History | Chinese Society Through Literature
J300 | 22438 | Struve

Above class carries culture studies credit
A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class COLL intensive writing section
Above class open to undergraduates only
Above class meets with EALC-E352

In this course we read two works of literature which, together,
offer insights on the lives of the lesser elite in eighteenth-
century China. "The Scholars" by Wu Jingzi is a bitingly satirical
novel about the literatiótheir foibles, hypocrisies, and
obsessions; "Six Chapters from a Floating Life" by Shen Fu is a
touching memoir of a manís happy years with his rather
unconventional, deceased wife. In addition to reading these two
works, we will gain background knowledge from Naquin and
Rawski, "Chinese Society in the Eighteenth Century," as well as some
other materials posted online. Students will write three short
research papers, 7-8 pages each, on aspects of eighteenth-century
Chinese society and culture that they find of particular interest in
the literature. A preliminary bibliography of books and articles
useful for research on the papers will be provided.