This course consists of four lectures. Each lecture explores one key theme in Chinese humanities:
Week 1: The True Face of Hero
The lecture examines “Biography of Xiang Yu”, from Sima Qian’s (145-86?BC) magnum opus “Records of the Grand Historian”. Through analysing Xiang Yu’s complex character, the lecture explores the essence of heroism in ancient China, and how it resonates with and distinguishes from the Western heroic figures. Sima Qian’s depiction of Xiang Yu has an important impact on the development of Chinese historical writing, and hence the lecture also covers related modern works in order to delineate this masterpiece’s lasting legacy.
Week 2: The Way of the Confucian Tradition
The primary text of analysis here is “The Original Way” (Yaundao) by Han Yu (768-824AD). This text was the first ever attempt to establish an intellectual genealogy of Confucian sages into orthodoxy, in order to refute the sayings and preaching of both the Taoist and the Buddhist schools. It has had considerable influence on later Confucian scholars. It is also a representative prose work by the author, who is regarded as the first of the eight great masters of the “ancient prose” of Tang and the Song Dynasties – its structure is clear, its arguments superbly constructed, and its writing vivid and dramatic.
Week 3: Landscape of Immortality
The lecture explores three classic texts portraying the famous historical site “Red Cliff”. These texts were written by Su Dongpo (1037-1101AD), one of the most distinguished Chinese poets in history. The persona of Su Dongpo is characterised by the three major dimensions of Chinese tradition (Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism), all elegantly expressed in aesthetic terms in the texts. The lecture traces the origin of what may be called the lyrical tradition in Chinese literature, and also examines the intricate yet multifaceted relations between classical Chinese writings, and calligraphy and ink paintings.
Week 4: In Search of the Chinese Soul
The focus of the lecture is two renowned tales by Lu Xun (1881-1936): “The True Story of Ah-Q” and “Dairy of a Madman”. Lu Xun is full of paradoxes, ideologically and linguistically. His works constitute a modern counter-discourse vis-a-vis the Chinese tradition. He castigates feudal literary norms by creating soulless characters like Ah-Q. Still, he cannot help giving readers hopeful endings in some other stories. Putting politics aside, Lu Xun is considered the father of modern Chinese literature. He endeavours to promote the use of modern vernacular, yet personally he is fond for classical Chinese poetry and writes some poems in this form. This lecture therefore examines Lu Xun’s entanglement with the Chinese tradition, and attempt to find the Chinese national character in his works.
Coursera est une entreprise numérique proposant des formation en ligne ouverte à tous fondée par les professeurs d'informatique Andrew Ng et Daphne Koller de l'université Stanford, située à Mountain View, Californie.
Ce qui la différencie le plus des autres plateformes MOOC, c'est qu'elle travaille qu'avec les meilleures universités et organisations mondiales et diffuse leurs contenus sur le web.