Professors: Chu (Chair), Hong
The Chinese Department provides students with an exposure to the language, literature, and culture of China. Seven levels of Chinese language courses, with a balanced emphasis on listening, reading, writing, and speaking, set a good foundation. Students may study abroad in China or take part in other forms of advanced study to master the language used by one-quarter of the world's population. Literature (in English translation) and culture courses acquaint students with the Chinese literary works and their social/political/cultural texts and contexts, facilitate their enjoyment of literature in general, and enhance their capability to understand the meaning of Chinese literary and cultural expressions, and traditional and contemporary Chinese society.
Requirements for the Minor in Chinese
Number of Units
Six units are required.
CHIN 103 Beginning Chinese III
CHIN 201 Intermediate Chinese I
CHIN 202 Intermediate Chinese II
CHIN 203 Intermediate Chinese III
Chinese Literature Elective (Must be taken on campus.)
Chinese Literature or Studies Elective (May be taken during study abroad or on campus.)
The Chinese Department is also an essential part of the East Asian studies program. Students may major in international and area studies with a focus on East Asia or major in East Asian Studies, China Track. Interested students should consult with Ms. Chu. For "Requirement for the Major in East Asian Studies, China Track", see catalog listing for East Asian Studies.
Study Abroad Opportunities
The College has established an exchange program in Beijing and Harbin in the People's Republic of China. Students who are interested in study abroad opportunities in are strongly recommended to complete CHIN-203 before leaving for China. It is also important to note that Chinese language courses are offered in the Fall-Winter-Spring sequence for both CHIN-101-102-103 and CHIN-201-202-203. In other words, CHIN-101 and CHIN-201 are only offered in the Fall Quarter. For more details about language preparation for Study Abroad, consult early with Ms. Chu and the Center for International Programs.
CHIN101Beginning Chinese IThis course is an introduction to the Chinese language. Pronunciation system, basic vocabulary, written script, fundamental grammatical structures, as well as some cultural background of the language will be studied. The goal of this course is to set a good foundation for making Chinese a functional language for the students. Students are asked to follow three principles: (1) make Chinese a part of daily life, (2) use Chinese actively in class and outside of class, and (3) be creative in finding ideas for using the Chinese language.
CHIN102Beginning Chinese IIThis course follows Beginning Chinese I. All four skills -- listening, speaking, reading, and writing -- are equally emphasized. By the end of this course, students are expected to understand simple questions and answers, to be able to ask and respond to simple questions, to understand simple statements, and to be able to participate in simple conversations on a few familiar topics. Students will also be expected to read and write simple notes, meaningful sentences, and short passages constructed with basic grammatical patterns.Prerequisite: CHIN-101
CHIN103Beginning Chinese IIIA continuation of Beginning Chinese II, this course further consolidates the essential skills in reading, writing, listening to, and speaking Chinese. The goals are to increase vocabulary, to form a clear understanding of the language through knowledge of the meaning of words and structures, and to advance the ability of students to express themselves in the language accurately and properly on some selected topics.Prerequisite: CHIN-102
CHIN201Intermediate Chinese IThis course follows CHIN 103 and starts the Intermediate Chinese language sequence. It will create an authentic language environment for the students and help make learning Chinese an interesting experience. The students will develop their fundamental language skills with a balanced emphasis on listening, speaking, reading, and writing. A communicative approach will be adopted, and accuracy will be emphasized at the same time. Culture will be brought into the classroom through songs, poems, and so on. Short cultural talks related to course material will be given.Prerequisite: CHIN-103
CHIN202Intermediate Chinese IIThis course follows CHIN 201, Intermediate Chinese I, and emphasizes interactive skills. More authentic materials will be used, and more topics and situations concerning contemporary Chinese society will be introduced. Class activities include visiting local Chinese communities and interviewing native speakers of Chinese language.Prerequisite: CHIN-201
CHIN203Intermediate Chinese IIIThe course concludes the Intermediate Chinese sequence. Students should be prepared for exposure to various spoken and written styles of Chinese and for a steady expansion of their vocabulary. After completing three quarters of Intermediate Chinese, students will have gained a solid foundation in Chinese grammar and vocabulary and have developed good strategies for effective reading and listening comprehension. In addition, students will have acquired further confidence in their ability to speak Chinese.Prerequisite: CHIN-202
CHIN215Chinese Cultural Motifs through CalligraphyChinese scripts are windows to East Asia cultures. This course traces the etymology and introduces the cultural background of Chinese scripts. It also provides hands-on practice of Chinese calligraphy. This course combines aesthetic training and language learning. Students learn the Chinese scripts not only as linguistic symbols but also as cultural motifs and art forms. Learning the etymology and cultural background of the scripts helps one to understand the linguistic formation of Chinese and other Asian languages that use Chinese scripts. It further provides useful references to the value system, thinking process, and aesthetic principles behind the Chinese language. The hands-on practice of calligraphy is a unique cultural experience. Through frequent review and constant practice, the students become familiar with Chinese scripts, learn the linguistic and cultural meanings associated with these scripts, and acquire the artistic skill of creative expression.
CHIN/SEMN220Chinese Food CultureChinese culture is among the most food-conscious ones. Through China's long history, food has always been a means of communication, a symbol of good life, and at the same time a target of criticism for its indulgence and improper distribution. Additionally, it has been a provision for healthcare, and a rich resource of linguistic expressions and literary allusions and metaphors. These will be the topics of the seminar, which should be a meaningful and effective pathway to the core of Chinese life and philosophy. This course is a Shared Passages Sophomore Seminar.Prerequisite: Sophomores Only
CHIN225Traditional Chinese Literature in TranslationThis course examines the relationship between the individual and society in traditional Chinese literature. We will read a wide selection of important texts from China's long history, including the Classic of Poetry, early assassin narratives, medieval nature poetry and romantic tales, vernacular stories, urban drama, and novels from the late imperial period. Among the more important questions that we will investigate is the complex role that Chinese literature played in articulating the place of the individual vis-à-vis the community and state.
CHIN235Modern Chinese Literature in TranslationThis course will examine the literary world of modern China by closely analyzing representative stories and novels written during the 20th century. As will quickly become clear in the course, literature in modern China has had and continues to have a close relationship with politics as well as with a wide variety of discussions on cultural identity in post-traditional China. Among the main goals of the course will be to explore how literature comes to grips with a thoroughgoing crisis of an established culture that results in a series of consequences unprecedented in Chinese history. Above all, the course will seek to understand how and why literature has played the role that it has, and what implications for the meaning of literature can be determined from examining the relationship between writing and society in modern China.
CHIN245Chinese FilmThis course examines the cinematic traditions of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong in light of such topics as: the foundational legends of Chinese cinema, the relationship between film and politics, representations of historical crisis (e.g., the February 28 Incident (1947), the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-76), and the British handover of Hong Kong (1997)), revolutionary aesthetics, and "spectacular" violence. The overarching question we will explore is: How do Chinese films create the spectacle of "China," narrate its history, and represent its diverse cultural landscapes both at home and abroad?
CHIN260Women in ChinaAs in many countries subject to imperialism, women's movements in China were an important part of China's modernization project. How, then, have Chinese feminist theories and women's movements been different from those in the West? What is it like to live as a woman in a rapidly changing China through the 20th and 21st centuries? This course takes three approaches to explore these questions. To examine the characteristics and changes of gender roles we look at the representations of women in literature and film. To understand women's experiences we read women writers' essays, memoirs and fictions. To think about how women work as historical agents who make historical changes, we look at women activists, feminist thinkers and women's movements.
CHIN300Advanced ChineseThis course is a continuation of the Intermediate Chinese language sequence. The objective is to make a transition from textbook Chinese to real-life communication situations. For this purpose, the course surveys materials including texts from literature, the social sciences and cultural history, and students will be exposed to a wide variety of written and spoken styles of Chinese. Some of the materials selected are original publications drawn from books, magazines and newspapers. The opportunity to work directly with lively, authentic materials will be valuable for studying Chinese language, literature, society and culture. This course focuses on content and style with extensive discussion and frequent written assignments in Chinese. It will consolidate what the students have learned in the past and help them develop better reading and writing skills. In addition, the improvement of speaking and listening abilities will also be emphasized. This course may be tailored to the needs of the participants and may be taken for credit up to three times.Prerequisite: CHIN-203
CHIN/SEMN495/IAST 490National IdentityThis course, an interdisciplinary senior seminar on the subject of national identity, asks students to consider what it means to be a citizen of a nation. Our course will begin with a discussion of basic concepts such as nation, national identity, and nationalism, as well as an introduction to important theoretical frameworks and recent scholarship. This will be followed by case studies in which we will examine the nature, sources, and consequences of national identity on individual nations. In each instance, we will analyze the characteristics of national identity as it relates to other forms of collective identity (i.e., religious, ethnic, territorial, etc.). We will also discuss the relationship between national and individual identity, and the role that national identity plays in modern politics and society. The overarching question we will be exploring is: What does the existence of national identity say about us? And how can an understanding of the meaning of national identity help us to better communicate with the governments and peoples of other nations in an age of globalization? This course is a Shared Passages Senior Capstone.
CHIN495Social & Cultural Issues in Today's ChinaThis course is designed for, and only open to, seniors who have returned from study in China. It is built upon the students' on-site experiences, language ability and newly gained understanding of contemporary China. The class is conducted in Chinese and all reading materials are in the original language, including essays and articles published in newspapers, periodicals, and literary journals in China. Class activities include discussing and debating on contemporary affairs, and analyzing and summarizing key points of the course materials. In additional to reading, frequent written assignments such as reading comprehension and essay writing, are expected.
CHIN593Senior Individualized ProjectEach program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Individualized Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum -> Senior Individualized Project section of the Academic Catalog for more details.Prerequisite: Permission of department and SIP supervisor required.