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Introduction to Chinese Culture [Mooc]


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中国文化概论 ("Introduction to Chinese Culture"), by Wuhan University, is on its 9th run and a recipient of a National Excellence Award.



Lecturers: 李建中(Li Jianzhong), Gao Wenqiang (高文强) and Li Li (李立).


A historical overview of traditional Chinese culture, including Confucianism; the Dao and Daoism; Buddhism;  political culture in history, aesthetics; folklore; science and technology; etc.

The videos have Chinese subtitles that work with mouseover browser dictionaries like Zhongwen. Playing speed can be lowered to 0.75%. Sound quality is excellent
Handouts: class ppt in pdf, can be downloaded.


I'm only half way through, but this already is one of my most enjoyable moocs ever and the best course on traditional Chinese culture I've done so far, and I've done quite a few both online and in campus. 
The teachers manage to condense a lot in each class, without dumbing-down their lectures. The presentation and views are fresh and informative, free of mind-numbing slogans and set phrases. I also like the absence of on-your-face flag waving, the teachers allow Chinese culture speak for itself. This does more to enhance one's appreciation and understanding than 120 months of worth of slogans. Despite the  simplicity and directness of the language, this is a very well thought, in-depth foundation course. At the end, you will understand Chinese culture like never before.


Higher intermediate and advanced language learners with a basic knowledge of Chinese culture should be able to follow, a smattering of Classical Chinese helps.  Best keep a chronological table or summary of Chinese history handy, to orient you while watching the lectures. Because of the large amount of information, it also helps to listen to the video lessons more than once, perhaps even taking notes (which is also good practice). 


Professor Li Jianzhong speaks with a strong Hubei accent, but he speaks slowly and carefully, and,  I find him quite easy to follow (subtitles help at first) and very appealing - actually, his accent is part of the charm of this mooc, he also has a great way to recite from the classics. Gao Wenqiang and Li Li speak standard putonghua.

Registration for this mooc may already be closed, in which case you can register your interest and receive a reminder when registration opens again for next semester.

More information on 中国大学MOOC in this thread

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Guys, if you want to watch over Christmas, remember to sign in before this semester ends - which will do very soon. Once you signed, the classes remain available for people to watch at their own pace. If registration is closed, you'll have to wait until January for registration to open again.


@fabiothebest and all people studying by themselves: you'll be surprised at how much one can progress by following a well presented mooc on a subject that interests you. 


@somethingfunny since you are into Classical Chinese, have a look into this one too: 古代汉语, Ancient Chinese , another Wuhan University course. It is longer and more advanced, the teacher's 方言 (Wu, I guess) is very strong, and one needs more 文言文 (still basic), but it is also subtitled and responsive to mouseover dictionaries.

I'll write a better account of it later with more time, but for now: it's another excellent course and the teacher, 王统尚 is very good and has a superb sense of humour. Chauvinism refreshingly absent here too.



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Thank you @Luxi, I'm going to register to the website and enroll into the courses so I can watch them at my own pace..I bookmarked all of those you shared and I plan to try them, maybe not now because I already have things to study preparing for an HSK exam and I set a soft deadline that I'd like to respect anyway, but I'll certainly do it.


p.s. done. I loved how even the captcha for the account registration tests your Chinese :D (I didn't expect that). I didn't get that I had to order the characters in a logical order at first, I thought I just had to recognize the characters by clicking on them in the same order of appearance in the list, failed the first try and managed to do it at the second try.

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