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A Century of Romance: Emotional Life in Modern Chinese Literature and Visual Culture
The modernization of the Chinese nation is accompanied by revolutionary changes in Chinese people’s understanding of their domestic world. Through readings of literary and visual productions, this course introduces students to the modern Chinese conceptualizations of sexuality, love, and family life at varying historical stages. With emotional feelings and experiences at its thematic center, the course is mainly organized by genre and form, the purpose of which is twofold: one, to help students understand comprehensively how the private life of modern Chinese has been intertwined with the grand history of a nation-state; two, to develop students’ language proficiency through the study of different literary genres and visual forms. We will read literary and visual representations of, for instance, the transforming family structures in the revolutionary years, romantic experiences during the socialist construction, and gender relations in the reform era. We will, through exercises of translation, interpretation, and creative immitation, get ourselves more familiar with genres including but not limited to poems, short stories, correspondence, diaries, critical essays, song lyrics, play scripts, etc. The course is conducted in Mandarin, but some bilingual materials are also involved for translation and interpretation purposes.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
oral presentation; translation project; short piece of creative writing.