This course of Chinese Culture and Contemporary China will explore the foundations of Chinese civilization and the dimensions of Chinese culture. It will pay particular attention to the relationship between Chinese culture and the present-day life of the Chinese people and to the different elements of the culture which are under the present social structures, belief systems, literature, arts, customs, etc. The course aims at providing students with a deeper knowledge of Chinese culture, thus enabling them to better understand China.
The course will cover the following main areas of topics: (1) the foundations of Chinese civilization: its geography, language, and history; (2) the core concepts in Chinese philosophies and religions: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism; (3), literature and arts, including Chinese calligraphy, painting, Tang poetry, and classical fiction; (4) society and life, including education, the role of women, Chinese food, and traditional holidays; (5) travel and landscapes, including well-known Chinese cities, mountains, ethnic regions and customs; (6) Chinese media, culture and sports, including TV and movies, fashion, Chinese gongfu and taiji.
In addition, students will be expected to participate in a buddy program beyond curriculum if they have a chance to come to Nanjing. Ideally they will be paired up: an international student with a Nanjing University student to allow students to learn firsthand about Chinese customs, culture, and language. Students will be required to complete various projects and homework assignments as well, which will encourage them to use Nanjing University and the city of Nanjing as a laboratory to apply what they learn during their stay at Nanjing University.