• Class Number 7035
  • 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.
  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 source material on Chinese discourse, place it in its context, and then apply it to construct an argument that displays an understanding of China.
  5. Characterise 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


Examination Material or equipment


Reading materials for this course will be available on Wattle.

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 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 15, there will be no need for tutorial registration. Tutorials will be conducted in person immediately after the lectures on Friday at 11:30am. Check the classroom before you go. Tutorials will be allocated for discussions and oral presentations. Students' active participation is essential.

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 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.


Class attendance and active participation in discussions are strongly encouraged and they will be used as basis for part of the course assessment.


Except for those who have taken this course online only, in which case they can take the exam online. For the rest of the class, the final exam will be conducted in person on campus. It will be during the University exam period.

Assessment Task 1

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

Tutorial contribution

Tutorial Contribution includes two parts:

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

2) Active participation in tutorial discussions 5% 

For Asia 2014 students, you need to read at least 5 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.


Reading summaries5 summaries, 2% each

Tutorial contribution and attendance


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 2014 students, the length of the essay is 2000-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 in Word format are to be submitted through Turnitin on Wattle.

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 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

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded. OR 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).
AsPr Fengyuan Ji
02 6125 3207

Research Interests

A/Prof. Fengyuan Ji's research interests are: relationships 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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