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 Chinese and  Asian area studies 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 have an adviser who will help the student create a set of courses that provides system and structure to the student’s 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

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
1

Students who place out of CHI 200 must take CHI 201 and one additional Chinese language course at the 300 or 400 level. Students who place out of CHI 200 and CHI 201 must complete one Chinese language course at the 300 or 400 level.

Study Abroad or domestic experience within a Chinese linguistic context or business environment—study, service-learning or internships—may meet some of the 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.

Independent Research and Study courses and Baccalaureate Honors courses may be substituted in consultation with the Area Studies Program director.

Note: 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 100 Chinese I 3 Credits

This course is designed to foster mastery of the basic skills of Mandarin Chinese: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The focus of the course is on communicative competency and accuracy. Together with Chinese 101, the course provides a thorough foundation in basic Chinese grammar. Students will have opportunities to work extensively with audio and/or video tapes, computer language programs and above all, students from China.

Prerequisite(s): placement test if Chinese has been studied elsewhere.

CHI 101 Chinese II 3 Credits

A continuation of Chinese 100. This course continues to foster mastery of the basic skills of Mandarin Chinese: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The focus of the course is on communicative competency and accuracy. Together with Chinese 100, the course provides a thorough foundation in basic Chinese grammar. Students will have opportunities to work extensively with audio and/or video tapes, computer language programs and above all, students from China.

Prerequisite(s): Chinese 100 or placement test.

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.

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.

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.

CHI 490 Independent Research and Study 1-4 Credits

Independent Research and Study allows juniors and seniors in good academic standing to investigate topics of interest under faculty supervision. Projects must be approved by the faculty member, department chairperson, and academic dean no later than the third week of the semester in which the project is to be conducted. Only one project can be scheduled in a semester, and for no more than four semester hours; up to 12 semester hours of independent research and study may be counted toward graduation. Note that individual departments may have additional restrictions.

CHI 500 Democracy, Revolution/Reform and Literary Movement in Modern China 3 Credits

This course will exam representative works in modern and contemporary Chinese literature from the May 4th period to the “Red Classics Era” or Communist/ Maoist literature, to various Post-Cultural Revolution literary movements, situating them in their social, political, and historical contexts, exploring them as an imaginary space where various cultural and political values are contested, a space where modern Chinese identity is defined and redefined, and a space against which the trajectory of China’s search for democracy and modernization is mapped. The literary movements that will be examined are: May 4th Literary Movement at the beginning of the 20th century; Maoist / Communist Literature from 1949 to the Great Cultural Revolution (1966-1976); Wound Literature from late 1970s to early 1980s; Root-searching literature from mid 1980s to the late 1980s; Postmodern Play Literature and Reform Literature from 1990s to the present.