Course Descriptions

The following are descriptions of courses with the "CHI" prefix offered at the University of Kentucky. For course descriptions from other disciplines, please contact the relevant department. Language courses and culture courses taught in English are listed separately below.


For a list of course offerings for the current academic year, please click on "Current Courses" to the right.

Chinese Language Courses

CHI 101 BEGINNING CHINESE I. (4)
A course in first semester Chinese language.

CHI 102 BEGINNING CHINESE II. (4)
A course in second semester Chinese language. Prereq: CHI 101 or equivalent.

CHI 201 INTERMEDIATE CHINESE I. (4)
A course in third semester Chinese language. Prereq: CHI 102 or equivalent.

CHI 202 INTERMEDIATE CHINESE II. (4)
A fourth semester course in Chinese language. Prereq: CHI 201 or equivalent.

CHI 301 ADVANCED INTERMEDIATE CHINESE I. (3)
A course designed to increase student skills in listening, speaking, writing, reading and culture. More complex grammatical forms introduced; focus on control of basic forms. Development of students' lexicon through reading, watching films, conversation, tapes, etc. Prereq: CHI 202 or equivalent. All students who have had three or more years of high school Chinese or are heritage learners of Chinese and are enrolling in college-level Chinese for the first time must take the Chinese placement exam before enrolling in this course.

CHI 302 ADVANCED INTERMEDIATE CHINESE II. (3)
A course designed to increase student skills in listening, speaking, writing, reading and culture. More complex grammatical forms introduced; focus on control of basic forms. Development of students' lexicon through reading, watching films, conversation, tapes, etc. Prereq: CHI 301 or equivalent. All students who have had three or more years of high school Chinese or are heritage learners of Chinese and are enrolling in college-level Chinese for the first time must take the Chinese placement exam before enrolling in this course.

CHI 401 ADVANCED CHINESE I. (3)
The course builds on material covered in CHI 302 and will cover a wide range of materials, including dialogues and newspaper articles. It will facilitate oral and written practice, allow students to communicate in real-life situations, and read and write Chinese texts with minimal aid of pinyin. Prereq: CHI 302 or equivalent.

CHI 402 ADVANCED CHINESE II. (3)
This course builds on the linguistic skills acquired in previous Chinese study and further trains students in advanced use of the language, including listening, speaking, reading and writing. The course will expand students' vocabulary and improve students' reading and writing, speaking, and listening skills. The topics of the lessons cover the social changes in contemporary China and cultural developments in their social context. Prereq: CHI 401 or equivalent.

CHI 511 LITERARY CHINESE. (3)
This course builds on linguistic skills learned in previous study of Chinese and Japanese, introducing the grammar, vocabulary, and concepts of Literary Chinese. The class will focus on early texts written in what is often referred to as "Classical Chinese," which flourished from the late Zhou to the end of the Han dynasty (220 CE) and was the common written language of East Asia. Prereq: CHI 301 or JPN 301 or consent of instructor.

Culture and Linguistics

CHI 310 SOUNDS OF EAST ASIAN LANGUAGES. (3)
The aim of this course is to provide students with the tools to understand and analyze the complexity of sounds and sound systems in East Asian languages (including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese). To this end, students learn to produce, identify and perceive human sounds and to describe and understand the physical properties with which these sounds are produced. Students explore the relationship between sound systems and human perception. Finally, students apply the methods, theory and practice of the course in an in-class field work of an East Asian language unknown to them.

CHI 320 GENDER POLITICS IN CHINESE LITERATURE. (3)
An interdisciplinary, multimedia approach to the representation of gender relations in Chinese literature over time. Critical engagement of such topics as the complex relationships between women's issues and national discourse, between identity and performance, between the construction of female subjectivity and male fantasy, between gender and genre. Students will be encouraged to conduct cross-genre and cross-cultural comparisons. All readings in English. Prereq: Junior status or consent of instructor.

CHI 321 INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY CHINESE FILM. (3)
The course offers an overview of major films, directors and actors in the contemporary PRC, Taiwan and Hong Kong. It examines the genres of Chinese film better known in the U.S., including the Hong Kong action film, fifth-generation mainland cinema and Taiwanese urban dramas. The course will provide an understanding of contemporary Chinese cinema through analyses of the content and style, poetics and politics of films/filmmakers/film movements, that reflect the Chinese cultural value system and differing Chinese aesthetics vis-a-vis Western and Hollywood views. All films are screened with English subtitles. Prereq: Junior status or consent of instructor.

CHI 322 SELF AND SOCIETY IN CHINESE CULTURE. (3)
This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the concept of the self and its relationship to larger social categories such as family and society in Chinese culture. Critical approaches to topics such as self expression in art and literature over time and across genres, self-cultivation, gender, consciousness, modernity, and transnational identity. Course readings will include philosophical and religious texts as well as literature, historical writing, and material culture in its various forms. Prereq: Junior status or consent of instructor.

CHI 330 INTRODUCTION TO CHINESE CULTURE, PRE-MODERN TO 1840. (3)
This course introduces students to premodern Chinese history, society, and culture up to 1840. Some of the major questions to be addressed include: Is China the oldest continuous civilization? Was it culturally and ethnically homogenous? Was Chinese traditional culture and society patriarchal? To what extent was the state successful in penetrating into the daily lives of individuals? Course assignments will include primary and secondary literature (entirely in English) as well as visual and material culture sources. No prior knowledge of Chinese history, culture, or language required.

CHI 331 INTRODUCTION TO CHINESE CULTURE, 1840 TO PRESENT. (3)
This course introduces students to modern Chinese history, society, and culture from 1840 to the present, with a special focus on developments in the twentieth century. We will investigate three sets of major problems: (1) China is often seen as an ethnically and culturally homogenous society, but what is China and (Han) Chinese? (2) How did China transition from a multi-ethnic empire to a modern nation state? (3) What does modernity mean in the Chinese context? Aside from these specific objectives, this course will also teach students to analyze written and visual texts found in various genres. No prior knowledge of Chinese history, culture, or language required.

CHI 345 INTRODUCTION TO EARLY CHINESE THOUGHT. (3)
This course will examine the intellectual history of China's classical period, from the late Shang until the sixth century CE, and critically engage fundamental concepts of early Chinese philosophy and religion including: the Dao, the discourse of tradition, formation of philosophical schools, cosmic and social gender, the Sage, and human nature. This course will also consider "Religion" and "Philosophy" as terms of inquiry, and synthesize this literature to describe and analyze changes and continuities to Chinese thought during the classical era. Prereq: Junior standing or consent of instructor. CHI 330 recommended.

CHI 395 INDEPENDENT WORK IN CHINESE. (1-3)
Students who have the proper qualifications may undertake a special problem in reading and research. May be repeated to a maximum of six credits. (Recommended.)

CHI 430 POPULAR CULTURE IN MODERN CHINA. (3)
This course provides a critical examination of modern Chinese popular culture and its global cultural significance in the contemporary world. From film to literature, from music to theatre, this course will probe modern Chinese popular culture as it has manifested itself, and trace its sociopolitical, aesthetic, and affective impact on the contemporary world.

CHI 450 DAOISM: EAST AND WEST. (3)
Interdisciplinary examination of the development of Daoism, China's indigenous philosophical and religious tradition. Includes critical approaches to texts that are central to the doctrines, concepts, and practices of Daoism, and an assessment of its impact on Chinese art, poetry, fiction, and historical writing from all periods of Chinese history. This course will also offer a discussion of Daoism and its emergence in 20th century American culture and evaluate its impact and effects on North American pop culture, alternative culture, and new religious movements. Prereq: CHI 330 or CHI 345 strongly recommended.

CHI 495G ADVANCED INDEPENDENT WORK IN CHINESE. (1-3)
Independent research in Russian and Eastern Studies on an advanced level for undergraduate and graduate students. Students will be required to establish a written contract with the relevant faculty member describing the tasks to be completed in the course. May be repeated to a maximum of six credits, or a total of six credits of CHI 395 and 495G.

CHI 520 INTRODUCTION TO CHINESE LINGUISTICS. (3)
This course investigates the phonology (sound system), morphology (word formation), syntax (grammar), and orthography (writing system) of the Chinese language. Also covered are topics, such as dialectology and sociolinguistics, relating language to cognition, culture, and society. Prereq: CHI 202.

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