• Class Number 9499
  • 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 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.

Research-Led Teaching

Due to the nature of the rather recent discovery of some of the materials under examination in this course, parts of this course including the take-home translations will require participants to conduct their own research. Existing research on most of these materials is often far from conclusive so that different approaches and in-depth analysis may yield new results. Students attending this course will thus work at the forefront of contemporary Early China Studies.

Resources will be provided for all students on Wattle. Reference materials to be introduced during this course will either have to be accessed through Menzies library or online.

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, overview, aims; the process of text discovery Xunzi, "Chen dao"
2 The nature of Chinese argumentative texts Xunzi "Chen dao"
3 What's new regarding Chinese characters? Short texts from Guodian "Lord Mu asked Zi Si" "Zhongxin zhi dao"
4 Short texts from Guodian & Reference materials workshop "Zhongxin zhi dao" Take-home-translation assignment 1 – handout 20.08.2020
5 Texts from Yinwan and Guodian "Shenwu fu" from Tomb No. 6 at Yinwan & Tang Yu zhi dao Test 1 online
6 Texts from Guodian Tang Yu zhi dao Take-home-translation assignment 1 – due 11.09.2020
7 A text from the Shanghai collection "Kongzi shilun"
8 A text from the Shanghai collection "Kongzi shilun"
9 Texts from Guodian "Wuxing pian" Test 2 online
10 Texts from Guodian "Wuxing pian" Final home-translation assignment 2–handout 15.10.2020
11 Texts from Mawangdui "Wuxing pian with commentary"
12 Texts from Mawangdui "Wuxing pian with commentary" Final take-home translation assignment 2 – due 6.11.2020

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Active participation in class 10 % 30/10/2020 * 1,2,3,4,5
In class or online tests 30 % * * 1,2,3,4
Take-home translation assignment 1 20 % 11/09/2020 01/10/2020 1,2,3,4,5
Final take-home translation assignment 2 40 % 06/11/2020 * 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: 30/10/2020
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. Regular participation will be of the essence to achieve the learning outcomes and successfully complete tests and take-home translations.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

In class or online tests

Course participants will sit two in-class or online tests during the course. These will consist of questions on the readings and a short passage for translation. Students may also be asked to offer analysis of the vocabulary or syntax of the passages under study. Each test will carry an equal weighting of 15% of the total grade.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 11/09/2020
Return of Assessment: 01/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Take-home translation assignment 1

Course participants will be handed out a text to take home for translation during week 5. They will be asked to prepare an annotated draft translation of the text making use of the large array of reference works introduced during the reference workshop in week 4. A complete and annotated translation should be handed in via Turnitin link together with a version as email attachment to the convenor at the end of the first week of the term break.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 06/11/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Final take-home translation assignment 2

Course participants will receive a final take-home translation assignment in Week 10. They will have three weeks to complete the task. Aside from translating the texts students will be expected to supply annotations to accompany their translations. When preparing translations, students should make extensive use of dictionaries and other Sinological reference works introduced during the course.

Students are further asked to prepare a critical overview and analysis to accompany their translation. It should be no longer than 1500 words. Students may use their overview and analysis to address aspects of the literary, cultural or historical context, issues of translation relevant to the texts under study. As a guideline, the accompanying text 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, and possible textual parallels;

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 translation and analysis raised.

The complete and annotated translation together with the overview and analysis should be handed in via Turnitin link together with a version as email attachment to the convenor at the end of the first week of the term break.

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

Course participants will receive their take-home translations via email with in-text and final comments at the end of their text (using track-changes). These comments should be looked at in detail because they will be useful for the subsequent final translation assignment.

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

Only with prior consent 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
+61 (0)2 6125 8233

Research Interests

Early Chinese Literature & Philosophy; Excavated texts; Digital humanities in Chinese studies

Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig

Thursday By Appointment
Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig
+61 (0)2 6125 8233

Research Interests

Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig

Thursday By Appointment

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