CHIN 463 A: History of Chinese Literature

Winter 2024
MW 3:30pm - 5:20pm / SAV 166
Section Type:
Joint Sections:
CHIN 563 A
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

CHIN 463/563 History of Chinese Literature: From the Yuan to Recent Times
CHIN 463: SLN 12431 A&H
CHIN 563: SLN 12435

MW 3:30-5:20, 166 Savery Hall 

Prof. Chris Hamm
Gowen M245

Office hours MW 1:00-2:00 pm, or by appointment

This course traces Chinese literary history from the Yuan dynasty to the early 21st century, focusing on the development of fiction and literature in the vernacular. The flamboyant Ming romance The Water Margin (水滸傳), Lu Xun’s incisive critique of Chinese society in “Diary of a Madman” (狂人日記), Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan’s hallucinogenic visions of The Republic of Wine (酒国)—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, watch pre-recorded lectures, participate in class discussion, submit weekly written responses, and complete two take-home exams. 

CHIN 463 is taught jointly with CHIN 563. 463 offers optional W credit for a final research paper. 563 requires the final research paper.

The links below will take you to elements of the course syllabus. For daily navigation, I recommend using the Modules page.

Course Objectives


Course and University Policies

Course Components and Assessment

Participation 20%

Postings 20%

Quizzes 20%

First and Second Take-home Exams (20% each)

Research Paper (Optional for 463, required for 563)

Absences and Late Work

Grading Scale

Texts and Readings

Schedule Summary (PDF)

Slides from Class Meetings

Technology Support and Resources

This syllabus and schedule are subject to modification at the instructor’s discretion. All changes will be announced in class and posted to Canvas.

Catalog Description:
Chinese literature from the Yuan to recent times. Offered: WSp.
GE Requirements Met:
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated:
December 3, 2023 - 3:15 am