CHIN 237
Present Past: The Politics of Memory in Contemporary Chinese Literatures and Films Fall 2017 Division I; Writing-Intensive; Cross-listed as CHIN237 / COMP297
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What happens when memories, already slippery, are further massaged by literary and cinematic narrative strategies? How is the historical “past” remembered, forgotten, and subverted in a literary “presence”? This tutorial explores the politics of memory in contemporary literatures and films from the People’s Republic of China (post-socialist era, 1978), Taiwan (post-martial law, 1987), and Hong Kong (postcolonial era, 1997). We will look at how literary and cinematic works in each of these “post” societies represent state-sponsored narratives of remembrance, dissidents’ collective amnesia, and at the popular level, a playful yet cynical flirtation with politics. With close- and distant- readings of textualized and visualized memories, we will examine themes of nation and locality, public and private, amnesia and nostalgia, and home and diaspora in the PRC, Taiwan, and Hong Kong from the late 1980s until to today. Course readings include “root-seeking”, “new realist”, “avant-garde” and “hooligan” novels, examples from the Taiwanese small theater movement, and the transnational cinemas made by the fifth, sixth, and second new wave filmmakers from these three “post” societies.
The Class: Type: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1157
Requirements/Evaluation: attendance and participation, five short papers, five short critiques of a partner's paper, one final project
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: current or prospective Chinese, Asian Studies, and Comparative Literature majors
Distributions: Division I; Writing-Intensive;
Attributes: FMST Core Courses;

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