Dr. Dongming Zhang grew up in Beijing before moving to the US to pursue his graduate education. He is Assistant Professor of Chinese in the Department of Modern Languages and Literature at Furman University where he teaches courses on Chinese literature, culture, and language. Dr. Zhang holds a PhD from Cornell University '05 in East Asian Literature and joined the faculty of Furman University in 2008. His recent study focuses on the nascence and flowering of modern Chinese popular literature, beginning from the mid-19th century and extending through to the1940s. Dr. Zhang served as Program Director for the State Department's summer Critical Language Scholarships Institute (2008-2009), Head Professor for the State Department's Startalk Chinese Language Program (2011-12), and Program Director for the Startalk Chinese Language Program (2013).

Name Title Description


Elementary Chinese I

Introduction to the sound system and grammatical structures necessary to develop listening and speaking skills in Mandarin Chinese. Initial reading and writing exercises with basic Chinese characters. An appreciation of Chinese culture underlies the orientation of the course


Elementary Chinese II

Continuation of work on the sound system and grammatical structures necessary to develop listening and speaking skills in Mandarin Chineses, including reading and writing exercises with basic Chinese characters. An appreciation of Chineses culture underlies the orientation of the course


Intermediate Chinese I

Continuation of development of proficiency in listening and speaking, while expanding reading and writing skills, using materials of a literary or cultural nature. Includes a review of grammar.


Twentieth Century Chinese Lit

The development of modern Chinese literature in all genres. Through the study of the most representative works in English translation this course considers the relationship between literature and society in twentieth century China


Chinese Popular Fiction

Introduction to twentieth century Chinese popular fiction and to the critical theories informing their study. Detailed readings of selected works -such as romance, martial arts, and detective fiction- that occupied a conspicuous place in discussions during the twentieth century. Investigation of how authors rewrite themes of traditional domestic fiction and Western literary works into a discourse on transforming modern storytelling. Texts will be discussed in terms of past and present reception, characterization, structure, genre, and the cultural/historical context.


Chinese Studies Thesis

Guided research, translation, and writing on a topic in a field of Chinese Studies in which the student has had previous course work. The student will propose a thesis project to a faculty member in the field of Chinese Studies who by approving it becomes the thesis advisor.


Commercial Culture in China

The course examines Chinese people's views towards business at various historical moments. Beginning with ancient times, the course presents the fundamental doctrines (the schools of the Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism) that dominated business practices in Chinese culture over the last two thousand years. The next part of the course outlines the transformation of Chinese approaches to scientific thinking that accompanied cross cultural contact with the West. The final part of the course maps out the construction of modern commercial culture in China, showing how Chinese ideology is reflected in the daily practice and economic life of China.

Rather than insisting on univocal meanings for a text, the focus of my literary courses lies in pulling out intriguing readings through classroom discussion. Meaning is generated in the process of reading and rereading of which classroom practice represents an essential component.

Cornell University
University of Colorado
Peking University

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