Course Code


Course Name

Unofficial China


Monday 4:30-6:15pm (Lectures)
Wednesday 11:30am-12:15pm (Tutorials)


YIA505 (Lectures)
LSK514/LSK515 (Tutorials)


Lynn SUN

Teaching Assistant


Course Description

What is it like to live as a child, a gay, a migrant, a non-Han, a disabled, or an online celebrity in today’s China? How do we decode the Chinese society and culture beyond cannons and official records? This English-taught course moves beyond state ideologies and official accounts by exploring the multiplicity of Chinese livelihoods and their underlying sociocultural meanings and implications. It adopts an interdisciplinary approach to offer a survey of Chinese cultures and societies as expressed and experienced at the grassroots level. Students will be guided to engage with both textual and non-textual materials produced by Chinese individuals and groups to appreciate the multiplicity of social lives and form critical understanding of Chinese social norms, cultural patterns and their deviations. This Faculty Package course serves as an introduction to Chinese Studies.

Course Outline

Detailed Course Outline is available on Blackboard.

Week 1: Course Introduction

Week 2: Making Official: Ethnic Classification in PRC

Week 3: Reinventing Tradition: Reforms and Rituals

Week 4: Making “Strangers”

Week 5: Missing Voices: Memory and Politics

Week 6: Desire and Disability

Week 7: Migrant Labor and Love

Week 8: Presentation Day

Week 9: The Internet and Censorship

Week 10: Fandom and Participatory Culture

Week 11: Courtship on Screen

Week 12: Romancing and Queering the Cyberspace

Week 13: Student Group Screening and Presentation

Assessment & Assignments

Class Attendance & Participation (15%)

Pop Quizzes (5% each – 20% total)

Reflection Paper (15%) & Sharing (10%)

Final Project (40%)

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at

With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

  • In the case of group projects, all members of the group should be asked to sign the declaration, each of whom is responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
  • For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students’ uploading of the soft copy of the assignment.

Assignments without the properly signed declaration will not be graded by teachers.

Only the final version of the assignment should be submitted via VeriGuide.

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g. to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions. It is common and acceptable to reuse a turn of phrase or a sentence or two from one’s own work; but wholesale reuse is problematic. In any case, agreement from the course teacher(s) concerned should be obtained prior to the submission of the piece of work.