Course Code


Course Name

Introduction to Chinese Studies


Wednesday 14:30 pm -17:15 pm


WMY 502


Prof. Gao Yunwen
Prof. Wang Xiaoxuan

Teaching Assistant

Cailitana Mamuti

Course Description

This course is an introduction to major themes in Chinese Studies that examines key questions, problems and approaches to the study of the Chinese world.  Lectures and tutorial discussions are designed to inspire first-year students to grapple with major issues, to reflect on how they themselves relate to what is studied, and to begin to explore  the wide scope of possibilities inherent to this interdisciplinary major. 

By the end of the term, students should have:

  • grasped several major themes, key questions and approaches to Chinese Studies.
  • learned to productively debate and reflect on a series of major issues in the field.
  • gained a deeper understanding of their relationship to Chinese Studies and improve their ability to articulate their views in oral and written presentations.

Course Outline

Week 1:  September 6                     
Introduction: Chinese Studies and You
Gao Yunwen & Wang Xiaoxuan

Week 2: September 13                    
Engaging with Sources: Library Workshop on Academic Honesty, Citation Format, and Research Tools
Gao Yunwen & Miriam Seeger
* Meeting at User Education Room at Main Library
* Library Tour and Library Exercise

Week 3: September 20                    
Approaching Chinese Literature from an Interdisciplinary Perspective
Gao Yunwen

Week 4: September 27
Reading and Writing Academically on China
Wang Xiaoxuan

Week 5: October 4               
On Revolution in China
Wang Xiaoxuan
* In-class Essay

Week 6: October 11                         
Governing China
Tim Summers

Week 7: October 18   
Science and Medicine in China
Dora YAO Wuyutong

Week 8: October 25                         
Chinese-language Hip Hop
Michael Ka Chi Cheuk

Week 9: November 1                       
Field trip to Chungking Mansions
Lynn Sun
* Field-Trip & Fieldnote Assignment

Week 10: November 8                     
Course Review and Group Project Workshop
Gao Yunwen & Wang Xiaoxuan

Week 11: November 15                   
Waste and Society in China
Jacqueline Lin
* Field-Trip & Photo-Essay Assignment

Week 12: November 22                   
Group Project Research Week, No class

Week 13: November 29                   
Group Project Presentations
Gao Yunwen & Wang Xiaoxuan
* Individual Summaries due in-class

Assessment & Assignments

Class Participation  20%                     

Library Exercise  5%

Fieldtrip Photo-Essays (2)  20%                 

Group Project Individual Summary  15%

Reading Quizzes (4)  10%

In-Class Essay  10%

Group Project  20%


Honesty in Academic Work

All students should familiarize themselves with university policies and regulations on HONESTY IN ACADEMIC WORK and the DISCIPLINARY GUIDELINES and PROCEDURES applicable to breaches of such policies and regulations. See the website: Any cases of plagiarism will be severely penalized and reported to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, which could result in failure or expulsion from the University.

Use of AI tools in any form is strictly prohibited in this course.