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Open Courses Spring 2020

dinsdag, 11 februari, 2020 - 18:00 to woensdag, 1 april, 2020 - 21:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Building F
Room F.4.104
Open Courses

In the Spring of 2020, the Confucius Institute at the VUB will again organise open courses at the VUB. These are free and open lectures about Chinese cultural topics. This semester we focus on Chinese philosophy  and culture with movies and a History of Chinese characters. Below you can find an overview of each module. You can follow the whole module or individual courses that pick your interest. 

All courses take place in room F.4.104. That is room 104 on the 4th floor of building F on the VUB Etterbeek campus (Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussel). 

Chinese Philosphy and Culture with Movies

The course will give a brief introduction to Chinese culture, society, philosophy and history with the support of video materials. The course is organised by Prof. Qin Shan with guest lectures of Maarten Gernay for the chapters on Zhuangzi's philosophy. A short overview:


Confucius is an influential person in the course of Chinese culture. The lectures analyse the woes of the time period he lived in, his family history and his career. These help to understand the impact he had on Chinese society for more than 2000 years. The movie screened for this topic is 'Confucius'.

Zhuangzi's Daoist philosophy

Through the stories of the Zhuangzi, we discover the ancient Daoïst philosophy and how it is still relevant in modern life. The main tenets of the philosophical discours are supported by a selection of video fragments. 

Wars and Treaties: 1840 to 1901

The Opium War is turbulent time in Chinese history and its contact with the West. It still reverberates in the identity of relations between the West and China today. During the lecture, the story is told of the escalating conflict and its impact, assisted by the movie 'Opium War'.

Republic Revolution in China

These lectures make an inquiry in the time period of the Chinese republic and the end of the last Chinese dynasty, with a focus on social dynamics and the role of Hong Kong as a place from where the republican idea was broadcasted. The movie that supports this lecture is 'Bodyguards and Assassins'.

Founding of the PRC

This lecture zooms into the history of China from 1918 to 1949, when the Chinese communist party was on the rise. It includes the civil war that led to the Kuomintang fleeing to Taiwan and the ascendancy of the CCP as the ruling party in mainland China. This lecture is introduced by the movie 'The Founding of a Republic'.

Date week Lecture Room
11/feb 22 Confucius (Movie F.4.104
18/feb 23 Confucius  (Lecture) F.4.104
25/feb 24 Zhuangzi's Daoist philosophy (1) F.4.104
3/mrt 25 Zhuangzi's Daoist philosophy (2) F.4.104
10/mrt 26 Wars and Treaties: 1840 to 1901 (movie) F.4.104
17/mrt 27 Wars and Treaties: 1840 to 1901 (lecture) F.4.104
24/mrt 28 Republic Revolution in China (movie) F.4.104
31/mrt 29 Republic Revolution in China (lecture) F.4.104
7/apr 30 -  
14/apr 31 -  
21/apr 32 founding of the PRC (Movie) F.4.104
28/apr 33 Founding of the PRC (lecture F.4.104


The History of Chinese Characters

The names of the dynasties in Chinese history have a special meaning. Some were named after the places where the founders rose to power, others where references to noble titles or the names of the fiefs of the founders. Only the great Ming is an exception. In 8 lectures, the names of the dynasties, their creation and history are discussed. Additionally, the series also includes 8 episodes of the CCTV documentary on the same topic. 

Date Week Lecture Room
12/feb 22 The origin of Chinese Characters F.4.104
19/feb 23 the Xia Dynasty F.4.104
26/feb 24 the Shang Dynasty and Zhou Dynasty F.4.104
4/mrt 25 the Qin Dynasty F.4.104
11/mrt 26 the Han Dynasty an Jin Dynasty F.4.104
18/mrt 27 the Sui and Tang Dynasty F.4.104
25/mrt 28 the Song and Yuan Dynasty F.4.104
1/apr 29 the Ming and Qing Dynasty F.4.104