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Topical Readings in Historical and Literary Chinese Texts


Admission requirements

MA Asian Studies students admitted to the Chinese Studies track or East Asian studies track. For other MA students a background in classical Chinese - intermediate to advanced level is required. Please contact the instructor prior to registration if you are not sure whether you fulfill this requirement.


This semester the seminar focuses on late imperial religious texts. After a first introduction to the field and relevant research tools, both traditional and digital, students will be invited to choose their own text on which they will work during the remainder of the semester.

Course objectives

  • further development of language and research skills in classical Chinese

  • further development of academic skills, including academic writing, presenting, group work and collaboration.


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


Attendance is compulsory for all sessions. Students must prepare well and contribute to in-class discussion. If a student cannot attend because of illness or misadventure, they should promptly inform the convener. Extra assignments may be set to make up for missed class time, at the convener’s discretion. Absence without notification may result in lower grades or exclusion from assessment components and a failing grade for the course.

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

  • 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.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.