History | J400 2768 Traditional Chinese Culture 2:30-3:45P TR BH011 Struve
J400 | 2768 | Struve L
Topic: traditional Chinese culture through literature
J400: for history majors only
Above section COAS intensive writing section and also
requires registration in COAS W333
Above section meets with EALC E351
Students in this course enter intimately into the eighteenth-century Chinese
world by reading most chapters of the greatest novel ever written in China,
the quasi-autobiographical Story of the Stone (also known as Dream of Red
Chambers) by Cao Xueqin. This incomparable work of literature presents in
fascinating material and psychological detail the life of a young aristocrat
as he comes of age in a large household of mostly female relatives.
Numerous aspects of high and low eighteenth-century Chinese society,
culture, politics, education, economics, values, and beliefs-especially
regarding women-come vividly to light under the author's reminiscent pen.
Students read carefully three of the five volumes of the Hawkes-Minford
translation; summaries are provided of the rest. Background on the era is
at hand in Chinese Society in the Eighteenth Century by Naquin and Rawski,
and numerous matters are illustrated visually with slides and videos.
Students write three papers, in both draft and final versions, on subjects
of their own choice that appear in the novel. Extensive bibliographical
help is provided by the professor. Grades are based one-third on class
preparation and participation and two-thirds on the papers.