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Chinese literature: Poetry and Theatre (FAT-module course, twice a week in block 3 only)


Admission requirements



This course builds on and expands the knowledge of Chinese literature and art students learned from their first-year introductory courses. It includes two parts: the first part is a survey of major Chinese poets and poetic forms through the ages; in the second part, we will study the rich and varied theatrical traditions of China from their origins to the present day. This course will cover Chinese poetry and theater’s traditional forms, as well as their modern formulations throughout Greater China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Classes will combine analysis of primary texts and performances (in English translation) with discussion of secondary reading that illustrates different approaches to the primary texts, with a special emphasis on the changing historical-cultural contexts and literary and critical concepts in the study of Chinese literature.

Course objectives

  • Provide a solid knowledge of Chinese literature in its historical, social, and cultural context;

  • Expand students’ knowledge in the fields of Chinese poetry and theater;

  • Familiarize students with critical approaches in the study of (Chinese) literature;

  • Develop students’ ability to use critical approaches to analyze and interpret texts, as well as their skills to clearly present their ideas in oral presentations and writing.


See collegerooster

Mode of instruction


Course Load

5 EC x 28 h = approx 140 hours total

  • 13 × 2 contact hours = 26 hours

  • about 4 hours preparation for each session of 2 hours = approx 56 hours

  • approximately 16 hours preparation for oral presentations = approx 16 hours

  • approximately 40 hours for writing paper = approximately 40 hours

Assessment method

  • Short writing assignments, 20% of the final grade

  • Attendance and active participation, 20% of the final grade

  • Essay Plan, 10% of the final grade

  • Final Essay, 50% of the final grade

The final grade consists of the weighted average of all course components. A resit for the final essay is allowed if a student scores a non-passing grade (5,49 or lower) on the first attempt.


Yes. This course uses Blackboard for announcements, availability of syllabus, supplementary course documents, etc.

Required Reading

Before they come to the first class students should read A Guide to Chinese Literature by Wilt Idema and Lloyd Haft (Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan, 1997, 13-70) to get a basic idea of the historical and social background of Chinese literature.

Articles will be posted on Blackboard. Books will be available on a reserve shelf in East Asian Library.


Registration through uSis. Not registered, means no permission to attend this course. See also the ‘Registrationprocedures for classes and examinations’ for registration deadlines and more information on how to register.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs



For further information about the content of this course, please contact the lecturer Mw. drs. A.S. Keijser.