Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

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, and CHNS 0103. 5 hrs. lect., 2 hrs. drill

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

Beginning Chinese
An intensive continuation of CHNS 0101, this course is required of those wishing to take CHNS 0103 in the spring. Students may anticipate learning a significant amount of new vocabulary, sentence patterns and idiomatic expressions. Skits, oral presentations, writing assignments, and cultural activities are also part of this course. (CHNS 0101)

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Winter 2023

Requirements

LNG, WTR

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

Intermediate Chinese
This course is a continuation of the first term's work, with the class conducted primarily in Chinese. (CHNS 0201) 5 hrs. lect., 1 hr. drill

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Modern China through Literature (in translation)
This course, taught in English, is a discussion-based seminar on some of the most significant works of short fiction, novellas, and novels that tell the story of China and the Chinese from the end of the Qing dynasty to the present. Students will gain a better understanding of the history of modern China by studying the works of literature that inspired readers and provoked debate during one hundred years of social reform, revolution, war, civil war, reconstruction, cultural revolution, cultural revival, and economic growth. Our reading will include work by authors such as Lu Xun (Diary of a Madman, 1918), Zhang Ailing (Love in a Fallen City, 1944), Ah Cheng (The Chess King, 1984), Yu Hua (To Live, 1993), and, from Taiwan, Zhu Tianwen (Notes of a Desolate Man, 1999). We will consider the mainstream (socially engaged realism), the avant-garde (varieties of modernism), and popular genres (romance and martial arts), and we will look for answers to the following questions: what has been the place of fiction in China in the modern era and what vision of modern China do we find in its fiction? (No prerequisites) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Chinese Cinema
This course, taught in English, surveys the history of movies in China since the 1930s and also offers an in-depth look at the work of: China's fifth-generation directors of the 1980s and their successors up to the present; Taiwan's new wave; and Hong Kong popular cinema, including martial arts film. Our focus is the screening and discussion of films such as The Goddess (a 1934 silent classic), Stage Sisters (1965; directed by the influential Xie Jin), the controversial Yellow Earth (1984), In the Heat of the Sun (a 1994 break with the conventional representation of the Cultural Revolution), Yang Dechang's masterpiece A One and a Two (2000), and Still Life (Jia Zhangke's 2006 meditation on displacement near the Three Gorges Dam). The course is designed to help students understand the place of cinema in Chinese culture and develop the analytical tools necessary for the informed viewing and study of Chinese film. We will look at everything from art film, to underground film, to recent box office hits. (No prerequisites) One evening film screening per week. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2023

Requirements

ART, NOA

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Course Description

Chinese Sociolinguistics (taught in English)
Sociolinguistics is mainly concerned with the interaction of language and society. The language situation in China is unique both in the modern world and in human history. We will gain a good understanding of sociolinguistics as a scientific field of inquiry through exploring the Chinese situation in this course. Some of the questions we will ask are: What is Mandarin (Modern Standard) Chinese? Who are "native speakers" of Mandarin? Are most Chinese people monolingual (speaking only one language) or bilingual (speaking two languages) or even multilingual? How many "dialects" are there in China? What is the difference between a "language" and a "dialect"? Are Chinese characters "ideographs", i.e., "pictures" that directly represent meaning and have nothing to do with sound? Why has the pinyin romanization system officially adopted in the 1950s never supplanted the Chinese characters? Why are there traditional and simplified characters? We will also explore topics such as power, register, verbal courtesy, gender and language use. Students are encouraged to compare the Chinese situation with societies that they are familiar with. (One semester of Chinese language study or by waiver)

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Advanced Chinese (Modern Chinese)
This course aims at further development of overall language proficiency through extensive reading of selected texts representing a wide variety of subjects and styles. Classes will be conducted entirely in Chinese except for occasional recourse to English by the instructor to provide a quick solution to problems of definition. The main text will be All Things Considered with supplementary readings selected to help students both continue to work toward competence in conversational Chinese and also begin to master a more sophisticated register of language. 4 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

Advanced Chinese (Modern Chinese)
This course is a continuation of CHNS 0301 with continued practice in conversational Chinese and a greater emphasis on reading works of a literary nature. (CHNS 0301 or equivalent) 4 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

Traditional Chinese Poetry (in translation)
Introducing the basics of Chinese poetics, this junior/sophomore discussion-based seminar explores inter-connections across a wide spectrum of Chinese poetry belonging to a vibrant tradition spanning more than two thousand years--folk songs; court rhapsodies; courtesan love poems; extended allegorical fantasies; ballads and lyric verse of love, war, friendship, loss, and separation. Landscape, travel, romantic and metaphysical poems by masters such as Qu Yuan, Tao Yuanming, Wang Wei, Li Bai, Du Fu, Su Dongpo and Li Qingzhao will be studied. We will analyze poetic expression ranging from poetic genres following strict formal conventions to relatively free-form verse. Traditional Chinese literary theories regarding poetry and its appreciation will be considered, yet students will also be encouraged to apply other critical approaches. (Either CHNS 0219 or CHNS 0220, or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Clouds and Rain: Love and Sexuality in Traditional Chinese Literature (in translation)
This seminar explores a spectrum of traditional attitudes toward romantic love, sexualities, men and women seen through the prism of classical Chinese literature. Fiction and drama will be the main focus with due attention to poetry. Texts to be analyzed include, e.g., pre-6th-century B.C. and subsequent poems; 3rd and 4th-century and later stories of strange romances; the remarkable 7th-century tale of the Dwelling of Playful Goddesses and early 9th-century love story of “Yingying”; the marvelous late 16th-century romantic drama, the Peony Pavilion; the hilarious late 17th-century erotic novella, the Carnal Prayer Mat; and selected chapters from novelistic masterworks such as the late 16th-century and early 17th-century, Jin Ping Mei, and the 18th-century, The Story of the Stone (also known as Dream of the Red Chamber). (National/Transnational Feminisms) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

AAL, LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Literature and Culture in Contemporary China and the Sinophone World (in English translation)
In this course we will study select works of acclaimed, popular, and/or controversial short fiction, spoken drama, and poetry from the People’s Republic of China and the post-1949 Sinophone world, primarily Taiwan. We will devote some attention to other forms of cultural production, including film and visual art. We will place a particular emphasis on the study of work by Chinese and Sinophone writers and artists who belong to non-Han ethnic minority groups (e.g., Tibetan, Yi, and Atayal), and we will explore possible answers to the question, “How is Chinese national and cultural identity created and contested in literature?” 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Documentary Film in Contemporary China
In China since the 1980s, new political and socio-economic realities, along with new technologies, created conditions for the emergence of the New Documentary Movement, the collective achievement of a group of artists with new ideas about what the form and function of nonfiction film should be. We will screen and discuss select contemporary Chinese documentary films, place these films in the context of global documentary film history, and learn methods for the analysis of nonfiction film. We will “read” each film closely, and also study secondary sources to learn about the Chinese realities that each film documents. 3 hrs. lect./screening

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Winter 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART, NOA

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Course Description

Early 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 from 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), 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 also read an eighteenth century detective novel, Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee. 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's history, society, culture, worldviews, beliefs, and sense of humor. (CHNS 0219 or CHNS 0220, or two Middlebury Literature courses, or by approval of the instructor.)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Advanced Readings, Conversation, and Writing (Modern Chinese) (in Chinese)
This course is designed to improve students' competency in highly pragmatic Chinese, spoken and written. Readings and discussion will cover a wide variety of contemporary materials with an emphasis on linguistic preparation for study in China. (CHNS 0302 or equivalent) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

LNG

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Course Description

Contemporary Social Issues in China: Advanced Readings (in Chinese)
A survey of materials written in modern expository Chinese (academic, journalistic and polemical) that focus on the cultural, political, economic, and social issues of contemporary China. This advanced readings course is designed primarily for seniors who have already spent a semester or more studying and living in China or Taiwan. Emphasis will be given to further developing students' ability to read, analyze, and discuss complex issues in Mandarin while also advancing proficiency in writing and in oral comprehension. Oral reports and written compositions will be integral to the course's requirements. (Approval Required) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

LNG, NOA

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Course Description

Politics and Business in China: Advanced Readings and Discussion (in Chinese)
The capstone course for those students who have attained a high level of Chinese language proficiency. The goal of this course is to help students improve their ability to read, write, and talk about politics and business in China. Most of this course will focus on recent and current debate and discussion in China over domestic political programs and policies, international relations, and business trends. Discussion will also touch upon the political and economic history of the People's Republic of China and Taiwan. We will read articles intended for popular audiences in the Chinese-speaking world. 3 hrs. lect. (CHNS 0425 or CHNS 0411 or study abroad in China)

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

Requirements

AAL, LNG, NOA

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Course Description

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 may also see and discuss a film or 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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

LIT, LNG, NOA

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Course Description

Senior Essay
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Thesis
(Approval required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Thesis Proposal
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

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Course Description

Senior Thesis
(Approval required).

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

Requirements

WTR

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Course Description

Modern Chinese Spoken Drama: Page and Stage
In this course we will read selected works of spoken drama (huaju) and discuss the historical, cultural and aesthetic conditions out of which this modern Chinese theatrical form developed. As we study the history of huaju and read representative texts, we will also rehearse and perform a short Chinese play. This course is for students of Mandarin who have completed CHNS 0201 or above. Discussion will be in Chinese and English; readings and written work may be done in either language; the play will be performed in both. (CHNS 0201 or approval of the instructor.)

Terms Taught

Winter 2019

Requirements

AAL, ART, NOA, WTR

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Course Description

Women in Chinese American Diaspora Literature, 1950s-1990s
In this course we explore literary works written about Chinese American women by Chinese American women in the second half of the twentieth century. A comparison of commercially successful English-language works, such as Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, and works originally written in Chinese for an overseas audience in Asia, such as Nieh Hualing’s Mulberry and Peach, will be the starting point for investigating questions about who these narratives are for, how they shape the Chinese American identity, and how they reflect the intersections of gender, race, and language.

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

AMR, CMP, CW, LIT, SOC, WTR

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