Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Oriental Culture

Oriental Culture
Second semester
Main language of instruction: Catalan

Other languages of instruction: English, Spanish

Teaching staff

According to faculty regulations, at least 0.10 points will be deducted for each misspelling in exams and papers.

The spelling regulations of the Faculty will be applied to all exams and assignments.

Plagiarism or copying in any evaluable activity will automatically fail this activity.



This course is an introduction that covers the main geographical, religious, historical, literary, and artistic features of East Asia are addressed.
It is structured around two thematic modules: culture in general and art as part of it.
The thematic scope of this course includes an extensive geographical extension, focused on India, China, and Japan, and covering the entirety of historical times, from the dawn of civilization to the present day.

Pre-course requirements

There are no previous requirements expected to undertake this course.


This course’s learning goals are:

  • Acquire a global and comprehensive understanding of East Asian countries in all of their aspects (their geography, ethnicity, culture, politics, and economy).
  • Understanding the social, political, cultural, and religious realities of East Asian civilizations.
  • Understanding the geographical and historical characteristics which influenced the beginnings and development of East Asian cultures.
  • Understanding the parallel historical development of Indian and Chinese cultures.

Stimulating the development of reflective and critical abilities departing from the comparative and intercultural analysis.


  • E27 - Ability to work in multicultural contexts.
  • E29 - Skills for mediating in conflicts involving intercultural factors.
  • E39 - Ability to criticise and self-criticise in an intercultural dialogue and the ability to adapt and converse in a multi- or intercultural setting (versatility, ability to handle unforeseen problems and generate alternative solutions).
  • G02 - To lead, cooordinate and form part of interdisciplinary work teams.
  • G07 - To know how to apply and adapt to new technologies in processes of cultural management, production and dissemination.
  • G11 - Ability to work in an international context.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes are partly included in the previous competencies.

1.     To learn and use correctly a basic vocabulary of Asian languages, relative to the course’s various subjects.

2.     To situate each one of the East Asian cultural traditions and relate correctly to them.

3.     To acquire a deep understanding of the historical, literary and artistic origins and developments of the countries studied in this course.

4.     To reach a certain level of familiarity with Asian thought and texts.

5.     To develop analytical and observational abilities of artistic processes.

6.     To look for a deep understanding of the concepts and doctrines studied, relating them to the problems and needs they respond to.


The subject is divided into two parts: a first part of an introduction to the oriental culture in general (geography, history, literature, society, and thought), and the second part is more specific on culture and art.

Teaching and learning activities

In person

The content of the sessions will be presented in the form of lectures, films and interactive support materials. Presentations on different topics and the reading of the bibliography will be proposed to enhance the participation of the students and promote the dynamization of the sessions.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

The evaluation will be the sum of the note corresponding to the first part, plus the sum of the final note of the second part imputed to the % in relation to the hours assigned. The first part of the subject will take into account active participation in class, the presentations made by the subject groups, and a final exam; the second part will consist of the sum of the weekly tasks and final analysis work.

Bibliography and resources

Bailey, Paul (2002). China en el siglo XX. Barcelona: Ariel.

Bauer, W. (2009). Historia de la filosofía china. Barcelona: Herder Editorial.

Brunet, R. (1995). Geógraphie Universelle. Asie du Sud-Est-Océanie. París: Belin-Reclus.

Cheng, F. L'écriture poétique chinoise. París: Seuil, 1996.

Cressey, G. B. (1934). China's geographic Foundations. A Survey of the Land and its People. (Cap. 1: “The Geographical Landscape”, pp. 1-34). Nova York: McGraw-Hill.

De Blij, H.; Muller, P. (2002). Geography. Region, realms and concepts. New York: Wiley & Sons.

Filoramo, G. (curador) (1996). Storia delle religioni. 4. Religioni dell'India e dell'Estremo Oriente. Bari: Laterza.

Fung, Y. (1953). A History of Chinese Philosophy. Princeton, Nova Jersey: Princeton University Press.

González Valles, J. (2000). Historia de la filosofía japonesa. Madrid: Tecnos.

Gordon, A. (2003). A Modern History of Japan. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hsu, Emmanuel (2000). The Rise of Modern China. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Idema, W.; Haft, L. A Guide to Chinese Literature. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.

Jansen, M. (2000). The Making of Modern Japan. Harvard: Harvard University Press.

Kaltenmark, M. (1982). La filosofía china Madrid: Morata.

Lai, K. L. (2008). An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lariviére, J. Y Marchand, J. (1999): Géographie de la Chine. París: Armand Colin.

Lavelle, P. (1998). El Pensamiento Japonés. Madrid: Acento Editorial.

Mackerras, C. (1995) Eastern Asia an introductory history. Melbourne: Longman.

Mair, V. (ed.). The Columbia History of Chinese Literature. Nova York: Columbia University Press, 2001.

Minford, J.; Lau, J.S.M. (ed.). Classical Chinese Literature. Nova York: Columbia Universtiy Press, 1996.

Nakagawa, H. (2006). Introducción a la cultura japonesa. Barcelona: Editorial Melusina.

Nienhauser, W. The Indiana Companion to Chinese Literature. Taipei: SMC Publishing, 1986.

Panikkar, R. (1997). La experiencia filosofica de la India. Madrid: Trotta

Puech, H. Ch. (dir.) (1984). Historia de las religiones Siglo XXI. Las religiones antiguas, III. Madrid: Siglo XXI.

Roberts, J. A. G. (1998). Modern China: An Illustrated History. Phoenix Mill: Sutton.

Sen, A. (2007). India Contemporánea. Entre la modernidad y la tradición. Barcelona: Editorial Gedisa.

Stearns, Peter N. (General Ed.) (2001), The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth Edition (pàg. 790). Nova York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Suzuki, D. T. (1992). Manual de Budismo Zen. Buenos Aires: Kier.

Weigtman, B. (2002). Dragons and Tigers: geography of South, East and Southeast Asia. Nova York: Wiley & Sons.

Xina Adler, J. A. (2005). Religiones chinas. Madrid: Akal.