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Topical Readings in Historical and Literary Chinese Texts (ResMA)


Admission requirements

Successful completion of the BA3- course “Classical Chinees III” or a comparable course. Please, contact Prof.dr. Hilde De Weerdt prior to registration, if you are not sure whether you fulfill this requirement.
Admission to the MA Asian Studies (research) or another relevant Research MA. Students from other departments are kindly referred to the course description of the regular MA course.


This semester the seminar focuses on encyclopedias (leishu). We will start with an historical overview of the genre and read through select sections of a handful of encyclopedias, discussing topics such as the relationships between encyclopedic texts and other genres of Chinese writing, the interplay of text and image, their role in the construction of knowledge, and paratextual features and the uses of encyclopedic texts. In addition to traditional philological tools, students will also learn to work with (freely available) digital tools for the analysis of classical Chinese texts, including digital markup and publishing platforms.

Course objectives

  • the further development of language and research skills in classical Chinese

  • the use and evaluation of digital tools for classical Chinese


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


Attendance and participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to attend all sessions. The convenors need to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, the Dutch railways in winter, etc.). In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.

Course Load

Total Course Load (10 EC x 28 hours) 280 hours
Seminar 2 ×13 hours 26 hours
Extra contact hours Research MA students 6 hours
Compulsory readings 85 hours
Class Assignments 63 hours
Term paper 100 hours

Assessment method

Academic Integrity

Students should familiarize themselves with the notion of academic integrity and the ways in which this plays out in their own work. A good place to start is this page. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students may not substantially reuse texts they have previously submitted in this or other courses. Minor overlap with previous work is allowed as long as it is duly noted in citation.

Students must submit their assignment(s) to Brightspace through turnitin, so they can be checked for plagiarism. Submission via email is not accepted.

Assessment and Weighing

Partial Assessment Weighing
Class participation and assignments 40%
Final Essay, including a translation of a text selected by the student 60%

The final mark for this course is formed by the weighted average.

In order to pass the course, students must complete all requirements (participation, assignments, final essay) and obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher.

The course is an integrated whole. All assessment parts must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


Only if the total weighted average is insufficient (5.49 or lower) and the insufficient grade is the result of an insufficient final essay, a resit of the essay is possible. In that case the convener of the course may assign a (new) topic and give a new deadline. The resit will then make up 100% of the grade.

A resit of the other partial assessments is not possible.

Exam Review

Students may request an oral elucidation of the assessment within 30 days after publication of the grade.

Reading list

Texts will be distributed in class and electronically.

For the Research MA students additional readings will be determined by the convener at a later stage taking into account the students’ fields of interest. Extra sessions will be organized to discuss this extra literature.


Students are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “USIS-Actnbr.”. More information on uSis is available in Dutch and English. You can also have a look at the FAQ.

Not being registered, means no permission to attend this course. See also the webpage on course and exam enrolment for registration deadlines and more information on how to register.


Prof.dr. Hilde G.D.G. De Weerdt.


Students with Disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.