Chinese Language and Literature Courses

This course is designed for students who are of non-Chinese origin and were not raised in a Chinese-speaking environment; or who are of Chinese origin but do not speak Chinese and whose parents do not speak Chinese. The course develops beginning learners’ functional language ability—the ability to use Mandarin Chinese in linguistically and culturally appropriate ways at the beginning level. It helps students acquire communicative competence in Chinese while sensitizing them to the links between language and culture. The Hanyu Pinyin (a Chinese Romanization system) and simplified characters are introduced. Note: For students who: 1) are of non-Chinese origin and were not raised in a Chinese-speaking environment; or 2) are of Chinese origin but do not speak any dialect of Chinese and whose parents do not speak any dialect of Chinese. Students are responsible for enrolling in the appropriate level and section. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped. All Chinese 1A students are required to attend a weekly half hour tutorial. The required tutorial sections will be scheduled once classes begin.

The second of a two-semester sequence introducing students to Chinese literature in translation. In addition to literary sources, a wide range of philosophical and historical texts will be covered, as well as aspects of visual and material culture. 7B focuses on late imperial, modern, and contemporary China. The course will focus on the development of sound writing skills.

This course is designed for students who are of non-Chinese origin and were not raised in a Chinese-speaking environment, or who are of Chinese origin but do not speak Chinese and whose parents do not speak Chinese. The course deals with lengthy conversations as well as narrative and descriptive texts in both simplified and traditional characters. It helps students to express themselves in speaking and writing on a range of topics and raises their awareness of the connection between language and culture to foster the development of communicative competence. Note: Prerequisite of Chinese 1B. If you have not taken Chinese 1B, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class. All Chinese 10A students are required to attend a weekly half hour tutorial. The required tutorial sections will be scheduled once classes begin.

This course continues to develop students’ literacy and communicative competence through vocabulary and structure expansion dealing with topics related to Chinese heritage students’ personal experiences. Students are guided to express themselves on complex issues and to connect their language knowledge with real world experiences. Note: Prerequisite of Chinese 1X. If you have not taken Chinese 1X, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class.

This course helps students further develop their linguistic and cultural competence in Mandarin Chinese. It trains students to use Mandarin more appropriately and confidently in speaking, reading, and writing. With the expanded repertoire of Chinese language use and the increased awareness of the differences between cultures and subcultures, students are equipped to negotiate their way in an intercultural environment. Note: Prerequisite of Chinese 1Y. If you have not taken Chinese 1Y, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class. All Chinese 10Y students are required to attend a weekly half hour tutorial. The required tutorial sections will be scheduled once classes begin.

This course continues the development of critical awareness by emphasizing the link between socio-cultural literacy and a higher level of language competence. While continuing to expand their critical literacy skills, students interpret texts related to Chinese popular culture, social change, cultural traditions, politics and history. Through linguistic and cultural comparisons, students understand more about people in the target society and themselves as well as about the power of language in language use to enhance their competence in operating between languages and associated cultures. Note: Prerequisite of Chinese 100A. If you have not taken Chinese 100A, to enroll in this class you must frst take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class. All Chinese 100B students are required to attend a weekly half hour tutorial. The tutorial sections will be scheduled once classes begin.

This course is designed for Chinese heritage language learners who have taken Chinese 100XA or an equivalent course. It guides learners to use their Chinese language knowledge and skills to survey portions of Chinese history and society and to comprehend Chinese cultural heritage in economic and socio-political contexts. Students read and analyze texts discussing cross-strait relations, Chinese people’s basic living necessities, and their changing lifestyles and mindsets since the economic reforms in mainland China. They are also introduced to several important historical figures in modern Chinese history and to modern literary works. In addition to the continuous development of reading techniques for communicative purposes, critical reading skills in the heritage language are also developed in order to interpret subtle meanings in texts. Different styles and genres of Chinese discourses in speaking and writing are further explored along with an increasingly sophisticated vocabulary, phrases, and structures. Moreover, students are required to be able to read both simplified and traditional versions of Chinese characters. The development of critical reading and writing skills enables students to understand more about people in the target culture and themselves, about what determines values and actions, and about the power of language. Note: Prerequisite of Chinese 100XA. If you have not taken Chinese 100XA, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class.

This course is designed to assist students to reach the advanced-mid level on language skills and to enhance their intercultural competence. Students read the works of famous Chinese writers. Movie adaptations of these writings are also used. In addition to reading and seeking out information, students experience readings by interpreting and constructing meanings and evaluate the effect of the language form choice. Prerequisites: Chinese 100B, 100XB, or 100YB. If you have not taken Chinese 100B, 100XB, or 100YB, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class.

The second half of a one-year introductory course in literary Chinese, continuing the topics from the first semester, and giving basic coverage of relevant issues in the history of the language and writing system. This course examines the canonical texts of the late-imperial period, placing them in the context of literary culture of the Ming-Qing. The course focuses on a different set of texts each time it is taught; the aim is to introduce students to the primary issues in scholarship of late-imperial fiction and drama over a period of several years. Prerequisite: Chinese 110A

This course is an introduction to the history of Buddhism in China from its beginnings in the early centuries CE to the present day. Through engagement with historical scholarship, primary sources in translation, and Chinese Buddhist art, we will explore the intellectual history and cultural impact of Buddhism in China. Students will also be introduced to major issues in the institutional history of Buddhism, the interactions between Buddhism and indigenous Chinese religions, and the relationship between Buddhism and the state. Previous study of Buddhism is helpful but not required.

Readings in printed and manuscript sources that relate to early Chinese popular religion, the Celestial Masters tradition, medieval Daoist revelations (e.g., Shangqing and Lingbao texts), Daoism and the state, interactions with other traditions, liturgy, alchemy, drama, and modern Daoist practices in China and the diaspora.

Modern Chinese literature was, from the very start, a revolutionary project. In reinventing the Chinese language, 20th century writers such as Lu Xun attempted to fundamentally rewrite Chinese social and political realities. It was also a pedagogical project: instructing readers not only about how to be "Chinese" in a time of imperial incursion and political turmoil, but how to be "modern" in all aspects of their lives, from growing up, to falling in love, to changing the world, to dying. To a shocking degree, the project succeeded. In this course, we will explore the historical world out of which modern Chinese literature emerged; and how this linguistic revolution helped to produce modern China, focusing in particular on the problems of gender, youth, and social marginality. We will read short stories and essays in Chinese by many of the greatest writers and public intellectuals of the twentieth century, including Lu Xun, Shen Congwen, Ding Ling, and Eileen Chang. We will also watch and analyze a select group of cinematic masterworks from the same period. We will conclude the semester with a set of stories and films produced in the aftermath of war and the communist revolution of 1949 that reveal the continuing resonance, as well as showing the tragic limits of this project's utopian aspirations, and perhaps even questioning the coherence of "China" and "Chineseness" as its organizing principle. Prerequisites: Much of the reading in the course will be in the original Chinese texts. Good reading knowledge of modern Chinese, or at the very least, concurrent enrollment in Chinese 100A/AX is thus a requirement for admission to the course. Prior college level work in literature is also helpful.

This course examines the development of Confucianism in pre-modern China using a dialogical model that emphasizes its interactions with competing viewpoints. Particular attention will be paid to ritual, conceptions of human nature, ethics, and to the way that varieties of Confucianism were rooted in more general theories of value.

What do landscapes "do"? How do landscape images and travel narratives mediate experiences of land, nature, and other peoples? How do landscapes map one's place in the world, shaping both cultural identities and real geographic spaces? Can landscapes travel? This course explores such questions by examining one of the world's longest-running traditions of landscape representation. We will consider such landscape genres as poetry, prose description, fiction, travel narrative, maps, painting, and photography, and consider their work across China's long history of imperial expansion, colonization, and globalization. We will also consider China's places in thinking about landscape and travel in the West. Prerequisite: one previous course in literature or cultural studies.

An analytical exploration of the central texts of Warring States (453-221 BCE) religion and philosophy. Prerequisite: at least one year of Classical Chinese.

This seminar is an intensive introduction to various genres of Buddhist literature in classical Chinese, including translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian scriptures. Chinese commentaries, philosophical treatises, hagiographies, and sectarian works. It is intended for graduate students who already have some facility in classical Chinese. It will also serve as a tools and methods course.

This course examines the canonical texts of the late-imperial period, placing them in the context of literary culture of the Ming-Qing. The course focuses on a different set of texts each time it is taught; the aim is to introduce students to the primary issues in scholarship of late-imperial fiction and drama over a period of several years. This spring we will focus on the conception of fictionality in cross-cultural perspective.  Topics will include the importance of Buddhist conceptions of space and time, the influence of commentary, the role of sequels, and the inspiration of counter-factual histories.