MA course 2018-2019

Sinographics: Chinese writing & writing Chinese




Jeroen Wiedenhof



This course is taught in the form of a seminar (werkcollege). Therefore attendance and preparation are mandatory for all participants.

Texts and other materials are assigned on a weekly basis. These have to be read and prepared by each participant before class.

On the basis of these materials, online assignments are set for each session. All assignments will be discussed in class.

Participants are required to prepare these assignments in writing and bring their notes to class.

Course materials

Texts and other materials are distributed online, on Blackboard or in class.

During term, information about the course will be update weekly on the webpage of this course,


Milestones and recurrent themes in the study of Chinese scripts will be explored, with a keen eye on their import for the field of linguistics. We trace developments in the Chinese character script, review its influence on other writing systems, and study the impact of printing and digital revolutions. We will also investigate alternative written modes in the sinophone world, including Chinese calligraphy, ludic writing, alphabetical orthographies and linguistic systems of transcription.

Course objectives:

After the necessary groundwork has been covered in class, part of the materials and assignments can be geared to special group interests. Your suggestions are most welcome!



Pigeonhole directions: in the Vrieshof #2 building, climb the central wooden staircase, then turn right. On the landing, in a metal rack of pigeonholes, you will find one marked "Wiedenhof".


We need your feedback in order to maintain and improve the quality of teaching. Any comments and suggestions about the format and contents of this course are most welcome.

A formal student evaluation may be part of the last session of the course.

In that case, participants will be asked to fill out an course evaluation form in the absence of their teacher(s). These written assessments are anonymous and confidential.

Completed forms will be stored in a sealed envelope at the program's administration department. Teachers are not informed of its contents before the final marks of the course have been administrated.

Updated 3 January 2018 | home