China Through Literature

This course will deepen understanding of Chinese society past and present through the examination of novels, short stories, and other forms of literature either written in or translated into English. For instance, students may explore the pleasures and tensions of eighteenth-century elite culture through Cao Zueqin’s Dream of the Red Chamber, the perilous excitement of 1930s Shanghai through Mao Dun’s Midnight, and the rhythms of contemporary urban society through Qui Xialolong’s Death of a Red Heroine. Emphasis is on the eighteenth century through the present.