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Open Courses Autumn 2019

Monday, 30 September, 2019 - 18:00 to Friday, 20 December, 2019 - 18:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Open Courses

Two open courses will be organised in the autumn of 2019.

1. Confucius and Confucianism

This course will focus on one of the greatest and most influential minds of Chinese traditional culture: Confucius or Kongfuzi. In 9 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. After that, the course will further investigate the impact of Confucius' ideas on the thousands of years of Chinese history and the current Chinese society.

This course takes place every Wednesday from 18:00 - 21:00 in room D.1.07.

An overview of the topics per date below:

Date Topic
02/10 Introduction to Confucius
09/10 Truth vs fiction: Confucius movie analysis
16/10 the life of Confucius
23/10 Confucius and his students
30/10 Confucius as an educator
06/11 Confucius and Confucianism 
13/11 Confucian Analects


Works by Confucius
27/11 The direct descenants of Confucius

2. Chinese History on Screen

This course will give a brief introduction of modern Chinese history with reference to 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. With the use of movies, the otherwise cumbersome introduction to Chinese history becomes more entertaining and visual as students get a direct impression of Chinese society and authentic culture. These movies are also key to the introduction of important figures in the unfolding of Chinese history.

Chinese History on Screen takes place every Tuesday from 18:00 - 21:00 in room D.2.13.

Topic 1: The opening of China, opium war (鸦片战争 yapian zhanzheng)

(2 sessions: movie + lecture)

The focus of this topic is on the introduction of the relations between China and the world before and after the first Opium War in 1840 and the impact of these event on Chinese society. The course further zooms in on Chinese handwriting, local geographical features, the local building system, traditional Chinese interpersonal relations, etc. 

Topic 2: Towards the Chinese republic, Bodyguards and Assasins (十月围城 shiyue weicheng)

(2 sessions: movie + lecture)

This movie and lecture focus on the course of political modernisation in China led by Sun Yat-sen just before fall of the last dynasty. The course further zooms in on the support of different social classes for the ideas of Yun Yat-sen and the significance of Hong Kong in fostering and propagating the revolution.

Topic 3: The Chinese civil war, The Founding of a Republic (建国大业 jianguo daye)

(2 sessions: movie + lecture)

The third topic centres around tumultuous events of the 20th century in China: the rise of the Chinese Communist Party in Chinese society, the unsuccesful negotiations with the Nationalist Kuomintang, the civil war that ensued and its unexpected results. More attention is given to the political system of the current People's Republic of China. 

Date Topic
01/10 movie night: Opium War
08/10 movie discussion: The opening of China
15/10 movie night: Bodyguards and Assassins
22/10 movie discussion: Towards the Chinese Republic
29/10 movie night: The Founding of a Republic
05/11 movie discussion: The Chinese Civil War



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