Courses

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Descriptions of course offerings are included below. For advice on course selection be sure to speak with a faculty adviser.

Course Offerings

101-102. Elementary Chinese.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 4-4.

This two-semester course introduces Chinese to students with no knowledge of the language. Equal emphasis will be given to acquiring the rudiments of spoken and written Chinese. Students who complete the year-long course will master approximately 700 characters and a vocabulary of a 1,000 words. It also intends to acquaint students with some aspects of Chinese culture and society as a necessary part of their education in this language.

201-202. Intermediate Chinese.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 4-4.

Degree Requirements: F10 for 201.

In addition to the same objectives for the first year, this course aims at improving students’ aural-oral skills to achieve fluency and comprehension, further developing their proficiency in reading for understanding, and enhancing their ability to write in Chinese and to translate from Chinese into English and vice versa.

205. Modern Chinese Literature in English Translation.

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F4, F9.

An introductory course of modern Chinese literature (1918-1989) designed to acquaint students with major phases of modern Chinese literature and some masterpieces of representative writers in relation to political and social changes. The course provides opportunities to learn about modern Chinese culture, society, and politics through readings of chosen works and trains students to read thoughtfully and critically. No prior knowledge of Chinese language and culture is required.

206. Introduction to East Asian Cultures.

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F4, F9.

This course introduces East Asian cultures through the classic works of China, Japan, and Korea. In order to better grasp the cultural legacies of East Asia, students will read various cultural texts such as fiction, poetry, drama, and prose in English translation. This course is designed to help students develop a more sophisticated understanding of and critical appreciation for East Asian cultures. No knowledge of East Asian languages or prior coursework on East Asian cultures is required. Course scheduled for Fall, 2015.

207. Orientalism and Global China on Screen

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F5, F9.

This course explores both the evolving Chinese worldview represented in Chinese films and the western texts on China and the Orient/East/Asia. While the course introduces the theoretical foundation of Chinese worldviews in response to Orientalism and globalization, students will also survey the (mis-)representation of India and the Middle East in the western world for comparative purposes. In addition to watching films and documentaries, students are required to read scholarly works, historical accounts, poems, and travelogues in order to better understand diverse worldviews. By engaging the East-West dynamic, this course is designed for students interested in the issues of cross-cultural understanding and global consciousness. No prior knowledge of Chinese language and culture is required.

210. Chinese Literary Heritage.

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F4, F9.

This course introduces one of the world’s richest literary heritages: traditional Chinese literature. It conducts a general survey of Chinese literature from high antiquity up to modern times with the focus on some representative writers and their works. It consists of three major sections: poetry and prose, drama, and fiction. All readings are in English. No prior knowledge of Chinese language and culture is required.

214. Introduction to Chinese Culture.

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F3, F9.

This course introduces students to Chinese civilization and culture from the multiple perspectives of geography, history, philosophy, language, literature, religion, art, people, society, and general ways of life. Major concerns will include, but are not restricted to, forms of material and spiritual culture that have developed and changed through China’s continuous traditions; individual and collective values that underlie social life, political organization, economics systems, family structure, human relationships, and individual behavior; and the rationales that have made Chinese culture what it is.

215. Gender in Chinese Literature.

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F4, F9.

This course looks into the changing constructions of gender, sexuality, and desire in Chinese literature and film over time. It seeks to examine the social, cultural and institutional norms of gender behaviors in Chinese society as well as how the fictional imagination conforms to, deviates from and subverts these norms. Other critical issues discussed include the complex relationships between identity and performance, the construction of female subjectivity and male fantasy, gender and genre. Students will be encouraged to conduct cross-genre and cross-cultural comparisons. All readings in English.

220. Contemporary Chinese Cinema.

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F5, F9.

An introductory course on contemporary Chinese cinema that combines film viewing with readings of film theory and criticism. The aim is to provide a window for students to glimpse the complexity of contemporary Chinese culture. Students will view selected Chinese films produced in mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong from the 1980’s to the present and be required to read essays of critical studies which explore the interrelations of various issues in Chinese society. Course scheduled for Spring, 2015.

301-302. Advanced Chinese.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 4-4.

This course lays greater emphasis on further developing students’ proficiency in reading for understanding and enhancing their ability to write in Chinese and to translate from Chinese into English and vice versa. At the end of the year-long course students should be able to read Chinese materials in everyday life, to write compositions in Chinese characters for daily communication, and to translate non-technical materials from Chinese into English and vice versa with the help of dictionaries.

310. Readings. (Advanced Level)

Fall, Spring. Credits: 1-4.

Readings designed to meet individual interests and needs. May be taken more than once for credit with new topics.

311. Supplemental Readings.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 1.

This reading course is reserved for Chinese minors and self-designed majors. It is designed to give students opportunities to read, write, and speak in Chinese in conjunction with the coursework in English. May be taken more than once for credit with new topics.

409. Special Topics.

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

Intensive study of some aspect or theme of Chinese literature, culture or society in China. May be taken more than once for credit with new topics.

Prerequisites: Chinese 301 and 302 or the permission of the instructor.