Online course

Many Faces: Understanding the Complexities of Chinese Culture

Develop a clearer understanding of modern China by exploring the role of art, literature and the 'noble hero' in Chinese culture.

Many Faces: Understanding the Complexities of Chinese Culture

Look beyond the clichés and stereotypes of art and literature in Chinese culture

Chinese culture has not been explored in as much depth as Chinese history and politics. By uncovering the richness and diversity of Chinese culture, you can gain a broader understanding of modern China as a whole.

This course by the University of Exeter covers three important aspects of Chinese culture. Learn how the concept of the ‘noble hero’ is portrayed on cultural and political platforms. Examine the tension created by traditional and modern values in Chinese landscape art, and analyse literature created by marginalised groups like immigrants.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsHi everyone, thank you for your interest in our course. Admittedly there are so many things we can talk about with Chinese culture and information on contemporary China is becoming more accessible given the advance of technology and transportation. This four week course will however defamiliarise your experience of Chinese culture and help you uncover the tension conflicts and also convergence within Chinese cultural landscape and how they intersect with nature s urbanisation globalisation and political movements you don't need to know the language or culture but you need to be curious and reflective. Join us to find out more.

What topics will you cover?

  • Cliché and stereotypes: how to understand contemporary Chinese culture?
  • The continuation and gap: the image of the ‘noble hero’ in both artistic and political fields
  • The collision and fusion: literature by the marginalised
  • The tension and convergence: contemporary Chinese landscape art

When would you like to start?

  • Available now
    This course started 14 January 2019

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explore new cultural phenomena and trends emerging in Chinese society.
  • Develop a more contextualized understanding of Chinese culture
  • Discuss the act of stereotyping in Chinese culture
  • Reflect on how social and cultural landscapes in China have been changed as China experiences an economy boom
  • Assess how digitalization has transformed the expression and representation of Chinese culture.

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in building their knowledge of Chinese culture and society. You don’t need any prior experience or qualifications.

Who will you learn with?

Ting Guo

Dr. Ting Guo is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages, University of Exeter, UK.

Yue Zhuang

senior lecturer in Chinese at the University of Exeter

Zhiguang Yin

Dr. Zhiguang Yin is a lecturer in Chinese at the University of Exeter

Who developed the course?

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university. It combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction.

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Join this course


  • Access to this course for 6 weeks
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes


  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime