Chinese Culture I

A.Y. 2021/2022
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
L-OR/21
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to provide an introduction to Chinese traditional culture, focusing on the close relationship between the Chinese system of writing and the development of Chinese civilization. One of the main elements which shaped the ancient Chinese culture is the concept of script (wen). In fact writing in China was the powerful means to unify the country and spread the culture of the "Middle Kingdom" ( Zhongguo). During the course of the long standing Confucian society the concept of wen was related to the civilian sphere and wu to the military sphere, and even today the character wen is part of words such as "civilization" (wenming), "culture", (wenhua), "literature" (wenxue), "literary work" (wenzhang). Starting from these keywords the course will analyze some of the fundamental elements of the Chinese traditional civilization in order to provide the basis for understanding contemporary China.
Expected learning outcomes
The course will supply students with the basic competnces and skills to deal with the major aspects of the traditionbal Cinese culture in terms of history, lietature and history of thought.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Due to the difficulties we are facing, the program will temporarily be subjected to changes as the course will partially will develop online:

Teaching methods:
Lessons will mainly be held in videoconference using Teams, with the exception of some asynchronous lessons (videolessons). All materials used during the lessons will be made available on Ariel.

The didactic activities also include working in teams. Students who will not participate in the group work will have to add a book for the exam.

All the details of the activities will be published on Ariel at the beginning of the semester. Any updates will be communicated on the platform.

Reference materials:
In addition to the bibliography reported in the program, reference should be made to all the lessons, materials and resources published on Ariel.

Learning assessment procedures and assessment criteria:
The exam is oral.

Participation in group work and related production is also part of the final score. Students who will not participate in the group work will have to add a book for the exam.

The oral exam takes place on Teams, according to the indications provided by the University. Any communication on deadlines and organisation of the tests will be published on Ariel.

The oral exam is the same for both attended and non-attended students, with the only difference that the oral conversation for non-attended students will consist of a greater number of questions.

International students who did not completed their BA in Italy take the oral exam on specific contents indicated in the program.
Course syllabus
The aim of the course is to provide an introduction to Chinese traditional culture, focusing on the close relationship between the Chinese system of writing and the development of Chinese civilization. One of the main elements which shaped the ancient Chinese culture is the concept of script (wen). In fact writing in China was the powerful means to unify the country and spread the culture of the "Middle Kingdom" ( Zhongguo). During the course of the long standing Confucian society the concept of wen was related to the civilian sphere and wu to the military sphere, and even today the character wen is part of words such as "civilization" (wenming), "culture", (wenhua), "literature" (wenxue), "literary work" (wenzhang). Starting from these keywords the course will analyze some of the fundamental elements of the Chinese traditional civilization in order to provide the basis for understanding contemporary China.
Prerequisites for admission
The course is offered to first year students with no previous experiences in learning Chinese culture, it does not require previous knowledge.
Teaching methods
The course includes readings of literary texts and screening of multimedia materials. In order to train their critical abilities and their communicative skills, student will be required to work in teams on selected topics and produce a multimedia presentation.
Seminars and conferences by distinguished guests from the Chinese cultural scene will be offered in order to strengthen the students skills and knowledge.

Participation in activities and events is considered an integral part of the course.
News and updates on events, teaching activities and materials will be available on the ARIEL web portal.
Teaching Resources
Materials for students with a high school diploma obtained in Italy
1) Alessandra Lavagnino, Sivia Pozzi, Cultura Cinese. Segno, scrittura, civiltà, Roma, Carocci, 2013.
2) Silvia Pozzi (a cura di), Confucio re senza corona, Milano, O barra O edizioni, 2011.
3) Le seguenti sezioni tratte da Edoarda Masi, Cento capolavori della letteratura cinese, Macerata, Quodlibet, 2009: "Il libro della poesia (Shijing)" - "Zhuangzi" - "Mengzi" - "Xunzi" - "Han Feizi" - "Memorie dello storico (Shiji)" - Li Bo e WangWei - "Il padiglione delle peonie (Mudanting)" - "Viaggio a Occidente (Xiyouji)" - "Jin Ping Mei" - "Racconti straordinari dello studio di Liao (Liaozhaizhiyi)" - "Il sogno della camera rossa (Hong loumeng)".
4) Chinese history basic knowledge (from the origins to the late Qing period) on: John Roberts, Storia della Cina, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2007. (capp. I, II, III, IV e V fino a p. 262).
5) Read one of the following novels: Jin Ping Mei (Chin P'ing Mei), Romanzo erotico cinese del sec. XVI (trad. di P. Jahier, dalla versione inglese di A. Waley), 2 voll., Milano, Feltrinelli, 1980 oppure Torino, Einaudi. - Wu Ch'êng-ên, Lo scimmiotto (trad. di A. Motti, dalla versione inglese di A. Waley), Torino, Einaudi, 1982.- Cao Xueqin (Ts'aoHsüeh-Ch'in), Il sogno della camera rossa (trad. di E. Masi), 2 voll., Torino, Einaudi, 1964; 3 voll., Torino, U.T.E.T., 1981; Milano, BUR Rizzoli, 2008 o altre edizioni.
6) Writing exercises: Bettina Mottura, Jin Zhigang, . Caratteri cinesi: esercizi di scrittura, Milano, Unicopli, 2015.
7) Analysis of conferences or other activities' content.

Materials for students with non Italian nationality holding a high school diploma not obtained in Italy
1) Alessandra Lavagnino, Sivia Pozzi, Cultura Cinese. Segno, scrittura, civiltà, Roma, Carocci, 2013.
2) Chinese history basic knowledge (from the origins to the late Qing period) on: John Roberts, Storia della Cina, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2007. (capp. I, II, III, IV e V fino a p. 262).
3) Read one of the following novels: Jin Ping Mei (ChinP'ing Mei), Romanzo erotico cinese del sec. XVI (trad. di P. Jahier, dalla versione inglese di A. Waley), 2 voll., Milano, Feltrinelli, 1980 oppure Torino, Einaudi. - Wu Ch'êng-ên, Lo scimmiotto (trad. di A. Motti, dalla versione inglese di A. Waley), Torino, Einaudi, 1982.- Cao Xueqin (Ts'ao Hsüeh-Ch'in), Il sogno della camera rossa (trad. di E. Masi), 2 voll., Torino, Einaudi, 1964; 3 voll., Torino, U.T.E.T., 1981; Milano, BUR Rizzoli, 2008 o altre edizioni.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an oral test focusing on the content of the textbooks selected for this course.

Participation in group work and related production is also part of the final score. Students who will not participate in the group work will have to add a book for the exam.

Besides, students' active participation to the team work, the course and written reports on conferences or other cultural activities offered in the programme, will be positively evaluated.
L-OR/21 - CHINESE AND SOUTH ASIAN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES - University credits: 9
Lessons: 60 hours
Educational website(s)