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BA East Asian Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Introduction to Chinese Studies

Unit code CHIN10050
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Chinese Studies
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course is designed to provide students with a general introduction to the field of Chinese Studies and with the essential China-related knowledge and understanding they will need in the course of their undergraduate degree and beyond. Team-taught and multidisciplinary by design, the course is structured around six units: (i) geography and history; (ii) media and culture; (iii) society; (iv) politics; (v) economy; and (vi) future trends. Intentionally broad in its focus, this course provides students with a solid foundation in the field of Chinese Studies, allowing them to benefit from the expertise and teaching styles of a range of lecturers from across different disciplines and preparing them for further study in years two and three.

Aims

On successful completion of this course unit, students will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • The history and geography of mainland China and how these have shaped the country and its peoples
  • Cultural achievements and developments, from past literati culture(s) to contemporary popular media and cultures
  • The structure of Chinese societies, the roles of individuals, families, and larger communities, etc.
  • The (historical) role politics has played and continues to play in the shaping of Chinese societies
  • The transformations wrought upon the Chinese economy over the course of the 20th century and into the new millennium
  • Trends in culture, society, politics, economy and their interconnected roles in opening the door(s) to China’s future(s)
  • The diversity of China and Chinese-speaking communities around the world

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Understand and engage critically with different aspects of Chinese history and geography
  • Understand and engage critically with different modes and media of Chinese culture
  • Understand and engage critically with different forms of Chinese politics
  • Understand and engage critically with different aspects affecting economic development in China
  • Understand and engage critically with the concept of “Chineseness” and different understandings of “China”

 

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Think critically and engage in well-informed discussions
  • Critically engage with a variety of secondary literature from across different disciplines
  • Construct coherent, persuasive and well-supported arguments in writing
  • Process and understand complicated concepts in the field of Chinese Studies

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Manage time and work to deadlines
  • Apply critical reading skills
  • Assess the relevance and importance of the ideas of others
  • Present information, ideas and arguments, orally and in writing, with due regard to the target audience
  • Demonstrate skills of analysis

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Express themselves with confidence
  • Manage time and work to deadlines
  • Apply critical reading skills
  • Assess the relevance and importance of the ideas of others
  • Present information, ideas and arguments, orally and in writing, with due regard to the target audience
  • Demonstrate skills of analysis

Assessment methods

Article Response - 10%

Essay - 30%

Exam - 60%

Feedback methods

  • Oral feedback on in-class activities
  • Written feedback on essay
  • Additional one-to-one feedback (during consultation hour or by making an appointment

Recommended reading

Recommended:

  1. Ebrey, Patricia Buckley. The Cambridge Illustrated History of China, 2nd Edition. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  2. Spence, Jonathan. The Search for Modern China, 3rd Edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013.
  3. Wilkinson, Endymion. Chinese History: A New Manual, 3rd Edition. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2013.
  4. Kam Louie (ed). The Cambridge Companion to Modern Chinese Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 44
Independent study hours
Independent study 156

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Gregory Scott Unit coordinator

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