianism: historical perspectives #2



·       Sven Saaler and Christopher W. A. Szpilman, ‘Pan-Asianism as an Ideal of Asian Identity and Solidarity, 1850–Present,’ The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol. 9, Issue 17 No 1, April 25, 2011.

Student presentation:


Dissertation progress report


Research essay proposal presentation and feedback

Ensure to include: Research question; background to the proposed research; aims; research design (methods and theory); significance; tentative abstract; outline (think why you have chosen to organise your material in the way you have); summary of each section; thesis/main argument; support/evidence

Dissertation progress report


 New Asian identities #1



·       Mark Berger, ‘The new Asian Renaissance and its discontent’ International Politics 2003, 40 (195-221)

Student presentation:


Dissertation progress report


No class: work on your essay proposal (plus draft introduction and bibliography)  due this Friday 4pm




Feedback on the proposal and individual consultation on research essay: Rumi’s office


New Asian identities #2



·       Beng Huat Chua (2004), ‘Conceptualising an East Asian Popular Culture’ Inter-Asian Cultural Studies, Vol 5 No 2, pp. 200-221.

Student presentation:


Dissertation progress report


Collective memories of the Asia-Pacific War #1



·       Norma Field, ‘War and Apology: Japan, Asia, the Fiftieth and After’, positions 5.1 Spring 1997, pp. 1-49.


Student presentation:


Dissertation progress report


 Collective memories of the Asia-Pacific War #2



·       Karl Gustafsson (2014), ‘Memory Politics and ontological Security in Sino-Japanese Relations’, Asian Studies Review, Vol. 38. No. 1, 71-86.


Student presentation:


Dissertation/research essay progress report


Please send me draft research essay by the end of today.


Research Essay final presentation and feedback: please prepare 20 min PPT presentation



Practice for the graduate conference presentations

Research Essay due next Week Monday 4pm


     Workload and deadlines for submission of coursework:           

    The University of Auckland's expectation is that students spend 10 hours per week on a 15-point course, including time in class and personal study. Students should manage their academic workload and other commitments accordingly. Deadlines for coursework are set by course convenors and will be advertised in course material. You should submit your work on time. In extreme circumstances, such as illness, you may seek an extension but you may be required to provide supporting information before the assignment is due. Late assignments without a pre-approved extension may be penalised by loss of marks – check course information for details.



    Well-being always comes first

    We all go through tough times during the semester, or see our friends struggling. There is lots of help out there - for more information, look at this Canvas page, which has links to various support services in the University and the wider community.


    Course summary:

    Date Details