• Class Number 9490
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic Historical Texts
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig
    • Qin Yang
    • Victor Fong
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course covers a selection of advanced readings in Literary Chinese. Each semester, students study a different type of Literary Chinese text, including historiography, excavated texts, anecdotal literature, legal documents, poetry, and Buddhist Chinese. Students read prescribed texts in class. They receive tuition in the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax specific to each type of text and register of Literary Chinese. Students also discuss the contextual information necessary for appreciation of the texts under study; and practise using a range of Sinological research tools to discover and interpret such information. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Hypothesise on, analyse, and appraise vocabulary used in different types of Literary Chinese text, with the use of specialist dictionaries.
  2. Identify and analyse the grammar and sentence structures evident in different advanced Literary Chinese texts; and consider their contributions to stylistic and other effects.
  3. Analyse linguistic registers used in texts written in complex, often technical, forms of Literary Chinese and reproduce them in appropriate registers of English.
  4. Use commentaries to assess different readings of the text at hand, supporting translations with an understanding of commentarial techniques and vocabulary.
  5. Produce a creative response to the text through the composition of a critical apparatus and a detailed analysis of textual references and literary allusions, through the use of reference tools specific to the type of text at hand; and develop an appreciation of the text in its relevant social, intellectual, and cultural contexts.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Course introduction; introducing historical texts
2 An Lushan's Rebellion: biography - overview
3 An Lushan's Rebellion: chronicle - overview
4 An Lushan's Rebellion: institutional records - Tang institutions
5 An Lushan's Rebellion: geographical writing - outbreak of rebellion Translation assignment 1 set
6 An Lushan's Rebellion: geographical writing - capture of Chang'an Translation assignment 1 due
7 An Lushan's Rebellion: official historical records - Tang ethnic policy
8 An Lushan's Rebellion: official historical records - relations between court and regions
9 An Lushan's Rebellion: biographical and anecdotal records - roles of the literati Translation assignment 2 set
10 An Lushan's Rebellion: tomb inscriptions Translation assignment 2 due
11 An Lushan's Rebellion: anecdotal records - contemporary and later accounts
12 Conclusion and review Final translation assignment set

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Active participation in class 10 % 25/10/2019 28/11/2019 1,2,3,4,5
Prepared written translations 40 % 30/08/2019 13/09/2019 1,2,3,4
Final Translation assignment 50 % 08/11/2019 28/11/2019 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 25/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Active participation in class

Students will be expected to prepare written translations of the texts studied in each session. The aim here is to give students a sense of the reasoned decisions that translators have to make when faced with new textual material. Written preparation will enable students to compare their solutions to textual and translation problems with those proposed as a class.

Students will be expected to contribute in an active and constructive manner to the business of textual analysis and translation, as well as to general discussion with both the lecturer and their classmates.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 30/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 13/09/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Prepared written translations

Students will submit two translations from Literary Chinese into English. Each will be accompanied by annotations and a 500-word critical introduction. These assignments will serve as preparation for the final translation, though they will be based on different texts.

Both translations will be take-home assignments. The first will be set in Week 5; the second will be set in Week 9. Students will have one week to complete each assignment. Students will have access to dictionaries and other Sinological reference works, which will have been introduced during the course. Students will use an appropriate selection of these tools to support them in producing their annotated translations.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 08/11/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Final Translation assignment

Students will be given a take-home assignment in Week 12. They will have two weeks to complete the task. They will translate the texts allocated to them from Literary Chinese into English. They will be expected to supply extensive annotations to accompany their translations. Students will have access to dictionaries and other Sinological reference works, which will have been introduced during the course. Students will use an appropriate selection of these tools to support them in producing their annotated translations.

Students will further provide a critical introduction to accompany their translation. It should be no longer than 1500 words. Students will use this introduction to address aspects of the literary, cultural, or historical context, or issues of translation, relevant to the texts under study. Critical introductions should comprise three parts:

1) a brief description of the content of the item read, as well as an account of such contextual information as authorship, genre, time and circumstances of composition, and reception history;

2) an analysis of the major themes of the relevant text, and an attempt to set an individual item in the broad context of Chinese literary history;

3) personal critical engagement with any problems of analysis raised.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig

Research Interests

Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig

Qin Yang

Research Interests

Qin Yang

Thursday 10:00 11:00
Victor Fong

Research Interests

Victor Fong

Thursday 14:00 15:00

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