Independent Minors: Chinese Studies and Global Antiquity

1. The College will provide students with an opportunity to minor in two new areas with effect from Academic Year 2017-18:

a. Chinese Studies
b. Global Antiquity

Chinese Studies

2. The minor in Chinese Studies is interdisciplinary and designed to foster an in-depth understanding of China both as an historical tradition and as a modern nation with a wide-ranging sphere of influence. Central to the minor is the belief that an informed knowledge of Chinese language, literature, culture, and history is essential to a proper understanding of the Chinese world today (inclusive of the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan and ethnic Chinese populations in Singapore and elsewhere), and that, conversely, educated cognizance of the political, economic, environmental, and demographic issues currently facing the Chinese world are no less vital to us in our roles as informed global citizens. The minor thus offers a range of coursework in both the Humanities and Social Sciences designed to expose students to a wide array of disciplinary vantage points from which to study China, both past and present, and to provide them with the necessary skills so that they are able to do so with competence and a growing level of expertise.

Global Antiquity

3. The minor in Global Antiquity offers students the opportunity to create an individualised course of study on ancient societies, the development of “Classical” traditions, and their continuing cultural significance. Ancient societies in South Asia, ancient China, the Mediterranean, and the near East developed the enduring paradigms of thought that structure our ways of understanding the world, but the sophisticated works of our ancestors deserve more than mere reverence. The study of antiquity requires an interdisciplinary array of scholarly approaches to interpret the fragmentary sources (textual and material) that remain to us today: at the heart of all of these methodologies is a strong foundation in ancient languages to engage with cultures in their own linguistic form. In designing a course of study, students are encouraged to seek unexpected connections across regions and periods, to think historically, and to view antiquity as dynamically transforming and globally interconnected through multiple forms of intercultural contact. This minor will complement majors in related fields such as Arts and Humanities, History, Literature, and Philosophy by deepening intellectual contexts and scholarly approaches to ancient thought and culture.

Course Details

4. The independent minors in Chinese Studies and Global Antiquity are being established as pilots, the success of which will be reviewed before any additional minors are established.

5. These two ‘independent’ minors have been approved on the following basis:

  1. An independent minor must be interdisciplinary.
  2. The independent minor must be a cohesive programme.
  3. The independent minor should not consume additional College resources.
  4. The requirements for the minor, including language courses, must be based on existing courses or courses developed for the purposes of one of the majors. No new courses will be developed for the sole purpose of creating or sustaining the minors, and existing courses will not be allocated additional resources for the sole purpose of maintaining the minors.
  5. The College will not run courses specifically to assist students in obtaining a minor, including the independent minor – Students will need to be proactive in planning their course of study to complete the specified modules.
  6. Priority, in all matters, will be given to the Common Curriculum and the majors ahead of the minors.
  7. Existing academic regulations relating to the minor will apply to the independent minor.

6. Students will ‘declare’ the independent minors at the same time when the other minors are declared.

7. The minors in Chinese Studies and Global Antiquity will be effective from Semester 1 of AY2017-18 and would be open to the students from Class of 2018 onwards. Students from Class of 2017 who are still active in AY 2017-2018 may also declare them.

8. A faculty advisor for the independent minor will be assigned to advise students and relevant college offices on the operation of the independent minor. The faculty advisor will work with the Registry and other Heads of Studies to confirm the list of courses to be cross-listed and counted toward the minor. The faculty advisor will also work with Academic Affairs to provide content for the Yale-NUS website relating to the independent minor.

9. The faculty advisor will be nominated by the Divisional Director in which the independent minor predominantly rests in consultation with the Dean of Faculty, and approved by the Executive Vice President (Academic Affairs). The assignment will be for one academic year, and may be extended on year-by-year basis by the Divisional Director with the confirmation of the Dean of Faculty and the EVP(AA). This role does not entail any remuneration or course release.

10. In AY 2017-18, the faculty advisor for Chinese Studies will be Professor Scott Cook and the faculty advisor for Global Antiquity will be Associate Professor Mira Seo. Faculty and students wishing to learn more about these independent minors are advised to contact these faculty advisors and look out for the independent minor webpage on the curriculum section of the Yale-NUS website.