Chinese and Asian Area Studies

Program Overview

Chinese and Asian area studies is a multi-disciplinary minor that aims to provide students with a complex and interrelated knowledge base from which to understand China as a historical and cultural entity. The minor incorporates the study of language, the humanities and the social sciences. Students are encouraged to incorporate study abroad in their program and can complete the minor with an independent research project.

The  minor, drawing on the breadth and strengths of departments in the Liberal Arts, will guide students into the field systematically through course work and education abroad opportunities as well as co-curricular activities such as lectures, symposia, colloquia, film festivals, and other events that will help students understand the matrix of Chinese culture. Students will come to understand China in its geographic, topographical and climatological richness; its linguistic, demographic, social, and other cultural formations; and its national and regional, social and political developments. Each student will work with an adviser to help them create a set of courses that provides a system and structure to the student’s academic development.

Minor Offered

  • Minor in Chinese and Asian Area Studies

Contact

Shunzhu Wang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Fine Arts 345
609-896-7778
shuwang@rider.edu

Program Website: Chinese and Asian Studies
Associated Department: Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Related Programs

Chinese and Asian Area Studies Minor Requirements

(24 credits)

Chinese Language 1
CHI 200
CHI 201
Chinese III
and Chinese IV
6
Gateway Course
CHI 310Chinese Culture and Civilization3
Area-specific Courses
Select four or five courses from at least three disciplines and no more than two courses from any one discipline:12-15
Chinese Culture and Baisc Language
Advanced Chinese Reading and Composition
Images of Women in Chinese Literature and Film
Calligraphy As a Window to Chinese Language and Culture
Chinese and American Intercultural Commu
Modern East Asia
China in Revolution
Women in East Asia
Asian Philosophy
Chinese Philosophy
Asian Political Systems
Chinese Politics
Communist Systems: Politics and Policies
Developing Societies
Total Credits24

Notes:

  1. Study Abroad or domestic experience within a Chinese linguistic context or business environment - study, service-learning or internships - may meet some of the minor requirements upon consultation with the student’s advisor. Students must take at least one course in the Chinese and Asian Area Studies Minor upon completion of Study Abroad or a domestic experience as described above.
  2. Independent Research and Study courses and Baccalaureate Honors courses may be substituted in consultation with the Area Studies Program director.
  3. Students must receive a grade of “C” or better in courses required for the major or minor in the department. If a student receives a grade lower than “C” in a required course, the student must meet with his/her academic advisor to discuss the appropriate action that must be taken to remedy the situation.

Courses and Descriptions

CHI 150 Chinese Culture and Basic Language 3 Credits

This course integrates beginning-level functional Mandarin Chinese language skills acquisition with the knowledge of Chinese business practices and culture as well as hands-on information and strategies for successful inter-cultural encounters. Students gain practical basic language skills through classroom practice and the use of audio/video and computer materials. Readings, films, documentaries and lectures in English by members of the business community enable students to integrate language acquisition with practical cultural knowledge and cross-cultural awareness. Examination of Chinese customs highlights social relationships and cultural practices. No knowledge of Chinese language is required. This course does not fulfill the SLAS foreign language requirement.

CHI 200 Chinese III 3 Credits

This course is designed to foster mastery of the intermediate skills of Mandarin Chinese: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The focus of the course is on communicative competency and accuracy. Together with Chinese 201, the course provides intermediate-level Chinese grammar, vocabulary and cultural knowledge through the use of film clips, simple newspaper articles, Internet, and other multimedia resources. Students are required to work extensively with audio and/or videotapes, computer language programs and they have a unique opportunity to work with students from China. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Essential Competencies element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

Prerequisite(s): CHI 101 or placement test.

CHI 201 Chinese IV 3 Credits

This course is designed to foster mastery of the intermediate skills of Mandarin Chinese: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The focus is on communicative competency and accuracy. Together with Chinese 200, the course provides intermediate-level Chinese grammar, vocabulary, and cultural knowledge through the use of film clips, simple newspaper articles, Internet and other multimedia resources. Students are required to work extensively with audio and/or videotapes, computer language programs and they have a unique opportunity to work with students from China. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Essential Competencies element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

Prerequisite(s): CHI 200 or placement test.

CHI 300 Advanced Chinese Reading and Composition 3 Credits

This course develops Chinese reading and writing skills within a cultural context and aided by a systematic review and expansion of grammar and vocabulary. Using literary, journalistic, business and other sources, students learn various writing discourses and their Chinese variants including narration, description, exposition, and journalistic, business documentation and letter writing. Some translation is used to encourage linguistic analysis. Interviews with Chinese foreign nationals, Chinese Americans, and working with students from China enhance the cultural understanding of students necessary for meaningful reading and writing.

Prerequisite(s): CHI 201 or placement test.

CHI 307 Images of Women in Chinese Literature and Film 3 Credits

This course will introduce students to the (change of) status of women in China through literature and film. Students will explore the rich Chinese literary traditions and examine how the images of women are represented by both male and female writers/directors in fiction and film of different historical periods. In the process of such exploration and examination, students will also examine how the literary movements and their historical, social, cultural and political contexts shape, and are shaped by, each other. They will learn to understand how diverse the experiences of Chinese women are. While students will be exposed to both classic and modern/contemporary literary traditions, the focus will be on the latter, such as May 4th New Culture Movement, Maoist revolutionary literature, (Post-Mao) wound literature, Root-Searching literature, etc. Classes are in English.

CHI 310 Chinese Culture and Civilization 3 Credits

This course introduces students to the history, people and culture of China. They will explore China’s powerful dynasties and empire and their cultural and aesthetic achievements, and will learn about nationalism, Mao’s revolutionary communism. They will study China’s religions, calligraphic, pictorial and ceramic traditions, literature, Chinese opera and cinema. Through an examination of Chinese customs, students will gain an appreciation of social relationships and cultural practices. No knowledge of Chinese language is required.

CHI 311 Calligraphy As a Window to Chinese Language and Culture 3 Credits

This course provides students with a chance to gain an intimate knowledge of Chinese language and culture through calligraphy. Students will learn the basic principles and techniques of writing Chinese characters with the writing brush. They will be introduced to the pronunciation, the composition and evolution of Chinese characters so that they will be able to read and understand what they write. Students will also learn how calligraphy is immersed in various aspects of Chinese culture. The main content of the course derives from examining applications of calligraphy to poetry, painting, and core concepts of Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism. They will have a chance to cross time and space, having dialogues with Confucius, experiencing Buddhist bliss of final “awakening” or “enlightenment” and abandoning themselves to the Daoist spontaneous flow with the movement of Nature and the cosmos. No knowledge of Chinese language is required.

COM 352 Chinese and American Intercultural Communication 3 Credits

Instructs students about Chinese culture and communication. Culture impacts communication practices and styles in significant and subtle ways. Through readings, lectures, discussions, and first-hand interactions with Chinese international students, the students of this course will gain both conceptual and practical understanding of major communication differences between the two cultures, and become a more skilled intercultural communicator. Note: This course is crosslisted as GLS 352. Students may not get credit for both COM 352 and GLS 352.

HIS 286 Modern East Asia 3 Credits

Examines the disintegration of the Ch’ing dynasty in China and the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan under internal stresses and foreign incursions, and the varied experience of those states in coming to terms with the challenges of modernization and westernization. Covers political, economic, social, and cultural factors in China, Japan, and East Asia.

HIS 341 China in Revolution 3 Credits

Treats the Chinese Revolution in terms of political, economic, and social transformation.

HIS 342 Women in East Asia 3 Credits

Treats the history of the relationship between women and society in traditional East Asia and the modern transformation of their relationship.

PHL 207 Asian Philosophy 3 Credits

A survey of the principal philosophical perspectives of Asia. Emphasis on the traditional Indian schools of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism, Chinese Confucianism and Taoism, and the development of Zen Buddhism in China and Japan. Philosophical topics include: mystical experience, the ultimate nature of reality, the existence of a soul, the causes of human suffering, and the possibility of release, the nature of virtue and its development, and the nature of society and government. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Disciplinary Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.

PHL 358 Chinese Philosophy 3 Credits

Consideration of major movements in the philosophical tradition of China. Emphasis on the political philosophies of ancient China. Topics include: human nature and the development of virtue, the nature and purpose of government, and the cognitive value of mystical experience. Philosophers such as Confucius, Laozi, Xunzi, Mencius, Mozi, and Zhuangzi will be read and discussed.

POL 218 Asian Political Systems 3 Credits

(Formerly the Pacific Rim in the 21st Century) This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the fundamentals of the government, politics, economic development as well as the history and culture of countries along the Pacific Rim. The countries examined include China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and North Korea. Students are expected to understand 1) the democratization wave and efforts across the Pacific Rim countries and regions, 2) the economic development of these countries and regions and the consequential sociopolitical impact, and 3) concepts of political institutions and political culture in a comparative perspective.

POL 267 China in Transition 3 Credits

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the history, government, politics, economic development as well as political culture of the People’s Republic of China. Students are expected to acquire in-depth knowledge of China’s political history, government structure and China’s economic development and consequential sociopolitical impact. At the same time, students are expected to develop a basic understanding of the concepts of studying Chinese political institutions and political culture in a comparative perspective.

POL 366 Communist Systems: Politics and Policies 3 Credits

The course aims to provide students with an understanding of the origin, development, and history of communism, as well as the current political systems and practices of communist regimes in the world. Students are expected to acquire in-depth knowledge about the origin and development of communism, the influence of communism in world politics, and political systems and policies of contemporary communism regimes. Topics examined include Communist Manifesto, communism in the USSR, communism in China, McCarthyism in the U.S., Cold War, collapse of the USSR, fall of Berlin Wall, and communism in contemporary Cuba and Korea.

SOC 341 Developing Societies 3 Credits

Examines theories explaining patterns of development; indicators and measures of social well-being; and problems such as population, hunger and environmental crises in developing countries. Focuses especially on patterns of development in Latin America or China.

Prerequisite(s): SOC 101.