• Class Number 4140
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig
    • Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
SELT Survey Results

The course introduces students to works of Chinese literature ranging from the pre-Qin period until the late 18th century. As a culture that conceived of the ability to write poetry and prose as the distinctive characteristic of its elites, China boasts one of the largest and most diverse bodies of literature in the world. Since Western classifications of literature hardly suit Chinese typologies, the course approaches traditional Chinese literature according to its own generic classifications, using them as a guideline while tracing their modification and growth through time.
Aside from receiving an overview of certain periods, authors, and genres, students will also study a wide variety of examples of literature in translation. Not only will they investigate the formal attributes that may qualify a text to be part of a particular genre; they will also engage reflectively with the backgrounds, contents, structures, meanings and intentions of the presented works. The aim of the course is therefore to enable students to understand and reproduce the major developments and genres of traditional Chinese literature as well as to classify works, previously unknown to them, according to genres.

Learning Outcomes

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

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

1. Read carefully with attention to detail and to the way literary texts are constructed

2. Critically analyse literary texts of a range of forms and genres in translation

3. Classify Chinese literary works according to genre and approximate dating

4. Identify and present evidence to support such claims

5. Communicate their knowledge effectively both orally and in writing

Examination Material or equipment

Chinese English Dictionary (Book)

Resources will be provided on Wattle and in class throughout the course.

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, and to individuals

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 Week 1 Course introduction Overview lectures on the development of Chinese poetry and prose
2 Week 2 Early Chinese poetry Lecture: The [Book of] Songs & the Songs of Chu Topic selection for presentations and tutorial papers
3 Week 3 Early Chinese prose Lecture: What "books" were there in pre-Qin China? Student presentations: Lunyu, Zhuangzi, Mozi, Han Feizi with examples
4 Week 4 Han Rhapsodies, Music Bureau Poetry, Nineteen Old Poems Lecture: Poetry and orthodoxy Student presentations: Sima Xiangru, Yang Xiong, Zhang Heng with examples
5 Week 5 Historical Writings & Anomaly Accounts Lecture: Ideas of historical writing Student presentations: Wang Chong, Ban Gu, Ban Zhao with examples
6 Week 6 Jian'an period; Introspective poetry and prose, Northern & Southern dynasties Lecture: Literary salons, bamboo groves, and landscapes of the mind Student presentations: Cao Pi and Cao Zhi, Ruan Ji, Tao Yuanming with examples Tutorial paper 1 due
7 Week 7 Literary criticism Lecture: Texts on texts Student presentations: Lu Ji, Xie Lingyun, Bao Zhao, Shen Yue, with examples
8 Week 8 Tang poetry Lecture: Poetry abounds: The Tang era and regulated verse Student presentations: Wang Wei, Li Taibo, Du Fu, Bai Juyi with examples
9 Week 9 Tang prose Lecture: Parallel prose and its opponents Student presentations: Han Yu, Li He, Liu Zongyuan with examples
10 Week 10 Song poetry and prose Lecture: Popular poetry and prose? The Song Ci, pseudo biographies and travel accounts Student presentations: Mei Yaochen, Wang Anshi, Ouyang Xiu with examples Tutorial paper 2 due
11 Week 11 Traditional Chinese Theatre, Yuan drama, chuanqi Lecture: From Song Ci to Yuan Qu, from commercial variety show to staged "drama" Student presentations: Guan Hanqing, Wang Shifu, Gao Ming
12 Week 12 Novels and Novellas Lecture: The evolution of the Chinese novel Final exam date tba

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Active participation 10 % 01/07/2021 * 1,2,3,4
Short Presentations 20 % 01/07/2021 * 1,2,3
Tutorial Paper 1 15 % 02/04/2021 23/04/2021 2,3,4,5
Tutorial paper 2 20 % 14/05/2021 27/05/2021 1,2,4,5
Final Exam 35 % 01/07/2021 * 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.


Due to the nature and the amount of literature covered in this course it should be understood that regular attendance and preparation of the readings is essential for your learning and the successful passing of this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 01/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Active participation

Due to the nature and the amount of literature covered in this course it should be obvious that regular attendance and preparation of the readings is essential for your course experience, your learning, and the successful passing of this course. - 10%

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 01/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Short Presentations

2 short presentations (with two-page handout): - 20 %

The presentations serve to prepare the tutorial papers, the first about an author of your choice (from a list of suggestions) with an emphasis on his literary production and the genre(s) he was writing in. The focus of the second presentation (and the second tutorial paper) will be a textual analysis of a literary work by another author of your choice. Note that the assessment dates given above only refer to the initial presentations given in class.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 02/04/2021
Return of Assessment: 23/04/2021
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5

Tutorial Paper 1

Tutorial paper 1: “Author, work & genre” (min. 1000 words) - 15%

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 14/05/2021
Return of Assessment: 27/05/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5

Tutorial paper 2

Tutorial paper 2: “Textual analysis of translations of a literary work” (min. 1500 words) - 20%… 

Assessment Task 5

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 01/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 3,4,5

Final Exam

Final Examination: "Genre history and typology, classification and interpretation of works" - 35%

The precise date and place of the final exam still needs to be determined and will also be announced in class. Students will need to check the exam timetable.

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

Assignments will generally be returned with substantial comments directly to the participants anu email account.

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
6125 8233

Research Interests

Early Traditional Chinese Literature and Philosophy

Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig

Tuesday 11:15 12:15
Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig
6125 8233

Research Interests

Dr Michael Schimmelpfennig

Tuesday 11:15 12:15

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