Reading Seminar in Chinese Traditional Fiction: Once Upon a Time in China: Storytelling & Fictional
EAST ASIAN LANGUAGES & CULTURES 476
"Once Upon a Time in China" - Storytelling and Fictional Representation offers a historical study of how traditional Chinese people narrated their life and world, both experienced and imagined, in the form of a "narrative" over time. For most of the course, students will read major pre-modern writings that include not only fictional but also historiographic, philosophical, and (auto)biographic works that had paved the way to the rise and development of Chinese storytelling and fiction tradition. In this, we will examine how traditional Chinese writers perceived, configured, and concretized human characters and their events, and created a plot for the story in their practice of writing to remember and signify life and world. Furthermore, we will also discuss the unique and problematic relationship between two concepts, i.e., history and fiction, in the pre-modern Chinese narrative tradition.
In the latter part of this course, we will turn to the modern period and explore how storytelling and fictional composition in China have changed and evolved in the rise and popularity of a completely new form of media, film. Using a specific example of the Ming historical novel Sanguo yanyi and its contemporary cinematic adaptations in the popular culture, we will discuss how the new media has transformed the Chinese practice of narrating self, life, and the world and ultimately how that discloses the socio-political conditions in (re)formulating how Chinese remember and narrate their experiences in the past.
Most reading materials will be provided in English. Open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates by instructor's permission.
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM