Singapore University of Social Sciences

Classical Chinese Novels (中国古代小说)

Classical Chinese Novels (中国古代小说) (CHS353)

Applications Open: To be confirmed

Applications Close: To be confirmed

Next Available Intake: To be confirmed

Course Types: Modular Undergraduate Course

Language: Chinese

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Linguistics and Languages

Schemes: Alumni Continuing Education (ACE)

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: School of Humanities & Behavioural Sciences


Chinese traditional novels have a long and rich history. Since the Han and Wei Dynasties, various genres of classical novels have evolved and were seminal in the development of Chinese societies in past eras. They were widely read by the literati and administrative rulers and contained philosophical ideas, history, and ideas about human society, family life, and politics that defined part of the world view of the literate and politically influential. This course aims to guide students into the world of traditional novels by comprehensively and systematically studying the main contents of ancient Chinese novels, taking history as the key link, focusing on the works, and paying attention to the research of selected novels. Students will be encouraged to read traditional novels spontaneously and improve their ability to appreciate Chinese novels and their analytical skills.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every January


  • Outline of the development of traditional Chinese novels 中国传统小说发展梗概
  • Novels of the Pre-Qin, Han, Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties (1) 先秦两汉魏晋南北朝小说(一):神话
  • Novels of the Pre-Qin, Han, Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties (2) 先秦两汉魏晋南北朝小说(二):志怪
  • Novels of the Pre-Qin, Han, Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties (3) 先秦两汉魏晋南北朝小说(三):志人
  • Novels of the Tang Dynasty 唐代小说:传奇
  • Novels of the Song Dynasty 宋代小说:话本
  • Ming Dynasty Vernacular Novels 明代章回小说:三国演义、水浒传、西游记、金瓶梅
  • Ming Dynasty vernacular short stories 明代白话短篇小说:三言二拍
  • Ming Dynasty classical Chinese novels 明代文言小说:剪灯新话
  • Qing Dynasty Vernacular Novels 清代章回小说:红楼梦、儒林外史
  • Qing Dynasty classical Chinese novels 清代文言小说:聊斋志异、阅微草堂笔记
  • Qing Dynasty condemnation novels 清代谴责小说:官场现形记、二十年目睹之怪现状、老残游记、孽海花

Learning Outcome

  • Illustrate the definition of Chinese Classical Novel
  • Examine the major features of traditional Chinese novels
  • Discuss the development of ancient Chinese novels
  • Demonstrate ability to appreciate and analyse Classical Chinese Novels
  • Distinguish the writing skills and structural aesthetics of classical novels
  • Appraise the correspondence between the themes of various novels and the features of the times
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