Special Interest Classes

Fall 2023 Registration is Now Open!
Classes start on September 25, 2023.

China Institute offers a variety of special interest classes that tailor to different interests and hobbies of our audiences in the areas of traditional art, literature, and more.

Check below of a list of currently available courses.

Available Courses:

A Special Course by Ben Wang: Bai Ju-yi’s Two Masterpieces, Song of the Everlasting Sorrow 長恨歌 and Song of the Pipa 琵琶行

Bai Ju-yi 白居易 (772-846) is the greatest (and most popular) poet in the Mid-Tang period. In poetry, Bai carried the torch from the works by the towering Wang Chang-ling, Li Bai, Du Fu, among other eminent predecessors of his, and, in the meantime, opened the door to memorable poems contributed by later masters, such as Du Mu, Li Shang-yin, etc. with the new poetic style that Bai created and inspired.

Bai Ju-yi promoted the New Ballad Style in heptasyllabic long poems, the representative and most memorable of which are the romantic Song of the Everlasting Sorrow 長恨歌 and Song of the Pipa 琵琶行.

In the two consecutive semesters, starting September 2023 through March 2024, China Institute’s Ben Wang, Senior Lecturer of Language and Humanities, will present, teach and discuss in detail Song of the Everlasting Sorrow and Song of the Pipa at the School of Chinese Studies at China Institute. This is a rare, golden opportunity to read the two timeless masterpieces by the inimitable Tang poet Bai Ju-yi. You don’t want to miss it!

Class Schedule:
Tuesday, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
September 26 – November 28
10 sessions (20 hours)
$550 member / $590 non-member
(plus a $30 non-refundable registration fee)
*This class will be taught in English

Registration

Tuesday
6:30 - 8:30 PM
Instructor: Ben Wang
Masters of Modern Chinese Literature: Readings in Original Chinese Texts

Modern Chinese literature (1918-2018) presents a spectacular cultural and intellectual transformation that reflected the impacts of political turmoil and societal collapse. A new writing culture emerged and reached immediate florescence in active responses to all the historic themes packed in China including revolutions and wars, poverty and reforms, censorship and ideological fights, and particularly the language itself breaking from the two-millennium tradition of literary Chinese.

In this course, students will read the original texts and engage in an in-depth discussion of works by the five most phenomenal and unusually gifted masters. The works selected will include essays, short stories, and poems by Lu Xun (鲁迅1881-1936), Hu Shih (胡适1891-1962), Xu Zhimo (徐志摩1897-1931), Qian Zhongshu (钱钟书1910-1998), Yu Guangzhong (余光中1928-2017), with snapshots of Shen Congwen (沈从文1902-1988), Ba Jin (巴金1904-2005), Feng Zhi (冯至1905-1993), Zhang Ailing (张爱玲1920-1995)…

*This class will be taught in Chinese. An advanced level of proficiency in the Chinese language is required. A course package will be provided.

Class Schedule:
Tuesday, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
September 26 – November 28
10 sessions (20 hours)
$550 member / $590 non-member
(plus a $30 non-refundable registration fee)

Registration

Tuesday
6:30 - 8:30 PM
Instructor: Steve Zhang
Modern China Through Film—Chinese Families in Transition

This 6-week course will explore the changing Chinese families through Chinese fictional cinema made during the two decades after the mid-1990s. It will focus on feature films about Mainland China by the so-called fifth- and sixth-generations filmmakers, and some younger, newly emerging balinghou (post-1980s) directors who came of age after the millennium. Participants will gain an understanding of modern and contemporary Chinese film, history and culture as well as familiarity with the Chinese movie industry and its major players.

The course involves a combination of screening and lectures covering a total of five contemporary Chinese-language films.

  1. Zhang Yimou’s To Live, 张艺谋,活着 (1994)
  2. Zhang Yuan’s Seventeen Years, 张元,过年回家 (1999)
  3. Huo Jianqi’s Postmen in the Mountains, 霍建起, 那山那人那狗 (1999)
  4. Xin Yukun’s The Coffin in the Mountain, 忻钰坤, 心迷宫 (2014)
  5. Yang Mingming’s Girls Always Happy, 杨明明, 柔情史 (2018)

*This class will be taught in English. Reading materials will be provided.

Class Schedule:
Wednesday, 6:30 – 8:00 PM
September 27 – November 1
6 sessions (9 lecture hours)
$250 member / $290 non-member
(plus a $30 non-refundable registration fee)

Registration

Wednesday
6:30 - 8:00 PM
Instructor: Karen Ma
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