Chinese literature and culture 2 (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Daniele Beltrame
Daniele Beltrame
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Semester 1 dal Oct 2, 2017 al Jan 20, 2018.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will acquire a thorough knowledge of the main literary genres, the most important works and the most influential authors of the classical Chinese era, as well as the historical, philosophical and religious context from antiquity to the XVIII century. The student will be able to know and describe the cultural and literary history of ancient and imperial China.


Literature and thought of pre-imperial times, poetry and prose from Han dynasty, literature from the Six Dynasties, the arrival of Buddhism in China, Tang-era literature, the development of a popular literature, Song-dynasty literature, poetry and theatre of the Yuan, theatre and fiction from Ming and Qing eras. Thematic and historical excursus through genres, religion in literature, social developments and theirs effects on cultural history, the changes in literary language from classical Chinese (wenyan) to vernacular Chinese (baihua).
Some major examples of the main poetic genres will be examined.

Textbooksand materials for the exam:

Idema, Wilt; Haft, Lloyd (2000). "Letteratura cinese". Venezia: Cafoscarina. pp. 1-274.

Lavagnino, Alessandra; Pozzi, Silvia (2013). Cultura cinese. Segno, scrittura e civiltà. Roma: Carocci.

Additional materials will be uploaded by the teacher on the e-learning page of the course.

Recommended books:

Mair, Victor H. (ed.) (2001). "The Columbia History of Chinese Literature". New York: Columbia University Press.

Sabattini, Mario; Santangelo, Paolo (1997). "Il pennello di lacca. La narrativa cinese dalla dinastia Ming ai giorni nostri". Roma; Bari: Laterza, pp. 1-176.

Masi, Edoarda (2009). "Cento capolavori della letteratura cinese". Macerata: Quodlibet.

Bertuccioli, Giuliano (2013). La letteratura cinese. Roma: L’asino d’oro.

Sabattini, Mario; Santangelo, Paolo (1994). Storia della Cina: dalle origini alla fondazione della Repubblica. Roma; Bari: Laterza.

Cheng, Anne (2000). Storia del pensiero cinese, 2 voll. Torino: Einaudi.

Teaching methods:

The course will be taught through frontal lessons which follow and integrate the content of the textbooks. Files containing the topics of the lessons will be uploaded on the e-learning page of the course, as well as other materials for further study. All these materials will be useful for attending and non-attending students alike. The teacher will receive attending and non-attending students every week to assist them.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Lavagnino, Alessandra; Pozzi, Silvia Cultura cinese. Segno, scrittura e civiltà (Edizione 1) Carocci 2013 978-88-430-7002-2
Idema, Wilt; Haft, Lloyd Letteratura cinese (Edizione 1) Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina 2000 88-85613-88-8

Assessment methods and criteria

The final exam will assess the knowledge and the competences acquired during the course. The content of the exam will be the entire syllabus of the course: the manuals "Letteratura cinese" (pages 1-272) and "Cultura cinese" (essays number 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10), the lessons uploaded on the e-learning page, the content of the lessons and the text studied during the lessons. The exam will be held in Italian. The exam will consist of a written test containing 12 multiple-choice questions (1 point each), 10 open questions requiring a short answer (1 point each) and 4 questions requiring a more detailed and structured answer (2 points each). The final mark will be the sum of all the correct answers. The test will take two hours.

At the end of the first semester there will be a mid-term assessment. The final mark will result from the average between the mid-term examination and the final exam. The programme for the mid-term examination will cover the first half of the entire syllabus: from the origins to the Tang Dynasty included ("Letteratura cinese": pp. 1-168; "Cultura cinese": essays no. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10; e-learning lessons 1, 2 and 3). The form of the mid-term test will be the same as the final exam. The score of the mid-term examination will be valid for a year, until February 2019. The students who won’t sit for the mid-term examination, those who won’t pass it and those who will reject its mark must then prepare the entire syllabus for the final exam. After the final exam, the students who had passed the mid-term examination and accepted its mark can choose to reject only the mark of the final exam: thus they will be required to repeat only the second part of the syllabus keeping the mark of the mid-term examination; after the final exam they can still reject the mark of the mid-term examination and in this case they will be required to prepare the entire syllabus in the following exams.

Students who can't attend the course are kindly requested to contact the teacher.

The results will be published on the e-learning page of the course. The students who choose to reject the mark should inform the teacher writing to the institutional address: within a week since the publication of the results.