Introduction into Chinese Language, History and Culture

Sabine Hinrichs
Arts and Society, International Programs in Sustainable Developments
2022W, Vorlesung und Übungen (VU), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S04398

Description

General Course Information

This course will take place every week for 1.5 hours (note: on 18.11. + 25.11. the course will take place until 12:45). It consists of input given by the instructor, discussions of topics and course materials, as well as written assignments. It thus requires active and regular participation.

Aim of the Course

This course prepares students for engaging in intercultural exchange and collaboration with China – a very different scientific, cultural, social, and political environment. Regardless of whether this encounter will take place through a future stay abroad or through continuous in-depth study, this course aims to provide a foundation for a more comprehensive understanding of the cultural context to support students to acquire or improve their transcultural competences. It is oriented towards present-day Chinese affairs in a global context. However, since a basic knowledge of Chinese history and culture is necessary in order to grasp contemporary phenomena, all topics will be placed in a historical context.

It provides an introduction into the following areas (based on examples):

  • the basics of the Chinese language spoken in the People’s Republic of China (PRC, mainland China) today, namely, Mandarin or Standard Chinese.
  • a basic understanding of early modern, modern, and contemporary Chinese history (mid-19th century–today).
  • the internal make-up of the PRC, the regional differences inside China, as well as China in the region and the world.
  • an overview of traditional Chinese culture and arts and the transformation of these during the 20th century.
  • current debates inside and outside of China related to environmental issues and sustainable development.
  • discourses on relevant present-day topics ranging from the topics of international relations, national politics, and society, which will be placed in a historical context.

And lastly, the overall goal of this course is to build motivation for taking up the task of “facing China”, which is as demanding as it is rewarding!

Methods

Every session will include an introduction into the topic by the instructor. Students will be trained to link historical developments in China to present-day phenomena, at the same time, they are encouraged to use a comparative method to reflect on these issues through juxtaposing them with their own cultural background. In the discussions in class and in the written assignments, they are asked to draw connections to individual (research) interests and, if possible, a global context.

Past and present will be linked throughout the entire course in order to gain a deeper understanding of present-day China. However, as the contact hours are limited and prior knowledge is not required to attend this course, all topics will be addressed in a highly selective manner through examples that facilitate diving into the subject matter. These examples can serve as reference points for further investigation.

Besides discussing the selected topics and related issues, it is important to learn ways how to conduct research on China-related topics – especially if Chinese language materials are not accessible to the students. In addition to research-based approaches, practical exercises as well as additional visual materials (art objects, documentaries) are used.

Examination Modalities

Active and regular participation is required (a maximum of two missed course sessions is allowed, preferably with a written excuse).

The grading is based on the following parameters:

- Preparation of the weekly sessions (incl. readings or other smaller tasks like watching a documentary or an online search) and participation

- A short presentation of a topic related to the course and the (research) interests of each participant (individual presentations are prefered, if the number of participants allows). The topics of the presentations will be discussed in class.

- An essay of max. 1200 words, based on the presentation topic and the discussions. 

 

Comments

Attendance at the first session is mandatory! In case you are unable to participate at the first session, please inform the instructor via mail.

Lecture room: KUG Lecture Room PSK 149 (the room has been changed!)

Key Words

China, history, Chinese language, politics, culture, comparative methods, interdisciplinarity

Dates

07 October 2022, 10:15–11:45 KUG Lecture Room PSK 149 , "Unit 1: Introduction to the Course and to Chinese Language" (preliminary discussion)
14 October 2022, 10:15–10:15, "--- ! Note: No session of this course on 14 October ! ---"
21 October 2022, 10:15–11:45 KUG Lecture Room PSK 149 , "Unit 2: “Centre and Periphery” & Challenges at the Border"
28 October 2022, 10:15–11:45 KUG Lecture Room PSK 149 , "Unit 3: International Relations in East Asia: China in the Region "
04 November 2022, 10:15–11:45 KUG Lecture Room PSK 149 , "Unit 4: From Tradition to Revolution: Religion, Arts and Literature (pre-modern–1920s–post-1949)"
11 November 2022, 10:15–11:45 KUG Lecture Room PSK 149 , "Unit 5: Into China’s North: Beijing – a Place of Glory and of Protest (1919–1989)"
18 November 2022, 10:15–12:45 KUG Lecture Room PSK 149 , "--- Note: This unit takes place until 12:45. --- Unit 6: Into China’s South: Shanghai – Movie Stars, Communists, and Jews (1920s–1945)"
25 November 2022, 10:15–12:45 KUG Lecture Room PSK 149 , "--- Note: This unit takes place until 12:45. --- Unit 7: Feminism in China: What Does Liberation Mean?"
02 December 2022, 10:15–11:45 KUG Lecture Room PSK 149 , "Unit 8: Marxism in China: Mao Zedong Thought and “Socialism With Chinese Characteristics”"
09 December 2022, 10:15–11:45 KUG Lecture Room PSK 149 , "Unit 9: The Era of Reform and Opening Up: Learning From Past Mistakes?"
16 December 2022, 10:15–11:45 KUG Lecture Room PSK 149 , "Unit 10: China in the Anthropocene: State, Society, and the Environment"
13 January 2023, 10:15–11:45 KUG Lecture Room PSK 149 , "Unit 11: How Is Mr. Democracy in China Going?"
20 January 2023, 10:15–11:45 KUG Lecture Room PSK 149 , "Unit 12: Open Session – Q&A for Study Abroad"
27 January 2023, 10:15–11:45 KUG Lecture Room PSK 149 , "Unit 13: Presentation of Own Research Interests 1"
03 February 2023, 10:15–11:45 KUG Lecture Room PSK 149 , "Unit 14: Presentation of Own Research Interests 2"

Course Enrolment

Via online registration

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

Co-registration: not possible

Attending individual courses: not possible