Chinese is critical to a wide range of professions and interests, and your courses aim to prepare you for any opportunity. Examining the region’s changing identity and China’s literature and culture will be part of your coursework. You may decide to study in Beijing with the rigorous Associated Colleges in China program.

About the Program

The Chinese language will be at the heart of all four years of your study: The language is key to understanding China’s heritage, culture and current affairs. Within the framework of a liberal arts education, the curriculum is designed to meet the urgent need for China specialists who are competent in the language and who are able to study China through original materials.

Hamilton has stellar professors, professors who are truly invested in teaching. The faculty to student ratio was important to me – and because of the high ratio, I was able to develop strong relationships with my professors. I still communicate with my professors from time to time and recall with fondness the times I visited a professor in his or her own home, either for dinner or to recite lines from a play we were reading in class.

Emily Tang ’08 — Chinese major

The rapid growth of the Pacific Rim as an economic and technological giant in world affairs has spurred a parallel interest in the region's languages and people. Chinese has become one of the most widely taught foreign languages in the United States, essential for politics, diplomacy, business, education and cutting-edge technology.

Careers After Hamilton

  • 5th Grade Science Teacher, Teach for America
  • Equity Trader, Goldman Sachs
  • Educator, Museum of Chinese in the Americas
  • Owner, Council on International Educational Exchange
  • Research Technician, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Television Reporter and Producer, Thomson Reuters (Beijing)
  • Marketing Specialist, GCIS China Strategic Research
  • VP Global Education Initiatives, The National Center for Sustainable Development

Contact Information

Chinese Program

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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First-Term Chinese 110F

An introduction to spoken and written modern Chinese through conversational drills, comprehension, reading and writing practice in classwork and homework. Four hours of class, with additional lab work and individual sessions for each student.

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Modern China Through Film 160F

Examines how films produced in diverse socio-economic contexts generate conflicting modern representations of China, ranging from a legendary land, a rapidly changing society, to an everlasting patriarchy, and how these representations produce hegemonic and subversive cultural knowledge. Students will gain broad understanding of Chinese cinema and history, theory of film and cultural studies, and pertinent Hollywood films. All films have English subtitles. Requirements include film viewings, presentations, quizzes, class discussions and a final paper. All lectures and discussions in English. Writing-intensive. Oral Presentations.

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Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature: Traditions and Modernities 210S

Since 1919, Chinese literature has played a decisive role in interactions between tradition and modernity. This course examines the development of Chinese literature against such interactions. Students will familiarize themselves with the most representative modern and contemporary Chinese literary works and gain a broad understanding of many modernity-related issues, including politics, culture, class, labor division, ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

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Seminar: Transcultural Chinese-Language Cinema and Hollywood 380S

Does Hollywood cinema dictate its reception across the world? Are there clear-cut boundaries between non-Hollywood cinema’s submission and resistance to Hollywood? Facing worldwide competition, how does Hollywood maintain its dominance of global culture? This seminar examines such questions by focusing on the nuanced negotiations between Hollywood films and diverse Chinese-language cultures, including China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Students will gain insight into Chinese-language films, literatures, and cultures as well as their own culture shaped by Hollywood-dominated media. Oral Presentations.

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Advanced Spoken Chinese 426FS

This course is designed to improve students’ oral Chinese proficiency to advanced level and to help students prepare for ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). Through guided discussions on various topics in both formal and informal settings, students will be trained to master Chinese speaking skills to support opinion, hypothesize, and discuss topic concretely and abstractly in a fluent and accurate manner. Oral Presentations.

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Chinese Education in the Age of Americanization: Crises and Reforms 465S

Schools in the United States have seen a rapidly increasing influx of Chinese students. In China, this trend corresponds with a growing idealization of the US educational system and dissatisfaction with the Chinese one. Yet the US system has also found itself in crisis, and turned to educational methods at the center of the Chinese system in its reforms. This course will discuss the respective strengths and weaknesses of the Chinese and the American systems, the crises they are facing, and possible directions of reforms. Presentations, weekly writing assignments, and a final paper. Writing-intensive.

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