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Open Course Spring 2019

Wednesday, 27 February, 2019 - 18:00 to Wednesday, 22 May, 2019 - 20:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Open Course

Confucius and Confucianism

The Open Course of the Spring 2019 semester at VUB will focus on one of the greatest and influential mind of Chinese traditional culture: Confucius. In 10 classes, the course will analyse the formation and spread of Confucius' ideology, his life and the period he lived in, his education style, the relation with his students, his works and more. Finally, the course will investigate the impact of Confucius' ideas on the thousands of years of Chinese history. 

This Open Course will take place on Wednesday from 18:00 to 20:00 in room F.5.204

An overview of the topics per date below:

Date Topic
06/03 Topic I: Confucius Institute and the Confucius Institute at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
13/03 Topic II: A Touch to Confucius: Confucius (2010 movie and it’s review)

 Topic III: Lives of Confucius

27/03 Topic IV: Confucius and his Students
03/04 Topic V: Confucius as an Educator
10/04 -


24/04 Class postponed
01/05 -
08/05 Topic VI: Confucius and Confucianism ( Ruism )
15/05 Topic VII: Confucian Analects

Topic VIII: Works by Confucius


Topic IX: The Direct descendants of Confucius 


Movies and Modern Chinese History

This course will give a brief indorduction of Modern Chinese History in combination with three movies. The course focuses on the development of Modern China from the end of the Chinese empire to the Chinese republic and the people's Republic of China. Together with a selection of movies, students have an easy and entertaining access to Chinese History and an impression of the Chinese society and local culture. They are also introduced to some historical figures who played an important role in history.

Topic one: From Closed to Open, Movie: Opium War (鸦片战争)

(2 sessions: movie + lecture)

Following the movie, by discussing and answering the attendants’ questions, the lecturer will introduce the relations between China and the world before 1840 and after 1840, and the influences of the Opium War to China society. The culture elements, such as the Chinese handwriting, the local geographical feature, the local building system, the Chinese interpersonal relations, etc.

Topic two: Towards the Chinese Republic, Movie: Bodyguards and Assassins (十月围城)

(2 sessions: movie + lecture)

Following the movie, by discussing and answering the attendants’ questions, the lecturer will introduce the course of political system modernization of China. The topics covering this class include: why did so many different social classes support the republic revolution? Why Hong Kong was the place to broadcast the republic idea? 

Intermezzo: A view on Rural China, Movie: Bangzi Melody (村戏)

(1 session with lecture by the director)

Life in a small village in China during the last years of the Cultural Revolution takes a different course when the people are asked to prepare and perform a classic opera for government officials, entangling past, present and fiction.

Topic three: The Chinese civil war, movie: The Founding of a Republic (建国大业)

(2 sessions: movie + lecture)

Following the movie, by discussing and answering the attendants’ questions, the lecturer will introduce the rise of the Chinese Communist Party in Chinese society, the negotiations with the Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang to stop the civil war and to establish a multi-party government in China. Once the agreement failed, the civil war was launched, how the CCP transferred its weak position to ascendancy and eventually to total control of the Chinese mainland. The movie also illustrates the political system of the People’s Republic of China.

This Open Course will take place on Thursday in room F.5.207.




Movie night: Opium War


Movie discussion: China from Closed to Open


Movie night: Bodyguards and Assassins


Movie discussion: Towards the Chinese republic

11/04  -
18/04  -
25/04 Movie Night: 'Bangzi Melody'





Movie night: The Founding of a Republic 


Movie discussion: The Chinese civil war

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