• Class Number 9371
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig
    • Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
SELT Survey Results

This is a regional course for students interested in China. It focuses on key social and cultural topics essential to understanding both traditional society and its influence modern and contemporary China. The course is structured around such themes as conceptions of time and space, the written and spoken word, the past and its records, traditional thought and belief, society, government and bureaucracy, cultural pursuits and literary products, inventions and technical advances, or Western interlocutors. The course intends to provide students with in-depth knowledge about core aspects of traditional Chinese culture necessary for any serious occupation with present day China and Chinese communities all over the world.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

1. understand and reproduce key features of traditional Chinese culture and thought and modern discourses about such traditions.

2. take on a different cultural perspective from which to view oneself, one’s culture and one’s society.

3. compare and critique theoretical knowledge of this field in light of empirical examples.

4. locate and analyse new information from a wide variety of Western sources.

China: Empire and Civilization

Author: Edward L. Shaughnessy (ed.)

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Edition: 2000

There are a flurry of introductions to Chinese culture to choose from. One very useful and informative example is mentioned above.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments on tutorial papers.
  • Verbal comments during tutorials.
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups during class or in meetings with the convenor.

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 Orientation; Crash course 1: What is culture and how would you define it?
2 Ideas of space and time as a cultural expressions; Crash course 2: History of China digest TQ1 (tutorial questions)
3 Is Chinese script a mnemonic device? Orality, memory, and Chinese characters TQ2 & Tutorial Paper topic lottery
4 The importance of the clan: family and society TQ3
5 Myths of creation and the creation of myths TQ4
6 Creating a historical canon: Chinese ideas of history and historical writing TQ5 & Tutorial paper 1 due
7 Enacting culture? Roles of government TQ6
8 Conceiving culture: Early Chinese thought TQ7
9 Creating a cultural canon: Classics and Commentaries TQ8
10 Systems of belief: Religious ideas and their cultural manifestation TQ9 & Tutorial paper 2 due
11 Refined culture: Calligraphy and painting TQ10
12 Material culture: Creation and discovery Final exam date & place tba

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Participation 10 % * 30/10/2020 1,2,3
Weekly tutorial questions 20 % 03/08/2020 23/10/2020 1,2,3
1st tutorial paper 15 % 04/09/2020 22/09/2020 1,3,4
2nd tutorial paper 20 % 09/10/2020 27/10/2020 1,3,4
Final Exam 35 % 10/11/2020 * 1,2,4

* 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.


see above under assessment task 1


see above under assessment task 5

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Return of Assessment: 30/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3


Regular class attendance and active participation will be key to your takeaway from this course and the assessments you receive. Since this course essentially covers all basic cultural areas of China stretching over a time of more than 2000 years, the amount of factual information provided is huge. While you cannot be expected to learn and remember every detail, you need to follow and understand the greater picture which is a combination of cultural traditions and their development from the beginnings until today. And, as experience with this course shows, it is much easier to achieve this by regular attendance.

Note that the aim of the workshops is a hands-on engagement with the weekly topic designed for your immersion, meaning it is designed to spare you some of the post-processing homework.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 03/08/2020
Return of Assessment: 23/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Weekly tutorial questions

Each tutorial presupposes the reading or viewing of two materials (articles, videos, etc.) on the topic of each week. Course participants will be required upon preparation of these materials to formulate 3 questions in writing that focus on the relation between the materials as such, the respective arguments of their authors and the topic of the week. These questions are required to be printed out and handed to the course convenor before the beginning of each tutorial. Questions will be marked. A list on Wattle will indicate the marks achieved by each participant in each week.

The task of posing tutorial questions related to the readings aims, first, at engaging course participants meaningfully in the topics of each week, and second, to improve their way of reading an analysing research materials more efficiently.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 04/09/2020
Return of Assessment: 22/09/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4

1st tutorial paper

For the first tutorial paper course participants will be asked to prepare a bibliography, a structure, and a brief explicatory outline for their coming second tutorial paper. In their first tutorial paper course participants are required to demonstrate their bibliographical skills, both in regard to materials available online and in print at ANU libraries. Based on their bibliographical findings and initial readings/surveys of those materials they are asked to design a meaningful structure for a tutorial paper topic they have previously selected via a lottery in class.

The thought behind the topic lottery is to put each course participant in the same position of a "China expert" who is suddenly required to say something meaningful about an unknown or hardly known topic, and, who as an expert is required to base his findings on verifiable evidence from respectable and recent scientific sources (not Wikipedia or broad China info sites!)

The idea to prepare a structure at first is to require the course participants to reflect on a meaningful arrangement of their arguments and sources before delving into writing an entire paper. Individual feedback by the course convener is supposed to help participants improve on their second complete tutorial paper.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 09/10/2020
Return of Assessment: 27/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4

2nd tutorial paper

This second tutorial paper will be written on the same topic as tutorial paper 1. It will be based on the structure developed for the first tutorial paper and possible modifications and additions required due to the course convener's comments on tutorial paper 1.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 10/11/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Final Exam

With 35% of the entire grade for the course it should be evident that the emphasis of the course aside from learning how to write a research-based tutorial paper lies on immersing yourself into the information and data provided during the lectures. Course participants should be aware that they need to follow the lectures, to summarize their main points, and to learn these points to be able to reproduce this information during the final exam.

The reason for ending the course with a final exam instead of another exam paper is precisely to make course participants aware from the beginning that due to the substantial and varied information provided during this course students cannot do without actively acquiring knowledge to be able to reproduce certain nformation but also recent research insights that go against or topple seemingly established convictions regarding Chinese culture.

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.

Returning Assignments

The dates given above are indicative only.

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.

Resubmission of Assignments

Not possible unless permission is given by the course convenor.

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

Thursday 14:05 14:55
By Appointment
Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig
6125 8233

Research Interests

Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig

Thursday 14:05 14:55
By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions