East Asian Languages and Cultures | Traditional Chinese Society through Literature
E350 | 1484 | Struve
COAS intensive writing section; registration in COAS W333 also required.
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.
This section meets with HIST J400. Credit given for only one of EALC E350
and HIST J400 on this topic.