• Class Number 7036
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In-Person and Online
    • AsPr Fengyuan Ji
    • AsPr Fengyuan Ji
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
SELT Survey Results

This multidisciplinary course examines language, discourse and political culture in China since 1949. It assumes no prior knowledge of China or the Chinese language, and it has two interrelated parts. In the first, we examine the most colossal programme of centrally-directed 'mind control' in human history – the Chinese Communist Party's attempt between 1949 and 1978 to create new, revolutionary human beings through the control of language and discourse. What were the origins of this attempt? How did it affect people's behaviour? How did it affect Chinese culture? And how successful was it in changing people’s ideas and values? In the second part of the course we will explore the enormous changes that have occurred since the beginning of the Reform Era in 1978. Why did Deng Xiaoping and his successors relax centralised controls over language and discourse? What social and economic changes have encouraged the emergence of new discourses and cultural forms? What opportunities have been created by the explosive growth of the internet? How does the government continue to regulate the media, monitor the internet, and manipulate public debate? How have people sought to evade these controls? What critical discourses still manage to flourish? And why, when so many things have changed in China, does the Chinese Communist Party still use the traditional language of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought? The answers to questions like these offer many insights into continuity and change in China since 1949. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain continuity and change in the expressive, persuasive, and coercive use of discourse in China since 1949, demonstrating a superior understanding of why some things have changed and other things have remained the same.
  2. Appraise the purpose and function of Chinese official discourse, and have an enhanced ability to decode.
  3. Analyse examples of Chinese discourse, linking them to their political, economic, and social contexts.
  4. Locate and use critically examples of official discourse published in English by official sources in China. (Students with sufficient understanding of Chinese will also be able to locate and use Chinese language sources, both official and unofficial).
  5. Evaluate this primary sources material (published in English in China) to construct an argument that contributes to a wider understanding of China.
  6. Critically assess the expressive, persuasive, and coercive functions of language and discourse, and the ways in which language and discourse are linked to political, economic, and social contexts.

Research-Led Teaching

This course intersects with Associate Professor Ji's research and publication on language, discourse and politics in China from the Mao period to the present. It has significant input from her current research on the Chinese Communist Party's hegemonic discourses and the China's linguistic landscape.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

Reading materials will be available on Wattle.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lecture One Introduction: Language, discourse and power in China in ancient times; Course assessment, Oral presentation sign-up
2 Lecture Two Revolution, Discourse and Society in Mao’s China (1949-66)
3 Lecture Three Hegemony, Discourse and Politics during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76)
4 Lecture Four Using Maoist discourse to dismantle Mao's policies
5 Lecture Five The emergence of diverse social discourses in the 1980s - 90s
6 Lecture Six Co-opting the forces of change: Jiang Zemin and "The Three Represents"
7 Lecture Seven "Putting People First" - Official discourse and political culture under Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping
8 Lecture Eight Discourse of traditional Chinese culture in the 'New Era'
9 Lecture Nine Linguistic landscape and discourse hegemony
10 Lecture Ten "Managing" online discourse communities
11 Lecture Eleven Claiming credit for the Party: Mao, Deng and Xi as China's saviours
12 Lecture Twelve Language, Discourse and Political culture in China: continuity and change

Tutorial Registration

If the enrolment is under 18, there will be no need to register for tutorials which will be conducted in person at 11:30am, immediately after the lectures on Fridays. Check the classroom before you go. Tutorials will be allocated for discussions and oral presentations. Students' active participation is essential.

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Tutorial contribution 15 % LO 3, 4, 5
Oral presentation 15 % LO 1, 2, 3
Essay 30 % LO 1, 4, 5
Final exam 40 % LO 1-5

* 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 Integrity 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 Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.


The tutorials are essential part of the course. Students are strongly encouraged to attend all tutorials, even when they are not presentating themselves. Students' performance will be evaluated on how well they have prepared for tutorials and how they engage in the discussions.


Examination is close-book. Duration: 3 hours. It will be conducted in person on campus during the University exam period. Details are to be advised close to the time.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: LO 3, 4, 5

Tutorial contribution

Tutorial Contribution includes two parts:

1) Submitting 10 reading summaries as evidence of having read the assigned reading materials 10% .

2) Active participation in tutorial discussions 5% 

For Asia 6014 students, you need to read at least 10 articles, chosen from the readings provided for the tutorials. After reading each article, write a summary in 200-300 words which must address the two given questions. (for details see course outline)

Your summary should be in Word format, no photos shots will be accepted. It is to be submitted on Wattle before midnight on Wednesdays for the week that your article is to be discussed. The first summary is due in week 2 (Wed. 3 August). Feedback for the submissions will be communicated to the class at the tutorials from week 2.


10 summaries, 10%

Tutorial contribution and attendance 5%

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: LO 1, 2, 3

Oral presentation

The oral presentation is based on the readings assigned for the course. It will be conducted at tutorials starting from week 3. Your presentation needs to be analytical in nature while covering the main points of the material itself.

You must choose a topic that is different from the one which you write your essay on. The duration for the oral presentation is 8 minutes, followed by answering questions from the class and the teacher. A sign-up for the oral presentation is required.

Feedback for your oral will be communicated to you electronically within a week after your presentation.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: LO 1, 4, 5


For Asia 6014 students, the length of the essay is 3000-words, It should be research-based and analytical in nature.Topics for the essay will be available on Wattle from week 2. All essays should be submitted in Word format through Turnitin on Wattle. No photo shots of essay will be accepted.

The essay due date is Friday, 21 Oct. Feedback will be given before the final exam.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: LO 1-5

Final exam

The final exam will be 3 hours and it will take place in the university final exam period. Students will be given choices in answering the questions which cover most of the topics taught in this course. 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. 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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Feedback to the weekly reading summaries will be given during the tutorials.

Result for the Oral presentation will be communicated to the individual student one week after it is delivered.

Marks for the essay will be available before the final exam.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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).

AsPr Fengyuan Ji
02 6125 3207

Research Interests

A/Prof. Fengyuan Ji's research interests are: relationship between language and thought; Language and politics in China; Political discourse in China

AsPr Fengyuan Ji

Friday By Appointment
By Appointment
AsPr Fengyuan Ji

Research Interests

AsPr Fengyuan Ji

Friday By Appointment
By Appointment

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