Literature and Humanities2019-09-04T07:31:50+08:00

Courses offered in this area invite students to explore what it means to be human with reference to a range of texts and modalities. Students are offered a range of courses that discuss different kinds of text critically, often from a cross-cultural or inter-cultural perspective. They can also participate in discussions and activities in domains such as aesthetics, creative arts, performing arts, literatures of different languages and cultures, and different cultural expressions of religion, spirituality, philosophy, ethics and memory.

GELH1000
Chinese Language and Culture *
3 credits
2019-12-11T17:47:56+08:00
* Compulsory course for all students
Year Level: 1
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model: Area 2 – Chinese/Foreign Language
Area 8 – World Histories and Cultures

This is an introductory course to the Chinese civilization. It will discuss how important cultural developments and the Chinese language have shaped Chinese ways of life throughout the ages. This includes the interaction with other civilizations in Asia and globally. Students will acquire cultural and intercultural competence in a Chinese context.

GELH1001
Chinese Languages and Chinese Communities
3 credits
2019-09-17T03:28:10+08:00
Year Level: 1
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model:
Area 2 – Chinese/Foreign Language

In this course the students expand their knowledge of Chinese languages and Chinese communities and understand language phenomena as an expression of culture and as a function of society. Through readings, discussions and mini-projects the students apply the sociolinguistics knowledge introduced to answer academic and practical questions. Global and local language situations are surveyed in a Chinese perspective and current issues in language matters are analyzed. Through problem-solving exercises, the students hone their skills of critical thinking, communication and collaboration.

GELH1002
Popular Literature and Life
3 credits
2019-09-17T03:27:25+08:00
Year Level: 1
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model:
Area 2 – Chinese/Foreign Language

Through classroom instruction for students to grasp the knowledge of Chinese Popular Literature such as: fiction, opera, folk song, etc. Topics such as the analysis and interpretation of texts, themes, psychology and sociological studies of selected masterpieces will be covered. Works discussed will focus on the connection with the life and experience of students, and include the different kinds of theme and genre of popular literature.

GELH1003
Contemporary Artistic Expressions in the Portuguese-Speaking World
3 credits
2019-09-17T03:28:41+08:00
Year Level: 1
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model:
Area 8 – World Histories and Cultures

In this course students will be introduced to the vibrant diversity of the artistic scene in the Portuguese-speaking countries, addressing the way they dialog with each other and establish multidirectional exchanges among them. The course will explore how the crosscurrents of artistic debate in the twentieth century have been particularly prolific in stressing the tension between tradition and innovation, center and periphery, convergence and divergence, especially in the aftermath to the postcolonial redefinition of these countries.

GELH1004
Portuguese-Speaking Countries in Contemporary World
3 credits
2019-09-17T03:28:59+08:00
Year Level: 1
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model:
Area 8 – World Histories and Cultures

This course will explore the complex and diverse realities of the Portuguese-speaking world. Starting from an approach to the historical background of these countries and to the insertion of these communities in their specific regional contexts, students will be introduced to the multilayered relations between them, covering a range of dimensions such as the political, economic and cultural.

GELH1007
Visual and Performing Arts – Dance
3 credits
2019-09-17T03:29:13+08:00
Year Level: 1
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model:
Area 12 – Visual and Performing Arts

In this course, students explore the current themes and issues in dance by participating in theoretical (lectures/tutorials), practical (studio/performance), and aesthetic (dance film appreciation/critique) classes. Students develop an awareness of the body through movement, dance improvisation, creative processes, choreography, interdisciplinary arts, language, and literature. Theoretical and aesthetic components help students develop analytical thinking skills while practical sections challenge them to think more deeply on dance and the role it plays in society. Classes focus on a range of activities that dancers and movement practitioners use to foster kinesthetic awareness, critical thinking, movement experimentation, play/outcome-based learning, and communication through body language.

GELH1008
Trade, Empire and Globalization
3 credits
2019-09-17T03:29:33+08:00
Year Level: 1
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model:
Area 8 – World Histories and Cultures

This course traces the historical origins of globalization, examining the long-distance trade and imperial expansion that increasingly linked regions of the world together from around the year 1500. The course follows these phenomena through the modern period and up to the present. It explores how the lives of people around the world have changed in response to the globalization of society, culture, politics, and the economy.

GELH2000
Creativity and Writing: English for a Global Readership
3 credits
2019-09-17T03:30:20+08:00
Year Level: 2
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model:
Area 3 – Communication

In this course students learn to express themselves creatively through the medium of English. While the main emphasis is on story making, students experience a range of creative texts (including stories, poems, songs and films), as models for their own imaginative work.
Students will learn to write simple texts in key creative genres: for instance different types of poem, short story and life writing (biography and autobiography).
Learning to tell and write stories, individually and in groups, students gain confidence in expressing themselves and in constructing a narrative from different points of view. Working from lecture to discussion mode, class time is largely devoted to understanding how simple stories work and to practising basic techniques of storytelling. Group work, in-class performance and writing for a global audience are integral to the course. Reading and homework assignments set from week to week challenge the student to create engaging creative texts from memory and imagination. Assessment is by individual portfolio including an agreed combination of individual and group work in different genres.

GELH2001
Sex and the Arts
3 credits
2019-09-17T03:30:59+08:00
Year Level: 2
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model:
Area 12 – Visual and Performing Arts

Physical relationship presents itself one way or another in everyday life and discourse. This course invites students to go beyond the biology and mechanics of human sexual behaviours and think about the aesthetics of eros as featured in the arts. Students will be introduced to an array of historical and contemporary representations, narratives and discussions of sex in visual arts (paintings, sculptures and films), music (from classical art songs and operas to hip hop lyrics and MVs) and literature. ‘Sexuality in the Arts’ considers how various forms of artistic creation reflect and shape perception and symbolism of sex in a range of historical and cultural domains. Material of discussion will be chosen from both Asian and Western contexts.

GELH2002
The Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights
3 credits
2019-09-17T03:31:12+08:00
Year Level: 2
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model:
Area 10 – Values, Ethics and Meaning of Life

This course introduces students to the Holocaust, the systematic murder of the Jews of Europe by the Nazi regime between the years 1939 and 1945. In seeking to understand how the Holocaust happened, students will be introduced first to concepts like racial prejudice and other forms of discrimination, anti-Semitism, and the role of nationalism in creating concepts of the Other. The course will study the rise of the Nazi Party in Weimar Germany, its accession to power in 1933 and the systematic denigration of, and discrimination against, Jews from the years 1933 to 1939. The course will discuss the power of propaganda, the effects of discriminatory laws excluding Jews from all areas of public life and how these lead first to the mass murder of Jews in eastern Europe (Operation Barbarossa) and then the Final Solution, with the establishment of death camps, of which Auschwitz-Birkenau is but the most infamous. This course will also address the issue of genocide, how the Holocaust lead to the concept of genocide, first described as such by Raphael Lemkin in 1943 and subsequent international treaties seeking to prevent further genocides. The course will look at other genocides, including Armenia, Cambodia, Rwanda, and Darfur. Special attention will also be paid to the Japanese invasion of China, the Nanjing Massacre and Unit 731 in Manchuria.

GELH2003
Visual and Performing Arts – Drama
3 credits
2019-09-17T03:31:25+08:00
Year Level: 2
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model:
Area 12 – Visual and Performing Arts

This course consists of two major components: art introduction and drama. This course is designed to acquaint students with the vocabularies and concepts for critiquing and analyzing performing arts. It examines the functions of dramatic art from social and global perspectives, and it encourages students to develop judgment in analysis and criticism of drama as a performing art form. Students will gain an overview of the generic concepts and historical movements in different forms of drama across eras and cultures. In the drama component, students will be introduced to the form and function of dramatic literature in relationship to theatrical performance. Study of plays as texts will lead to rehearsal and performance of selected scenes/acts from plays.

GELH2004
Visual and Performing Arts – Music
3 credits
2019-09-17T03:31:40+08:00
Year Level: 2
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model:
Area 12 – Visual and Performing Arts

This course aims to encourage students to explore an extensive array of music genres throughout the history of Western and non-Western cultures and nurture a positive attitude and appreciation toward music. The students will learn to comprehend the elements of music (i.e., pitch, melody, rhythm, harmony, and form) and commonly used terminologies illustrated in major compositions. The students will travel through different periods (i.e., from the Middle Ages to the Contemporary Era) and listen to distinguished musical features associated with major composers and their popular works. Finally, the students will connect this knowledge to the present context that music has become prevalent in our daily lives (i.e., music in movies or public places). The proportion of Western music is approximately 70%, whereas that of non-Western music (i.e., Chinese or other Asian cultures) is 30%.

GELH2005
Visual and Performing Arts – Visual Art
3 credits
2019-09-17T03:31:54+08:00
Year Level: 2
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model:
Area 12 – Visual and Performing Arts

Artworks of different genres have been delighting people from all ages and all places. We enjoy their beauty and their articulation, but we know nothing or very little about their creation process. The practice of aesthetic appreciation of art enables us not only to enjoy art through deeper understanding of the works, but also to recognize and realize our creative potential and capability, as well as to cultivate and broaden our vision of artistic culture. The course will be taught in two parts: Firstly, Introduction to visual and performing arts, which includes common lectures on What is Art? Art and Culture, Understanding Art Genres, Approaches to Art Appreciation. Secondly, Introduction to Visual Arts – Form, Style & Culture, which includes lectures designed to equip the students with basic knowledge of the different visual art forms and teach them how to appreciate and interpret such artworks by illustrating the relationship between form/style and theme/culture. Masterpieces from different regions/places reveal not merely local colors, but also rich cultural contents, echoing profound problems of life for seeing and understanding the world.

GELH2007
History of Western Civilization
3 credits
2019-09-17T03:32:11+08:00
Year Level: 2
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model:
Area 8 – World Histories and Cultures

This course examines the evolution of western civilization from antiquity to the eighteenth century. Over the course of the semester, students will develop an understanding of how the concept of ‘western civilization’ – that is taken to mean, the social and cultural norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs and political systems of ‘the west’ – were based historically on a series of cultural borrowings – artistic, literary, intellectual and political – between rivalling states and empires based mainly in Europe. With the rise of Christianity in the Late Roman Empire, students will examine how peoples in Europe gradually became aware of themselves and the lands they inhabited as being ‘western’, and of being part of a ‘western civilization’. Defining themselves first against other powerful civilizations, most notably Islamic civilizations in ‘the East’, this process quickly gathered speed in the sixteenth century as Europeans gradually moved to other parts of the world and began encountering other ‘non-western’ peoples from Asia, Africa and the Americas.

GELH2008
Asian Values and Moral Traditions
3 credits
2019-09-17T03:32:28+08:00
Year Level: 2
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model:
Area 10 – Values, Ethics and Meaning of Life

This course introduces students to major moral traditions (for example: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Shinto, or Bushido) in Asia. Close attention is given to basic values and ethical categories (for example: karma, samsara, moksha, dharma, ren, li, or dao) that have informed Asian moral discourse with special reference to the pivotal role of these values and categories in shaping social, economic, and political life in Asian societies.

GELH2009
Creativity for the 21st Century
3 credits
2020-10-12T09:31:35+08:00
Year Level: 2
Equivalent GE Area(s) in 2011/2012 Model:
Area 12 – Visual and Performing Arts

This course introduces students to Creativity from a variety of perspectives. Instructors of the course take students through a challenging yet fun learning journey, which will nurture their creativity and help them see and hear differently.

This course is a combination of classroom teaching as well as online teaching. It is a SPOC (small, private online course) which includes materials designed for UM’s MOOC Creativity (http://www.xuetangx.com/courses/course-v1:UMX+CRT101+2018_T4/about) Pedagogy adopted in this course is blended learning through the use of various technologies (such as UMMoodle, Rain Classroom, mobile learning). Instructors will apply a range of teaching methods, including regular lectures and tutorials, discussion fora, practices and workshops.

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