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Modern Chinese Literature: The Exile Experience (ResMA)


Admission requirements

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.


Literature in exile and exile in literature are of all times and places. Chinese examples abound, from antiquity to the present day. What does an exile perspective – theoretical, literary-textual, sociological – tell us about modern Chinese literature and its social, political, and cultural contexts? Is this a ‘Chinese’ story, or is it universal?

Course objectives

  • familiarity with the broad contours of modern Chinese literature

  • in-depth understanding of the exile experience in this literature and at large

  • reflection on the above two points within an area studies framework

  • development of graduate-level academic skills such as reading and listening critically and analytically; formulating research questions; identifying, evaluating and organizing information; oral and written presentation; awareness of methodological, theoretical, and practical issues (in regard to this objective, ResMA students are expected to work toward a level that will enable the preparation of a PhD research project)


Timetable of the MA Asian Studies (research).

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

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.

Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours = 280 hours

  • Contact hours Research MA: 6 hours

  • Class sessions (13 X 2 hrs) = 26 h

  • Preparation (13 x 8) = 104 h

  • Brief written work (three position papers) = 24 h

  • Oral presentations (two presentations) = 40 h

  • Term paper = 80 h

Assessment method

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations). It is also unacceptable for students to reuse portions of texts they had previously authored and have already received academic credit for on this or other courses. In such cases, students are welcome to self-cite so as to minimise overlap between prior and new work.

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

Assessment and weighing

Partial Assessment Weighing
Three brief position papers 30%
Two oral presentations 30%
One term paper due via Blackboard 40%

For ResMA students, the position papers and the term paper are 25% longer than for MA students.

In order to pass the course, students need a pass mark (“voldoende”, i.e. “5.50” or higher) for the research paper and for the course as a whole.

The term paper is written in two stages: a first version, on which the convener will offer feedback, and a final version. Feedback on the first version is conditional on this being handed in before the deadline. The grade will be determined on the basis of the final version only. (The paper deadline mentioned in uSis is a fictional date for administration purposes only. The actual date will be communicated by the convener.)

All categories of assessment 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 5.49 or lower and this is the result of a paper graded 5.49 or lower, a re-sit of the paper is possible (40%). In that case the convenor of the course may decide to assign a (new) topic. The deadline for this version will be determined by the course convener, after consultation with the student.

A re-sit for other course components is not possible.

Exam Review

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


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Course material, as applicable

  • Uploading assignments

Note: there is no separate Blackboard page available for this ResMa course. Please subscribe to the Blackboard page of the regular MA course.

Reading list

The course material is available from the University Library (including a number of items on reserve), and from the World Wide Web. The MCLC Resource Center is an excellent website on modern Chinese literature ( Prior to the first class session, students should acquaint themselves with the MCLC literature bibliographies.

Research MA students are entitled to consultation with the convener outside class hours to discuss the identification and the use of possible additional readings.


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.

Registration à la carte or contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Prof.dr. Maghiel van Crevel


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.