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ASIAN 201 A: Literature And Culture Of China: Ancient And Classical

Chinese monk with brown robe sitting in fancy chair
Meeting Time: 
MW 1:30pm - 3:20pm
ART 004
William Boltz

Syllabus Description:

Department of Asian Languages & Literature  

Asian 201 -  Spring term, 2020

The Life and Times of Confucius



Who was Confucius?

What was his role in China’s classical age?

Did Confucius have competitors?

Is “Confucianism” a philosophy? a religion?

Is “Confucianism” Confucian?

What was the historical background that led up to Confucius, his teachings and his impact?

What followed?



These and other related questions will be raised for discussion and consideration.

Prerequisite: intellectual curiosity; all interested students are welcome.

when: Mondays & Wednesdays, 1.30 - 3.20.

where: remotely, online only.

Instructor: W  Boltz                                                                                             


Zoom office hours: Fridays at 2.30 ;  use this:  497-175-702. "Waiting room" feature is in effect. If one or more people are ahead of you, please wait, or send an e-mail and we can set up a new time.

Course information:


1. There will be no textbooks for this course; no need to buy anything.

2. For each meeting there will be reading materials available in the Canvas files that you are expected to become familiar with in advance of the class when they are scheduled to be discussed.

3. Our procedure, once we get started, will be for me to provide some background information for each set of readings and answer whatever preliminary questions you may have. I will then ask questions or raise points for discussion, trusting that you will be prepared to respond in whatever way seems appropriate, including with questions of your own. Everyone will be expected to have read the materials, thought about them in connection with what we have already talked about and come up with comments, observations, questions or even arguments (- politely expressed, of course -) about our collective scrutiny of the subject. 

nb: Class sessions and discussions will come closest to resembling the natural ambience of old-fashioned classroom meetings when we all can see one another, especially when talking. Class participation (= talking) will constitute 30% of the final course grade (see number 5 below), and responding to and assessing your participation will be more readily accomplished when I can see you talking than if I am only listening to a disembodied voice.

4. There will be an “in class” (= online) midterm exam on or about Monday, 27 April and a final exam on the last day of classes, Wednesday, 03 June, also “in class” (= online). â Make-up exams are not given. Please plan your affairs accordingly.

5. Grading: the class will be graded in the conventional numeric way. Grades will be determined as follows:

Midtern exam:   35%

Final exam:   35%

Class participation:   30% 


Here is what you need to join today's session.

     Topic: Asian 201 ---  "Life & Times of Confucius"
     Time: Mar 30, 2020    01:30 PM

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Students please take note of the following:

Religious Accommodations


Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Faculty Syllabus Guidelines and Resources. Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form available at:



Catalog Description: 
Introduction to ancient and classical Chinese literature in its cultural context. Texts in English translation.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
February 4, 2020 - 1:25pm