Introduction into Chinese Language, History and Culture

Christian Leitner
Arts and Society, International Programs in Sustainable Developments
2021W, Vorlesung und Übungen (VU), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S03702


This lecture/seminar will give participants a brief and selective overview of Chinese language, history and culture.

Among others, the following topics will be examined:

1. A short introduction to the peculiarities of the Chinese language and the Chinese writing system

2. Daoism as a philosophy of individual freedom and scepticism

3. Tang Poetry, the high point of the Chinese verbal arts

4. Mao-Zedong-Thought and its relevance to contemporary China

5. How Chinese Modernity came about: Lu Xun and the turn of the 20th century

6. Geographic and ethnic diversity in China: Regional languages, autonomous regions and the relationship to Taiwan

7. Monkey's Journey: Xiyou Ji and how Buddhism came to China

8. Respect your Elders: Confucianism as a force of order

9. Post modernity and abortion:  Mo Yan's "Frog"


Examination Modalities

Students will be required to prepare each session by reading selected articles or book chapters, and to participate actively in the discussion of these texts. Additionaly, over the course of the semester, they will be given several written assignments (of 2-3 pages each) related to issues discussed in class, and asked to hold one or two oral presentations. The students' final grade will be determined by the quality of these assignements and presentations.


Students from other departments, faculties or universities will be admitted to the course subject to room capacities.

If possible, the course will be taught in the classroom with teacher and students present. However, if COVID-19 regulations make distance learning inevitable, structure and methods of teaching will be adapted accordingly.



25 October 2021, 12:45–16:00
13 November 2021, 12:00–16:30, "Walk through Chinese Vienna"
15 November 2021, 12:45–16:00
29 November 2021, 12:45–16:00
20 December 2021, 12:45–16:00
17 January 2022, 12:45–16:00
24 January 2022, 12:45–16:00

co-registration: possible

Global Challenges and Sustainable Developments (Master): Inter- and Transcultural Collaboration: students admitted by Angew.: Introd. into Chinese Language, History & Culture

Individual courses: possible