Fall 2021 - GA 200 E100

Introduction to Chinese Civilization (3)

Class Number: 4015

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 5:30 PM – 8:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 12, 2021
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    15 units.



An introduction to historical and cultural perspectives on China. Topics covered will include different aspects of traditional Chinese civilization with a view to understanding contemporary Chinese society. Students with credit for ASC 200 may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities.


This course provides students with an introduction to selected cultural and historical perspectives on China from its origins to the present. The goal of the course is to learn some of the foundations of Chinese civilization, which will help to understand how China has developed over time and how it interacts with the world today. The main themes of the course will include: spiritual beliefs and traditions; development of the concept of Zhongguo (“Middle Country/Kingdom”) and its impact on relations with non-Chinese peoples; the role of the family and education in social and political life; the relationship with the environment; the importance of Chinese medicine and food to Chinese and world culture; migration and the formation of a Chinese diaspora in Canada; and the impact of the communist revolution on China’s economy and society.

This course does not require prior knowledge of Chinese history or society nor any fluency in Chinese.

Please note:

  1. This course will be delivered LIVE from the instructor’s living room/storage room! Since we will be LIVE on air, there will therefore be multiple opportunities for students to interact and ask questions. Lectures will be recorded and made available for students who cannot easily attend the “live” lecture because of time-zone differences.
  2. I deeply regret that the global pandemic requires that this course be offered remotely instead of in-person. I prefer in-person classes because I believe that the human connections and spontaneous reactions between me the instructor and you the students, as well as between your classmates, promotes better learning. But in order to stay safe during the pandemic, we are required to sacrifice the many benefits of in-person classes and will strive to do our best using online tools.




  • Tutorial attendance and participation 20%
  • Film report 10%
  • Midterm test 25%
  • "China in the news" media analysis 20%
  • Final Exam 25%


Tutorials will be held live online.



None; Coursepack will be provided. 

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.