Course Code


Course Name

Introduction to Chinese Studies


Tuesday 2:30-5:15pm


Sino Building (SB) 239


Prof. Jan Kiely
Prof. Yunwen Gao
Prof. Chen Li

Teaching Assistant

Hu Yijun (


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. 

Course Outline

Week 1: Introduction: Chinese Studies and You                                          

Week 2: History and Religion

Session I (2:30-3:45pm): The historical anthropology of Chinese society

Session II (4:00-5:15pm): Why religion is an essential part of China’s story

Week 3:  What is Modern in China?

Week 4: On Revolution in China

Week 5: Approaching Chinese Literature from an Interdisciplinary Perspective

Week 6: Engaging with Primary Sources: The Case of the Hong Kong Literature Special Collection

Week 7: Contemporary China: Politics and Film

Session I (2:30-3:45pm): Governing China                               

Session II (4:00-5:15pm): Chinese Cinema   

Week 8: China’s Economy

Week 9: China’s Business Environment

Week 10: Doing Family in Contemporary China

Week 11: Waste and Society in China

Week 12: Group Project Presentations

Assessment & Assignments

Note-taking 5%                 Fieldtrip Photo-Essay 10%

Reading Quizzes (4) 10%                 Class Participation 20%

In-Class Commentaries (2) 20%                 Group Project: Group Presentation 15%

Library Homework 5%                 Group Project: Individual Summary 15%    

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.