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General Course Introduction-《Selected Issues on China》(2018-2019)Autumn Semester
Publish: 2018-09-13 Hits:
Lecture Time:

Tuesday 14:30-17:25 p.m. (Siming Campus)

Wednesday 14:30-17:25 p.m. (Xiang’an Campus)


Rm.101 Haiyun Bldg. (Siming Campus)

Rm.B205,NO.1 Bldg. (Xiang’an Campus)

Total Hours:32

Credits: 2


Attendance of lectures is mandatory. Students are encouraged to contribute to the in-class discussions on all topics. A quiz may be given in relation to the topic previously covered. Each student should try to develop his or her interest in a particular area and be prepared to write a short paper with minimum 2000 words about his or her understanding of the current situation and development in the area in China.


Students' final grades will be based on (1) objective scores they accumulate during the course and (2) the instructors' evaluation of the students' performance, participation, progress and efforts. The objective scores will be calculated on the basis of the following components:

Participation 20%

Final paper 80%

Module : Chinese Society and Culture (Lectures 1-2)

Siming Campus: Week 1-2

Xiang’an Campus:Week1-2

Instructor: Lyu Yunfang

E-mail: lyf@xmu.edu.cn

Description: This part of the lecture series will give a general overview of the transformation process in Chinese society and culture in modern times, at personal, familial and social levels. It is to cover the topics on personal relations, career and education, love and marriage, family structure and power shift, aging society, ethnic issues, religions, gender issues, stratification and social mobility.

Reading materials:

1.Yan Yunxiang, The Individualization of Chinese Society, Berg Publishers, 2009

2.Prasenjit Duara, The Global and Regional in China's Nation-Formation. London ; New York: Routledge, 2009

3.Mayfair Mei-hui Yang, Chinese Religiosities: Afflictions of Modernity and State Formation, UC Berkeley, 2008

Module : Chinese Culture (Lectures4-5)  

Siming Campus: Week4-5

Xiang’an Campus:Week4-5

Instructor: Xia Guangwu

E-mail: xiagw@xmu.edu.cn

Description: This part of the lecture series introduces Chinese Culture in brief. In order to help students quickly get to know the cultural root of Chinese people, the two-week lecture focuses on dominating variations of Chinese literature and their influence. Instructor will introduce the most important and representative holidays, which have strong impact on Chinese people. Students are encouraged to participate on-class discussion toward these instances as well.

Topics to be covered:

1. Chinese Spring Festival and so on:background and core thoughts

2. Chinese Valentine’s Day: Romanticism in Chinese culture

3. Dragon-boat Festival: Chinese Patriotism

4. Mid-Autumn Festival: Family reunion and other extension stories

Reading materials:

1.Gao Li ed, Talking about China in English, Beijing: China Water Power Press. 2011.

2.Yao Dan. Chinese Literature. Beijing: China Intercontinental Press, 2006.

3.Victoria Cass. In the Realm of the Gods: Lands, Myths, and Legends of China. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2007.

4.Valerie Hansen. The Open Empire: A History of China to 1600. N. Y.: W. W. Norton, 2000.

Module: Chinese Higher Education & Cross-cultural Learning  (Lectures6-7)  

Siming Campus: Week6-7

Xiang’an Campus:Week6-7

Instructor: Wu Wei

E-mail: wuwei@xmu.edu.cn

Description: This part of the lecture series will first give a general overview of the contemporary Chinese higher education development. Then the lecture will focus on the cross-cultural learning and teaching. It is essential to understand some cultural factors which affect our interaction and learning in Chinese context. At last, we will think about together how to acculturate ourselves into the new Chinese university culture.

Reading materials:

1. Liu Haifeng, the Examination Culture in Imperial China.Paths International Ltd,2018     

2.Ruth Hayhoe. China's universities, 1895-1995 a century of cultural conflict. Garland Pub, 1996.         

3.Jianmin Gu, Xueping Li, Lihua Wang. Higher education in China. Zhejiang University Press ; Paramus, NJ : Homa & Sekey Books, 2009.   

4.Kai Yu. Tertiary education at a glance: China. Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press, 2010.  

5.World Bank. China : higher education reform. Washington, D.C. : World Bank, c1997.          

6.Gerard A. Postiglione. Pan Maoyuan and Chinese higher education. Armonk, NY : M. E. Sharpe, c2007.   

Module: Economic development in China (Lectures8-9)

Siming Campus: Week8-9

Xiang’an Campus:Week8-9

Instructor: Meng Lei

E-mail: lmeng05@gmail.com

Description: This part of the lecture series will first give a general overview of the contemporary Chinese economic growth and development, including a brief introduction to the traditional Chinese economy, the planned economy and the market transition. Then the lecture will focus on recent development issues related to urbanization in China.  

Reading materials:

1. Chow, Gregory C. 2015. China’s Economic Transformation. 3nd Edition. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

2.Barry Naughton. 2007. The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

3. Lin, Justin Yifu, Fang Cai, and Zhou Li. 2003. The China Miracle:

Development Strategy and Economic Reform. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.

Module: Chinese Philosophy (Lectures10-11)

Siming Campus: Week 10-11

Xiang’an Campus:Week10

Instructor: Liu Xiaofei

E-mail: liuxf@xmu.edu.cn

Description: This part of the course is a brief introduction to Chinese Philosophy. It will focus on perhaps the most influential and definitely the most well-known Chinese philosopher, Kongzi (also known as Confucius), and his ideas. We will discuss Kongzi’s political ideal and its relation to his notion of morality, in particular, Ren (goodness) and three key virtues – Zhong (dutifulness), Xiao (filial piety), and Yi (rightness). By understanding Kongzi’s ideas of morality and political ideal, especially in contrast with their western counterparts, we will peek into what’s at the core of the Chinese culture.

Reading materials:

1.Confucius Analects: with selections from traditional commentaries, translated by Edward Slingerland, Hackett Publishing Company, 2003.

2.Readings in Classic Chinese Philosophy, edited by Philip J. Ivanhoe and Bryan W. Van Norden, Seven Bridges Press, 2001.

3.The Monkey King: Uproar in Heaven (DVD), available for free on Youtube.

4.Outlaws of the Marsh, by Shi Nai'An, translated by Sidney Shapiro, Foreign Languages Press, 2001.