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 September 2.

Courses in Chinese (Division 339)

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Culture Courses/Literature Courses

250. Undergraduate Seminar in Chinese Culture. No knowledge of Chinese language is required. (3). (HU). May be repeated with department permission.
See Asian Studies 250. (Feuerwerker)
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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
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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)
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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)
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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)
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Language Courses

101. Beginning Chinese. (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
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201. Second-Year Chinese. 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. WL:2
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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
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301. Reading and Writing Chinese. 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
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378. Advanced Spoken Chinese. Chinese 202 or 362. (2). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of four credits.
This course is designed as a spoken language supplement to the post-second year Chinese reading courses. The purpose of Chinese 378 is to continue building on the foundation of spoken competence laid down in first- and second-year Chinese by providing two hours a week for students to talk, talk, and talk. This is accomplished through presentation of brief speeches and discussions on topics selected by the class. The role of the instructor, who serves as a coordinator for the class, is not to teach students how to speak Chinese, but to encourage and coach them in speaking Chinese. Vocabulary lists will be provided before and after each discussion session. The grade will be determined by students' attendance, participation in discussion, oral presentations, and vocabulary quizzes. This course is not for native speakers, auditors, or sit-ins. WL:2
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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)
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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)
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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)
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461. Readings in Modern Chinese. Chinese 406. (5). (Excl).
Chinese 461-462 is a two-term Chinese language course sequence with graded readings at an advanced level. Texts chosen from a variety of sources in both Mainland China and Taiwan include 20th-century fiction and essays on various topics. While students are helped to further improve command of structure and vocabulary in a range of language styles, the primary emphasis of the sequence is on reading comprehension with the aim of enabling students to read original materials with less reliance on a dictionary. Development of speaking and writing skills will also be stressed through discussions on the readings. In the second term, longer texts will be used, and efforts will be made to improve reading skills and speed. At times when Chinese 431-432 (Contemporary Social Science Texts) is not offered simultaneously, a social science component may be arranged to accommodate to the wider interest and demand of students. Daily attendance, weekly assignments and quizzes as well as unit tests are required. There is no final exam. Classes are conducted largely in Chinese. WL:2 (Chen)
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