Chin 463: History of Chinese Literature
From the Yuan to the Twenty-first Century
Spring 2020 TTh 1:30-3:20 ECE 026
SLN 12211 - VLPA
Prof. Chris Hamm
Office: Gowen M235
Chinese 463 introduces the history of Chinese literature from the Yuan dynasty through the beginning of the 21st century, focusing on the development of fiction and literature in the vernacular. The flamboyant Ming romance The Water Margin, Lu Xun’s incisive critique of Chinese society in "Diary of a Madman”, Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan’s hallucinogenic visions of The Republic of Wine—we will read selections from these and other works in English translation, and examine their connections with their historical contexts and developing literary traditions.
Recommended for anyone with an interest in Chinese literature, culture, or history. No prerequisites, though previous coursework in literature or any aspect of China studies will enrich your experience in the course. All readings and coursework are in English. Students are required to prepare assigned readings, participate in class discussion, contribute to online discussions, and take two examinations. Optional W credit for a final research paper.
The course is designed to aid students in:
- Understanding general trends in Chinese literary history from the Yuan dynasty through the present day.
- Gaining familiarity with important and representative genres, works, and authors.
- Acquiring a repertoire of concepts, terms, skills, and approaches for the critical understanding of works of literature and literary history.
- Improving skills in reading, critical thought, analytical writing, and oral discussion, which can be transferred to other academic and non-academic contexts.
Students who write the optional final research paper will also gain experience in:
- Accessing and assessing secondary scholarship in the field.
- Presenting an argument and supporting it through reference to primary and secondary sources.