Degree course: 
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Basic compulsory subjects
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (50 hours)

Attendance of at least one semester of the Chinese Language I course is highly recommended, as some basic knowledge of the Chinese language is required. Also useful is brushing-up on modern and contemporary world history. As an example, students may refer to Bayly C.A., La nascita del mondo moderno 1780-1914, Torino, Einaudi (ISBN-13: 9788806197285).

Final Examination: 
Voto Finale

The purpose of this course is to give DEC students – particularly those who also attend Chinese language classes – a wider perspective on China’s cultural history, on the development of Chinese civilization and on its fundamental elements, its inner tensions, as well as the dynamics of contact, confrontation and cross-influence with non-Chinese cultural spheres.
Chinese culture will therefore be examined in light of the complexity and dynamic character of this ongoing process of cross-cultural interaction, one that still prompts the Chinese today to question what “makes the Chinese Chinese”, while also considering the Chinese cultural heritage’s newfound global reach.
The land and its population, its history, society, economy and politics will thus be explored through the prism of the way the Chinese themselves (together with their non-Chinese observers and stakeholders) construct and redefine the contemporary conversation on China, on its past and its rapidly changing present.
This course will particularly pay attention to cross-sectional aspects of cultural change, such as gender issues, the historic dialectics among different collective actors of society, the role played by non-Chinese minority cultures and ethnic groups incorporated into the Chinese world, and it will also address the ways in which power is being affirmed and legitimized, as well as criticized and contested, throughout Chinese history.
Students are expected to know and understand key concepts of Chinese culture as well as the defining processes of Chinese history, from its onset in pre-Imperial times to the present workings of the modern Chinese state and society.

The course offers 50 hours of class lectures, divided into 12 thematic units of (each three to four hours long). Each lecture offers an explanation of main events and key concepts for the interpretation and understanding of Chinese history and cultural production within the period considered by the single unit. Lectures will be enriched by the use of slides, videos, maps, and the reading in class of historical documents (from relevant literary works to short essays or political documents etc.), offered both in Chinese and in Italian translation.
Students will be referred to useful bibliographies, websites and filmographies that may help them deepen their understanding of all topics discussed in class. They will also be referred to scholarly essays that may be useful in the production of papers or will help them preparing more thoroughly for the final exam. These study materials will be uploaded on the Department’s digital platform. Non-attending students are advised to refer to their attending colleagues in order to obtain notes on the course.
On one or two specific topics and issues, chosen by the teacher or proposed by the students, study groups formed by the students themselves may produce their own papers and debate them openly with each other. The study groups should comprise no more than ten students and participating in their activities (preparing papers, participating in debates) is entirely voluntary. The study groups’ work will be evaluated and graded with 1 to 3/30 according to the paper’s quality and each group’s debating abilities. These partial grades will then conflate with the final exam’s results.

Besides the textbooks mentioned below, which will have to be studied in their entirety, students will also be able to refer to course notes prepared by students under the teacher’s supervision and study materials that will be uploaded on the Department’s digital platform.

One China history manual:
•Vogelsang K., 2014, Cina. Una storia millenaria, Torino, Einaudi (ISBN-10: 8806217186; ISBN-13: 978-8806217181).

Two introductory texts on classical and modern Chinese culture:
•Lavagnino A.C., Pozzi S., 2015, Cultura cinese. Segno, scrittura e civiltà, Roma, Carocci (ISBN-10: 8843070029; ISBN-13: 978-8843070022).
•Lavagnino A.C., Mottura B., 2016, Cina e modernità, Roma, Carocci (ISBN-13: 978-8843081950).

One essay on contemporary China chosen among those listed below:
•Chu B., 2013, Chinese Whispers. Why Everything You’ve Heard About China is Wrong, London, Phoenix (ISBN-13: 978-1-7802-2474-9).
•Leonard M., 2012, China 3.0, pubblicazione formato pdf ( o formato Kindle (
•Schell O., Delury J., 2013, Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century, London, Random House (ISBN-13: 978-0812976250).
•McGregor R., The Party: The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers, New York, Harper Perennial (ISBN-10: 0061708763; ISBN-13: 978-0061708763).
•Osnos E., 2014, Age of Ambition. Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China, London Vintage Books (ISBN-13: 978-0374535278).
•Wu X., Il miracolo cinese, Milano, Brioschi (ISBN-10: 8895399323; ISBN-13: 978-8895399324).
•Wang Z., Never Forget National Humiliation: Historical Memory in Chinese Politics and Foreign Relations, New York, Columbia University Press (ISBN-10: 0231148909; ISBN-13: 978-0231148900).
•Mishra P., From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia, London, Picador (ISBN-13: 978-1250037718).

Learning evaluation methods
Learning progress will be evaluated with a final exam that will feature both open and multiple choice questions on the course’s content. The final grade will be expressed in the conventional base 30 grade point system, and it will take into consideration also the papers and the workshops prepared by the students’ study groups. For those who attend the course, the final exam will allow for a maximum grade of 28/30, the remaining 3 grade points can be gained by taking part in the study group’s work, papers and class debates.

Borrowed from

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