The opening ceremony and press conference of the "Hsien-Yung Pai Literature Lectures at Tsing Hua University: Selected Readings in Chinese Classics"
The opening ceremony and press conference of the "Hsien-Yung Pai Literature Lectures at Tsing Hua University: Selected Readings in Chinese Classics"
Professor Hsien-Yung Pai gave lecture for the first session: "The Renaissance of Chinese Culture, illustrated through the example of the Kunqu Opera Revival."
Photograph of Professor Hsien-Yung Pai and the high school students who audited.

The “Hsien-Yung Pai Literature Lectures at Tsing Hua University” by TSMC Education and Culture Foundation Expands its Effort to Promote Classical Chinese Literature

On the Heels of the Widely Acclaimed “Dream of the Red Chamber” Lecture Series, the ”Hsien-Yung Pai Literature Lectures at Tsing Hua University” Continues to Introduce the Charm of Classical literature to Young Students
Melody Lee

TSMC Education and Culture Foundation (the TSMC Foundation) has long dedicated itself to the humanities education by founding diverse educational projects which aim to improve young students’ cultural literacy. The 2021 Lecture series center around the theme of “Selected Readings in Chinese Classics” and the lectures are given by a team of 15-strong leading scholars in the field, led by renowned Taiwanese author Hsien-Yung Pai. Hopefully through the speakers’ introduction, young students would be able to appreciate the beauty of a more diverse Chinese culture and literary classics.

Culture is the soul of a nation. The search for the soul of our nation begins with culture.

- Hsien-Yung Pai, Taiwanese author and playwright

Expanding the Diversity of Selected Reading Materials, Broadening the Reading Horizons

In 2020, the TSMC Foundation for the first time became the exclusive sponsor of the “Hsien-Yung Pai Literature Lectures at Tsing Hua University”. The Lectures’ Dream of the Red Chamber-themed series attracted over 500 students to enroll. The classroom was filled to capacity. The Lecture series can also be viewed, free of charge, on the official website of TSMC Foundation, thereby increasing the reach of classical literature with the power of cloud technology. As opposed to last year’s focus on one single masterpiece, this year’s lectures emphasize on the diversity of the selected reading. The lectures offer the students a blueprint to explore a series of brilliant Chinese literary classics, arranged by the group of leading specialists, headed by Professor Hsien-Yung Pai and the TSMC Foundation.

The contents of the 2021 Lectures include The Book of Songs, The Songs of Chu (Chu Ci), Chinese philosophy of pre-Qin philosophers, Tang poetry, Song poetry, Chinese legendary novel, and the novels of the late Qing dynasty. Fifteen specialist speakers with diverse backgrounds, such as renowned author Amanda Chang, are invited to offer the students how tackle literary works from various angles, from the perspectives of the studies of Chinese philosophy and literature to the arts of traditional Chinese theatre. Through exploring the authors’ feelings embedded in the texts and the tenets of contemporary thinking, the students will learn to appreciate the richness and power of Chinese literature.

Cultivating Humanities Appreciation to Encourage Students to Immerse Themselves in Chinese Culture

The 2021 Lectures kicked off with Professor Hsien-Yung Pai’s “The Renaissance of Chinese Culture, Illustrated through the Example of the Kunqu Opera Revival.” In this session, the documentary of Peony Pavilion in Renaissance is shown to demonstrate the beauty of Kunqu, guide the younger generation through the ways in which Hsien-Yung Pai has dedicated himself to reviving Kunqu, and inspire the students to appreciate the enduring values of the Chinese culture.

Moreover, as a response to the core competencies of the educational aim of General Guidelines of Curriculum Guidelines of 12-Year Basic Education (108 Curriculum Guidelines) and as part of an effort for humanities education to take root, the Lectures reserve slots for nearly one hundred high school students from high schools such as National Hsinchu Senior High School, National Hsinchu Girls’ Senior High School, and Hsinchu Chien Kung Senior High School, thereby strengthening the university social responsibility. In the future, the Lectures will be made into online video courses, available to the public on the Open Course Ware of National Tsing Hua University and the official website of the TSMC Education and Culture Foundation. In doing so, the public would be able to have a glimpse of the profundity of classical literature.

Through Professor Hsien-Yung Pai’s illustration, Kunqu is no longer for me merely the content of an examination. The arts of the theatre and the hardship of its revival make me appreciate and want to learn more of this intricate art. I am moved by Professor Pai’s perseverance and the legacy of Kunqu thereby preserved. The feelings will stay with me.

- Feedback from a National Hsinchu Girls’ Senior High School student who audited the Lectures

Hsien-Yung Pai Literature Lectures at Tsing Hua University

2020 2021
Theme Dream of the Red Chamber Selected Readings in Chinese Classics
Duration Three months (17 sessions)
Course Description Inviting prominent scholars on Dream of the Red Chamber studies (Hongxue) from abroad and in Taiwan to give lectures by analyzing this novel from various angles unique to their own specialized field, such as literary studies, aesthetics, gender studies, theatre and drama and modern technology and offering multiple-dimensional perspectives on the work Increasing the diversity of classical literature reading materials to include The Book of Songs, The Songs of Chu (Chu Ci), Chinese philosophy of pre-Qin philosophers, Tang poetry, Song poetry, Chinese legendary novel, and the novels of the late Qing dynasty. With the easy to understand and in-depth analysis by the leading scholars and renowned writers, the students learn the art of close reading
  • The teaching assistant will lead a post-lecture seminar to assist the students to understand the contents of each selected text
  • Permit high school students to audit, offering an opportunity for humanities education to take root
  • All lectures will be recorded and the video online classes will be available to the public on the Open Course Ware of National Tsing Hua University and the official website of the TSMC Education and Culture Foundation

Course Description of “Hsien-Yung Pai Literature Lectures at Tsing Hua University: Selected Readings in Chinese Classics”

Class Date (2021) Speaker Theme
February 24 Hsien-Yung Pai The Renaissance of Chinese Culture, Illustrated Through the Example of the Kunqu Opera Revival
March 3 Hsien-Yung Pai The Peony Pavilion - The Cultural Zenith of the Late-Ming
March 10 I-Chih Chen, writer and professor of Department of Chinese, National Taiwan Normal University Wind of Thousand Years, Personal Songs and Cries: Resonance of Songs of Poetry in Modern Times
March 17 Fong-Mao Lee, adjunct research fellow at Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica Unusual Signs: The Mythological Culture in The Songs of Chu (Chu Ci)
March 24 Yi-Yun Xin, honorary professor of Taipei National University of the Arts Confucianism: The Establishment of the Subject in Self Life
March 31 Qi-Ping Lin, professor of Department of Chinese Literature, National Chengchi University Hardships and Coherence: The Ways of Being in The Analects
April 7 RubinYang, chair professor of Graduate Institute of Philosophy, National Tsing Hua University Zhuangzi and the Spirit of the Craftsman
April 14 Yi-Yun Xin, honorary professor of Taipei National University of the Arts Buddhism: The Way of Great Bodhisattva
April 21 Yang Zhao, writer and president of Hyperconvergence Foundation A Personal World of History: Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historian
April 28 Chang Shu-hsing, professor of Department of Chinese Literature, National Taiwan University The Power and Aesthetics of Poetry: The Highest Notes of the Tang Dynasty
May 5 Shao-Xiong Liu, distinguished professor of Department of Chinese Literature, National Taiwan University How to Pacify the Disturbances: Personal Poetical Horizon Broadened by Su Shi’s Poetry
May 12 Chung-Yun Liu, research fellow at Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica Shaping Journey to the West: Games, Metamorphoses, the Loss and Search of Wisdom
May 19 Yu-Hui Liao, writer and professor of Department of Language and Creative Writing, National Taipei University of Education The Past and Present Lives of Liaozhai Zhiyi, Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio
May 26 Amanda Chang, writer and professor at Soochow University Sin and Beauty: Flowering Parasite in Jin Ping Mei, The Plums in the Golden Vase
June 2 Siao-Chen Hu, director of Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica Brilliant Females Candidates of the Imperial Examination: The Romance of the Flowers in the Mirror and the Worship of Talented Women
June 9 Shay Pan, associate professor of Department of Chinese Literature, National Taiwan University Sherlock Holmes in China: The Detective Fiction and National Allegory in The Travels of Lao Can
June 16 Yin-Chun Tsai, professor of Department of Chinese Literature, National Tsing Hua University The Canon of the Classical Chinese Literature in the Global Context