East Asian Languages and Cultures | Readings in Chinese Literature II
C522 | 24230 | Zou

TOPIC:  Aesthetic Theory and Modern Image Perception

P:  Chinese proficiency at the level of EALC C402 or permission of

This class will investigate the dilemma and the problematic of
modern Chinese literary and aesthetic theory, particularly modern
Chinese writers’ and scholars’ accounts of the confrontation between
classical Chinese aesthetics (poetics and painting) and modern image
perception.  We will explore classical Chinese aesthetic theory on
the relationship between image perception and the construction of
subjectivity, and how it is challenged by the modern conception
of the image as exemplified by photography and film.  Moreover, we
will discuss the ways in which modern Chinese writers connect
classical Chinese aesthetics with Western modernism in poetry and
painting.  A more specific theme of the class is how the concept of
the self is constructed by relating the image with large concepts
such as nature.  We are concerned with the self both in personal
and national level.  Some of our readings will be English materials
on photography and film, particularly on their collisions with
Western romantic aesthetics.  We will complicate the concept of
modernity in the English materials by bringing in the question of
how modern image perception participates in the construction of
national identity (self) in the process of East-West cultural and
political interactions.

Students are expected to work on individual research projects (a
written research report and a presentation), and finish a research
paper (20-25 pages).

With prior written approval from their Director of Graduate Studies,
graduate students in Comparative Literature may count this course
toward their major.