Chinese Literature Classes

Winter 2024 Registration is Now Open!
Classes start on January 8, 2024.

Register by December 5 to receive $30 discount off tuition!

China Institute offers a variety of special interest classes that tailor to different interests and hobbies of our audiences in the areas of traditional art, literature, and more.

Check below of a list of currently available courses.

Available Courses:

A Special Course by Ben Wang: Bai Ju-yi’s Two Masterpieces, Song of the Everlasting Sorrow 長恨歌 and Song of the Pipa 琵琶行 II

Bai Ju-yi 白居易 (772-846) is the greatest (and most popular) poet in the Mid-Tang period. In poetry, Bai carried the torch from the works by the towering Wang Chang-ling, Li Bai, Du Fu, among other eminent predecessors of his, and, in the meantime, opened the door to memorable poems contributed by later masters, such as Du Mu, Li Shang-yin, etc. with the new poetic style that Bai created and inspired.

Bai Ju-yi promoted the New Ballad Style in heptasyllabic long poems, the representative and most memorable of which are the romantic Song of the Everlasting Sorrow 長恨歌 and Song of the Pipa 琵琶行.

In the two consecutive semesters, starting September 2023 through March 2024, China Institute’s Ben Wang, Senior Lecturer of Language and Humanities, will present, teach and discuss in detail Song of the Everlasting Sorrow and Song of the Pipa at the School of Chinese Studies at China Institute. This is a rare, golden opportunity to read the two timeless masterpieces by the inimitable Tang poet Bai Ju-yi. You don’t want to miss it!

Class Schedule:
Tuesday, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
January 9 – March 12
10 sessions (20 hours)
$550 member / $590 non-member
(plus a $30 non-refundable registration fee)
*This class will be taught in English


6:30 - 8:30 PM
Instructor: Ben Wang
Masters of Modern Chinese Literature: Readings in Original Chinese Texts

Modern Chinese literature (1918-2018) presents a spectacular cultural and intellectual transformation that reflected the impacts of political turmoil and societal collapse. A new writing culture emerged and reached immediate florescence in active responses to all the historic themes packed in China including revolutions and wars, poverty and reforms, censorship and ideological fights, and particularly the language itself breaking from the two-millennium tradition of literary Chinese.

In this course, students will read the original texts and engage in an in-depth discussion of works by the five most phenomenal and unusually gifted masters. The works selected will include essays, short stories, and poems by Lu Xun (鲁迅 1881-1936), Hu Shih (胡适 1891-1962), Xu Zhimo (徐志摩 1897-1931), Qian Zhongshu (钱钟书 1910-1998), Yu Guangzhong (余光中 1928-2017), with snapshots of Shen Congwen (沈从文 1902-1988), Ba Jin (巴金 1904-2005), Feng Zhi (冯至 1905-1993), Zhang Ailing (张爱玲 1920-1995)…

*This class will be taught in Chinese. An advanced level of proficiency in the Chinese language is required. A course package will be provided.

Class Schedule:
Monday, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
January 8 – March 25 (No Class January 15 and February 19)
10 sessions (20 hours)
$550 member / $590 non-member
(plus a $30 non-refundable registration fee)


6:30 - 8:30 PM
Instructor: Steve Zhang
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