Middlebury

 

Weihe Xu

Associate Professor of Chinese

Email: 
Phone: work802.443.3430
Office Hours: SPRING 2014: Wed & Fri 4:00-6:00 and by appointment
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Courses

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

CHNS 0101 - Beginning Chinese      

Beginning Chinese
This course is an introduction to Mandarin (guoyu or putonghua). The course begins with simple words and phrases, the pronunciation and cadences of Mandarin, romanization, Chinese characters, and simple vocabulary items, all taught in the context of practical communication. Sentence patterns and other fundamentals of speaking, reading, and writing will be taught, including both traditional characters (used everywhere before the 1950s and still used in Taiwan and Hong Kong) and simplified characters (used in China). Students should have achieved active command of more than 600 Chinese characters and more than 800 compounds by the end of the sequence CHNS 0101, CHNS 0102, CHNS 0103. 5 hrs. lect., 2 hrs. drill

LNG

Fall 2013, Fall 2014

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CHNS 0103 - Beginning Chinese      

Beginning Chinese
This course is a continuation of the fall and winter terms with accelerated introduction of vocabulary, grammar, and sentence patterns designed to facilitate speaking and reading. Toward the end of this semester students will read Huarshang de meiren (Lady in the Painting), a short book written entirely in Chinese. (CHNS 0102 or equivalent) 5 hrs. lect., 2 hrs. drill

LNG

Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014

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CHNS 0201 - Intermed Chinese      

Intermediate Chinese
This course is designed to enable the student to converse in everyday Chinese and to read simple texts in Chinese (both traditional and simplified characters). Discussion of assigned readings will be conducted primarily in Chinese. Familiarity with the vocabulary and grammar introduced in CHNS 0101, CHNS 0102, and CHNS 0103 is assumed. Grammatical explanations, written exercises, dictation quizzes, sentence patterns, oral drill, and CD's will accompany assignments. By the completion of CHNS 0202, which follows CHNS 0201 directly, students should be able to read and write approximately 1,200 characters. (CHNS 0103 or equivalent) 5 hrs. lect., 1 hr. drill

LNG

Fall 2011, Fall 2012

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CHNS 0219 - Chinese Literary Tradition      

The Chinese Literary Tradition (in translation)
This course, an introduction to the works of literature that formed the basis of traditional Chinese culture, is a discussion-based seminar. It focuses first on texts written in classical Chinese from the earliest times up through the Song dynasty, including selections from early poetry and history, Daoist classics, stories of the strange, and Tang Dynasty poetry by Wang Wei, Li Bai and Du Fu. These texts shaped the traditional Chinese understanding of the world, and provided models of what was perceived to be powerful, beautiful language. In the second part of the course we will explore narratives written in the vernacular language, focusing on the literary significance and aesthetic value of drama, stories and novels long treasured by the Chinese. Students will gain a better understanding of traditional Chinese literary values, as well as Chinese society and worldviews. This class is not intended for native Chinese students who have studied Chinese literature in high school classes in China. (No background in Chinese culture or language needed.) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AAL LIT

Spring 2010

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CHNS 0330 - Love & Sex in Trad Chinese Lit      

Clouds and Rain: Love and Sexuality in Traditional Chinese Literature (in translation)
This seminar explores the spectrum of traditional attitudes toward romantic love and sexuality in pre-modern China as seen through the prism of classical Chinese literature. Fiction and drama will be the focus of this course with some attention given to lyric poetry and autobiographical writing. Literary texts to be analyzed include the early ninth-century story, The Story of Yingying, the late sixteenth-century drama, The Peony Pavilion, the late seventeenth-century erotic novella, The Carnal Prayer Mat, along with selected chapters from the late sixteenth-century erotic novel, Jin Ping Mei, and the eighteenth-century masterwork, The Story of the Stone (also known as Dream of the Red Chamber), etc. Normally offered in alternate years. (Either CHNS 0219, CHNS 0220, or CHNS/FMMC 0250, or by waiver. CHNS 0219 strongly recommended) 3 hrs. lect.

AAL LIT

Fall 2014

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CHNS 0370 - Traditional Chinese Novels      

Traditional Chinese Novels (in translation)
This seminar focuses on pre-modern Chinese full-length novels, which rose and matured during the Ming-Qing period. Students will read the "masterworks" of this genre, including Three Kingdoms (the epic deeds of heroes of the Chinese civil war of the second and third centuries), Outlaws of the Marsh (picaresque tales of Chinese Robin Hoods, as it were), The Journey to the West (a comic Buddhist-Daoist allegory better known in English as Monkey), The Plum in the Golden Vase (an erotic novel of manners), The Scholars (a social satire), and The Story of the Stone-The Dream of the Red Chamber (widely recognized as a masterpiece of world literature); all are beloved and long treasured by the Chinese. We will not only trace the evolution of classical Chinese novels and consider their literary significance and artistic value; the course will also aim to provide a richer and deeper understanding of traditional China, her history, society, culture, worldviews, beliefs, sense of humor, etc. (CHNS 0219, CHNS 0220, or CHNS 0250, or two Middlebury literature courses, or by approval of the instructor. CHNS 0219 strongly recommended.)

AAL LIT

Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

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CHNS 0411 - Classical Chinese I      

Classical Chinese I (in Chinese)
This course is an introduction to wenyan, the written language of traditional China. In this course we will emphasize comprehension of the literal and metaphorical meanings of short wenyan texts. Our approach will include grammatical analysis and baihua translation (i.e., from the Classical Chinese into modern Chinese); discussion will be conducted entirely in baihua. This course begins the two-semester sequence of Classical Chinese, which not only introduces students to wenyan but also provides a vital learning experience for any student seeking to attain a high level of linguistic and cultural proficiency in Chinese, including modern written discourse. (CHNS 0302 or the equivalent) 3 hrs. lect.

LNG

Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014

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CHNS 0412 - Classical Chinese II      

Classical Chinese II (in Chinese)
A continuation of CHNS 0411. In this course students will read a wide selection of wenyan texts that sample the classics of ancient Chinese thought, including Confucius' Analects, the Daoist texts Laozi and Zhuangzi, Mohist arguments against war, Sunzi's The Art of War, and Legalist writings on law. Students will also learn to punctuate wenyan texts (which were originally unpunctuated) and compose sentences or short paragraphs in wenyan. All class discussion will be conducted in modern Chinese. (CHNS 0411 or the equivalent) 3 hrs. lect.

LNG

Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014

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CHNS 0475 - Seminar Chinese Fiction      

Senior Seminar on Modern Chinese Literature (in Chinese)
A capstone course for all Chinese majors and for others who have attained a high level of Chinese language proficiency. Students will read and critique works by major Chinese fiction writers (and sometimes playwrights) and also see and discuss films from mainland China, Hong Kong, and/or Taiwan. All reading, discussion, and critical writing will be in Chinese. (CHNS 0412 or CHNS 0425) 3 hrs. lect.

AAL LIT LNG

Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014

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CHNS 0500 - Independent Project      

Senior Essay
(Approval Required)

Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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CHNS 0700 - Senior Essay      

Senior Thesis
(Approval required)

Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Fall 2014

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CHNS 0701 - Senior Thesis Research      

Senior Thesis Proposal
(Approval Required)

Fall 2013, Fall 2014

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CHNS 0702 - Senior Thesis      

Senior Thesis
(Approval required).

WTR

Winter 2014

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Expertise and Research Interests

Vernacular prose fiction of late imperial China, especially the 18th-century masterpiece Honglou meng (The Dream of the Red Chamber, or the Story of the Stone); traditional Chinese conceptions of love, sexuality, and humor; humor theory; and literary humor.