Asian Languages and Cultures

Fall Term, 1998 (September 8-December 21, 1998)

Note: The Department Waitlist policy for all courses is 2 - Go to the department office to get on a waitlist, and then attend the first class meeting. Policies and procedures for handling the waitlist will be explained there.

Students wanting to begin language study, at a level other than first year, must take a placement exam to be held on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, from 1pm to 3pm. Students can call ALC (4-8286) at the end of August to find out where the tests will be given.

Courses in Chinese (Division 339)

Take me to the Fall Time Schedule

Culture Courses/Literature Courses

250/Asian Studies 251. Undergraduate Seminar in Chinese Culture. No knowledge of Chinese language is required. (3). (HU). May be repeated with department permission.
Section 001 Culture, Gender, & Identity: Women in Chinese & Chinese-American Literature.
The representation and construction of women in China's long history has undergone many dynamic changes. Through examples of literature past to present this course will examine women's "place" in the male-dominated Confucian system, the femme fatale in the master historical narrative, conventions of female impersonation, women as projections of man's desire: erotic objects or the cause of transgression against the moral order. We will consider women's strategies of accommodation and resistance and the ways they have sought to express themselves within the system's constraints. In the 20th century women are first "discovered" as prime victims of oppression as writers make their case for social reform, then appropriated as "liberated" subjects by the Communist revolution. Meanwhile women writers have been searching for their own voice, their struggle for subjectivity and identity posing powerful challenges to the Maoist hegemonic discourse. We will also explore how issues of gender intersect with problems of cultural identity in works by Chinese-American women writers. Readings will include traditional and modern poetry and fiction, selections from the great 18th century novel Dream of the Red Chamber, fiction by Lu Xun, Ba Jin, Ding Ling, Zhang Jie, Maxine Hong Kingston (The Woman Warrior), Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club), and others. Toward the end of the course we will look at the representation of women in several films: Yellow Earth, Raise the Red Lantern, Army Nurse, The Joy Luck Club, etc. Requirements: frequent brief written responses, four papers. WL:2 (Feuerwerker)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

451. Literary Chinese. Chinese 202 or 362. (4). (Excl).
Literary Chinese is the gateway to the vast treasures of Chinese literature, history, and culture. One cannot really come to know traditional China, or even modern China, without the ability to read literary Chinese. It is the language for the overwhelming majority of whatever was written in Chinese from the very beginnings to this century. Although there are some similarities and continuities between literary and modern Chinese, a class of this type is really necessary to help you open up the riches that lie waiting there. The class is designed to serve the needs of both undergraduate and graduate students, of both specialists (and would-be specialists) and those who are just curious about the Chinese literary heritage. Reading materials include a textbook, A First Course in Literary Chinese, and handouts especially picked to reinforce the material in the textbook. Even in just this first half of a two-term sequence, the student will be introduced to many famous works of Chinese literature, the kind of pieces that have been memorized and chanted by Chinese down through the ages. There are brief weekly exercises, as well as a midterm and final. WL:2
Check Times, Location, and Availability

468/Asian Studies 468/Phil. 468. Classical Chinese Thought (To A.D. 220). Upperclass standing; no knowledge of Chinese required. (3). (HU).
This course focuses on the major philosophical schools of the Zhou-Han period; this period was roughly equivalent in time and intellectual fertility to the classical ages of Greece and Rome. Among these schools, special consideration is given to the Confucian and Daoist schools, since the doctrines associated with these were the sources of two major philosophical traditions in China for the next 2000 years and affected very significant cultural developments in the arts, religion, science, and politics. The course concentrates on Chinese ethics and political philosophies (with notable exceptions in the case of certain Daoist thinkers) and on the theories of human nature that were associated with them. Chinese philosophers have been somewhat unusual in occupying or at least aspiring to occupy political office and this has affected the form and practice of their political theorizing. There is some background consideration of the social and living conditions of the periods in which the various philosophies emerged. No knowledge of Chinese is required. Readings are in translation. All students are required to write three papers, 12-15 double-spaced typed pages in length, on selected topics from the assigned readings. WL:2 (Ivanhoe)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

471/Asian Studies 471. Classical Chinese Literature in Translation. No knowledge of Chinese required. (3). (HU).
This course looks at the foundational period of traditional Chinese literature, from the very beginnings to the 13th century. A large variety of different types of writing are introduced, from philosophical works to poetry to short fiction. An ample anthology, Stephen Owen's Anthology of Chinese Literature, contains the bulk of the readings, as well as witty commentary by the editor. This anthology will be supplemented with course pack material in areas that are not very well represented (e.g., Buddhist writings and fiction). Background on Chinese society and interactions between literature, culture, and history will be conveyed through short lectures and through a secondary text, A Guide to Chinese Literature. Even though some lecturing will, regrettably, have to take place, the emphasis will be on students reaction to and understanding of the texts read and discussion will be welcomed and promoted. Students will take a midterm and a final, write three short papers, and participate in class. The writing of good papers will be emphasized. WL:2 (Rolston)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

476/Asian Studies 476/RC Hums. 476. Writer and Society in Modern China. No knowledge of Chinese is required. (4). (HU).
This is an invitation to study examples of twentieth-century Chinese literature, a literature produced during a period of historical upheaval and itself a battleground for political, cultural, and aesthetic issues. But we also want to understand and appreciate the artistry and diversity of these literary works. We will examine: external "reality" as projected by our texts; ideological pressures of a shifting political context; the influx of Western influences and the breakdown of tradition; changing views of gender and sexuality; the role and self-conception of the writer as avant-garde rebel, historical witness, social critic, or political martyr particularly in confronting the oppressed "other" as woman or peasant. What is the purpose or meaning of writing? Given the often fatal risks involved, why write? Readings will include stories by Lu Xun, Family (Ba Jin), Rickshaw (Lao She), "Miss Sophie's Diary" (Ding Ling), etc., examples of Communist "revolutionary literature", some stories from Taiwan. The second half of the term will deal with post-Mao works, as writers "rethink" themselves and the Communist revolution, search for cultural roots, explore issues of sexuality and subjectivity, experiment with new techniques. We will look at parallel developments in the visual arts and in the "new cinema" through such films as Yellow Earth, Red Sorghum, etc. Class format: lecture/discussion. Requirements: three short papers, a final exam. No knowledge of Chinese required. WL:2 (Feuerwerker)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

Language Courses

101. Beginning Chinese. Native or near-native speakers of Chinese are not eligible for this course. (5). (LR).
Chinese 101 is an introductory course for students who do not understand or speak any Chinese. (If you speak Chinese at home, this is not the right course for you. Take the placement exam in the fall for Chinese 301/302.) In this course, students are expected to achieve control of the sound system (especially the four tones), basic sentence patterns, aural comprehension, and daily conversations. Starting with the fourth week, students will learn to read and write the "traditional" Chinese characters (Fan-ti zi). Students will learn 100 characters in Chinese 101. Almost every week, students will be required to do their homework at the computer sites and will be required to perform skits in front of the class. A written quiz or test will be given every Thursday. Class is held one hour per day: Tuesdays and Thursdays are lectures; Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are recitations. Students are required to register for both a lecture section and a recitation section. Attendance will be taken everyday. Textbooks: (a) John DeFrancis, Beginning Chinese (Yale Univ. Press); (b) John DeFrancis, Beginning Chinese Reader, Part I and II (Yale Univ. Press). Materials covered: Beginning Chinese, Lessons 1-13. Beginning Chinese Reader, Lessons 1-12. No visitors are allowed. WL:2
Check Times, Location, and Availability

201. Second-Year Chinese. Native or near-native speakers of Chinese are not eligible for this course. Chinese 102. (5). (LR).
Students electing Chinese 201 should have mastered the spoken language material presented in DeFrancis' Beginning Chinese or a similar introductory text and should be able to recognize and write about 400 characters and 1200 combinations. The goals of Chinese 201 are (a) to dramatically improve spoken and aural competence and (b) to achieve a solid level of reading with a vocabulary of at least 900 characters and accompanying combinations. These goals are approached through relentless classroom drills, in-class and out-of-class exercises, and regular use of language tapes. Students are graded on the basis of rigorous written tests and quizzes, regular oral presentations, and daily attendance. The text is Intermediate Reader of Modern Chinese (Princeton University Press, 1992), Lessons 1-11. No visitors are allowed. (If you speak Chinese at home, this is not the right course for you. Take the placement exam in the fall for Chinese 302.) WL:2
Check Times, Location, and Availability

225. Calligraphy. Chinese 101. (1). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of three credits.
To explore the richness of Chinese calligraphy, this class is designed to include a series of fundamental introductions to the history of Chinese calligraphy and a brief theoretical framework for evaluation and appreciation; in addition, a practice session will be held in each class to facilitate a hands-on learning process. WL:2
Check Times, Location, and Availability

301. Reading and Writing Chinese. Assignment by placement test and permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Chinese 101, 102, or 361. (4). (LR).
This course is designed for students with native or near-native speaking ability in Chinese, but little or no reading and writing ability. Chinese 301 focuses on reading and writing Chinese and will cover the regular 101-102 reading materials. Students will be graded on the basis of daily classroom performance, daily quizzes, periodic tests, and homework assignments. The basic text is Beginning Chinese Reader by John DeFrancis. WL:2
Check Times, Location, and Availability

405. Third-Year Chinese. Chinese 202 or 362. (5). (Excl).
Chinese 405 and 406 comprise a two-term sequence that makes up the third year of study in the Chinese program. All four basic skills reading, writing, listening, and speaking are stressed. In Chinese 405, along with structured grammatical patterns, students primarily learn the strategies and skills required for reading Chinese newspapers. The textbook in Chinese 405 is A Chinese Text for a Changing China. In Chinese 406, students learn to read various styles and genres of modern Chinese, including fiction, essays, and occasionally poetry. Course readings are selected from a large variety of genuine Chinese materials; there is no textbook. On completing third-year Chinese, students should (with the aid of a dictionary) be able to read and discuss most non-technical subjects in modern Chinese. Both 405 and 406 meet five hours per week. Of these, three hours are devoted to understanding and discussing the reading material. The fourth hour is reserved for oral presentations, discussions, and skits. The fifth hour is used for taking quizzes or tests. Student work is evaluated on the basis of daily attendance, exercises, one dictation every second day, and one quiz or test per week. The class is conducted mainly in Chinese. WL:2 (Liang)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

416. Chinese for the Professions. Chinese 406. (3). (Excl).
Chinese for the Professions (Business Chinese) focuses on practical language skills that are most helpful in actual business interactions with Chinese-speaking communities. Classroom activities, largely in the form of real world simulation, will be based on authentic documents and correspondence as well as a textbook. Some highlights are: business negotiation in international trade, business letter writing, business documents comprehension/translation, business oral presentation, commercial language, and word processing. Through intensive practice in the listening, speaking, reading, and writing of the Chinese language for business purposes, students will enhance their cultural awareness and acquire vocabulary, phrases, and sentence patterns commonly used in typical Chinese business contexts. Quizzes, dialogue performances, homework assignments, oral presentations, and exams are required. Classes are conducted in Chinese. WL:2 (Chen)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

418. Oral Mandarin for Cantonese Speakers. Chinese 406. (2). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of four credits.
The course is specifically designed to help Cantonese-speaking students who have advanced Chinese reading and writing skills but lack oral Mandarin (Putonghua) competence. Classroom activities, based on intensive pinyin drills, are exclusively guided oral practice and corrections. Cantonese native speakers without an advanced level in reading and writing are encouraged to attend Chinese core courses or, if qualified, Chinese 378. WL:2 (Chen)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

Copyright © 1998 The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.