Course Code


Course Name

The Male Bond in Traditional China


Tuesday 3:30-6:15pm


YIA 402


King Fai TAM

Teaching Assistant

Mavis SIU

Course Description

Romance of Three Kingdoms (Sankuo yanyi) and Outlaws of the Marsh (Shuihu zhuan), two masterpieces of classical Chinese fiction, are treasure troves of traditional Chinese values. This course will focus on the phenomenon of male bonding, an important facet of masculinity, as illustrated in these two works. Through a close study of major selections from the novels, their filmic adaptations, background materials and critical literature, students will come to understand the nature of close relationships between men in Chinese culture, observable in many social situations even today.

Course Outline

Detailed Course Outline is available on Blackboard.

Week 1: Organizational Meeting

Week 2: Theme and Structure of SGYY and SHZh

Week 3: The Study of Femininity and Masculinity in China

Week 4: No class

Week 5: Traditional View of Friendship and the Five Ethical Bonds

Week 6: Good and Bad Women

Week 7: Male Bonding

Week 8: The Sworn Brotherhood

Week 9: Friendship in Rivalry

Week 10: Friendship and Class

Week 11: The Man and His Alter-ego

Week 12: Filmic Adaptations of SHZh

Week 13: No class

Week 14: Filmic Adaptations of SGYY

Week 15: Summation

Assessment & Assignments

Participation (10%)

Presentation (25%)

Short Assignment (25%)

Final Paper (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.