Classic Chinese Civilisation

Subject CHIN30001 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: 2.5 contact hours/week , 6 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Any two second-year subjects from the core subjects listed in the Asian Studies major or equivalent. For pre-2008 students: Usually 50 points of 1st year study in the Faculty of Arts.
Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: None.
Non Allowed Subjects: None.
Core Participation Requirements: None.


Assoc Prof Anne Mclaren


A/Prof Anne McLaren

Subject Overview:

In this subject students will be introduced to the distinctive characteristics of Chinese civilization from a comparative East-West framework. The focus will be on how the ancient Chinese found solutions to universal human problems, such as how to set up social and political organizations, the operations of kinship systems, and the impact of human settlement on the environment. The focus will be on Chinese ideas relating to government, religion, belief systems and law. Students will read and interpret key primary texts in English translation and assess the value of ancient Chinese material culture (including art, technology and architecture) in understanding the past. On completion of this subject students will have an overview of key notions in Chinese civilization and an appreciation of the relevance of these to contemporary beliefs and practices.

  • understand the development of major philosophical schools in China.
  • demonstrate an understanding of their most important arguments.
  • be able to discuss the development of certain key terms in the Chinese philosophical and cosmological traditions.
  • demonstrate an ability to discuss the ways in which philosophical discourse and correlative thinking relate to important and enduring patterns in Chinese language, politics and culture.
  • acquire skills to critically think and analyse.
  • understand cultural context.
  • and acquire skills in tha areas of research and analysis.
Assessment: Participation (10%) based on contribution to class discussion in tutorials. No marks are given for attendance solely but students are required to attend at least six tutorials as a hurdle requirement. One class paper of 1,500 words presented in class and submitted one week after presentation (40%), one research essay of 2,500 words (60%) due during the examination period.
Prescribed Texts:

Materials supplied by the Institute.

  • Heritage of China: Contemporary Perspectives on Chinese Civilization (Paul S. Ropp) University of California Press, 1990
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • acquire written communication skills through essay writing and seminar discussion.
  • show attention to detail through essay preparation and writing.
  • acquire time management and planning skills through managing and organising workloads for recommended reading, essay and assignment completion.
  • acquire public speaking skills through tutorial and seminar discussion and class presentations.
Notes: Previously offered as 110-052 Chinese Thought. Students who have completed Chinese Thought are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Asian Studies
Asian Studies
Asian Studies
Asian Studies Major
Chinese Language Major
Chinese Studies
Chinese Studies Major

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