ASST 220
The Monkey King: Transformation of a Legend Spring 2016 Division II; Cross-listed as ASST220 / COMP219
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The devious and irascible Monkey King, born of stone, defying all authority yet compelled to behave by a dubious Buddhist magic, is one of the most beloved figures in Chinese culture. This course will trace the transformation of the Monkey King legend from its origins in early representations of monkeys in folklore and a seventh-century Chinese monk’s arduous journey to India in search of Buddhist learning, through its maturation in the sixteenth century, and into works of the Asian diaspora in the U.S. We will examine textual and visual representations of the Monkey King in popular culture, folklore, and literature, to explore topics including ideas about conformity and individual autonomy, morality and law, and the cultural negotiations necessitated by travel and contact with people (or monkeys) of other civilizations.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 12
Class#: 3996
Requirements/Evaluation: 5 short (1-2 page) papers, a mid-term paper (4-5 pages), and a take-home final
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: comparative literature and asian studies majors
Distributions: Division II;
Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under ASST

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