Major in Chinese Language and Literature (1140)
The Chinese Language & Literature major offers students a structured program to acquire high-level proficiency in written and spoken modern standard Chinese and in classical Chinese and to develop the cultural competency needed to understand Chinese literature and culture in the changing East Asian and global context. The program’s broad array of courses, some taught in English and others in Chinese, enables students to understand Chinese culture by gaining a firm grasp of both canonical and popular works of literature; of contemporary cinema, visual arts, and new media from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China.
Like all WLL majors, Chinese Language & Literature majors begin with XL 100: Leaving Home: Explorations in World Literature, a team-taught course in which students meet the WLL faculty through guest lectures and get oriented in the rich diversity of the world’s literary traditions. They begin Chinese language study as early as possible and complete at least three language courses beyond the fourth-semester level (LC 212). Students also have the option of taking introductory as well as more advanced courses in Classical Chinese (with course options taught in Chinese or in English). Masterpieces of Chinese Literature (LC 250) introduces students to major texts in English translation and can be taken early on in the student’s program. Four additional courses in Chinese language, literature, and/or culture provide greater depth in areas of special interest to the student. One elective focusing on language, literature, or culture from outside of the Chinese-speaking world enhances regional, global and/or historical comparison. Students wishing to explore more of WLL’s course offerings outside of Chinese may substitute an additional elective for one of their four courses in Chinese language, literature, or culture. Majors reconvene with all WLL majors in the senior capstone seminar XL 479, where they work with a faculty mentor on a final project using Chinese-language materials.
Major in Chinese Course Requirements
A total of 11 four-credit courses is required, all completed with a grade of C or higher.
- XL 100 Explorations in World Literature: Leaving Home
- LC 250 Masterpieces of Chinese Literature
- 3 upper-level Chinese language courses above LC 212 (fourth-semester), including LC 311 (Third-Year Modern Chinese) and one 400-level course. Chosen from
- LC 311 Third Year-Modern Chinese
- LC312 Third-Year Modern Chinese (for study abroad only),
- LC 313 Chinese Through Theater and Performance
- LC 314 Classical Chinese I for Students of East Asia (Taught in English)
- LC 315 Classical Chinese (Taught in Mandarin)
- LC 317 Chinese in Modern Society
- LC 319 Chinese in Intercultural Communication
- LC 320 Advanced Classical Chinese
- LC 322 Chinese for Professional Purposes
- LC 411 Fourth-Year Modern Chinese I (for study abroad only),
- LC 412 Fourth Year Modern Chinese II (for study abroad only),
- LC 416 Chinese through Literary Masterpieces
- LC 420 Topics in Chinese Through Media
- LC 486 Workshop on Translating and Interpreting Chinese
- 4 courses in Chinese language, literature, and/or culture above LC 250. With advisor approval up to 2 of these may be Chinese studies courses taken outside the WLL department, e.g., in history, art history, Pardee, or Political Science. Courses taken at our study abroad program in Shanghai may also fulfill these requirements.
- 1 WLL elective, chosen with the advisor’s approval. Chosen from all courses in WLL. May also be satisfied by LX250 Introduction to Linguistics or a higher-level linguistics course, or by a literature course in Romance Studies, English, or Classics. Students wishing to do more comparative work may count an additional WLL elective in place of one of the four courses in Chinese language, literature and/or culture.
- Capstone XL 479 Senior Seminar: Seniors majoring in WLL come back together in XL 479, the senior capstone Students use this course to produce a substantial project in their major and share their work with other WLL seniors working in other languages. The course provides students with structure and research guidance for developing and discussing their projects, while meetings with a faculty language mentor hone students’ advanced language skills as applied to the area of their research. Student presentations build oral communication skills and the ability to describe one’s work to others. Possible final projects could include a research paper on literature, film, or popular culture; an annotated translation or work of subtitling; a video essay; or an interactive map, timeline, or other digital humanities project. Students producing excellent capstone projects will be encouraged to develop them into senior honors work.
Major in Chinese Learning Outcomes
- Linguistic proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing Mandarin at the intermediate-high level as measured by ACTFL guidelines
- Understanding of Chinese literature from an East Asian and world literary perspective
- Solid knowledge of China’s classical literary, and philosophical traditions as well as contemporary cinema, visual arts, and new media
- Critical thinking, communication, and writing skills within areas of content and cultural knowledge
- Familiarity with fundamental research skills for Chinese studies, including use of traditional and electronic sources
Graduating with Honors
To graduate with honors, students will maintain a GPA in the major of at least 3.4 and will take two additional courses above the 11 required for the major:
- one additional LC or WLL breadth course chosen with approval of the advisor.
- either TL 540 (translation seminar) or LC 401 or 402 (continuation of the thesis begun in the capstone seminar).
Minor in Chinese (1107)
Required courses: six LC courses numbered 250 and above, including LC 311 and at least one course in literature. Up to four courses taken at Boston University’s program in Shanghai may count toward the minor. Students may include up to three transfer courses from other colleges, universities, or non-Boston University study abroad programs and must take a minimum of three courses (or a minimum of two, if they have four courses approved for credit toward the minor from Boston University’s program in Shanghai) on the Charles River Campus. Internships taken through Boston University or other study abroad programs may not be credited toward minors offered by the department. A grade of C or higher is required in all courses taken toward the minor.