Fall 2022 - HUM 203 D100
Great Texts: Asian Thought and Literature (3)
Class Number: 6189
Delivery Method: In Person
An introduction to classic texts which have endured as monuments of Asian thought and literature. Readings and discussions of primary texts and their central ideas will introduce students to philosophical, literary and religious themes in a selected, major Asian tradition. Breadth-Humanities.
This course will introduce The Story of the Stone (also known as Dream of the Red Chamber), an 18th century novel which has the same iconic status as Shakespeare’s dramatic works in Chinese literary history and has greatly influenced Chinese minds. It is also a great sourcebook for learning about different aspects of Chinese culture, from the family system and social relations to garden, poetry and religion, all of which find their most vivid manifestations in the novel.
Thus the course has a dual purpose: one is to introduce a master work of Chinese literature and its distinctive literary tradition; the other is to introduce aspects of Chinese civilization through the novel.
The study method is a combination of close reading, class discussions, and lectures in which some important philosophical, cultural and aesthetic themes of the novel will be introduced. In order to understand some of the religious/philosophical themes such as Confucianism, Taoism, and enlightenment, we will also read translations of Zhuang Zi and Confucian writings throughout the course.
This course is for students who wish to learn about Chinese culture through interesting and accessible translated texts.
COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:
This course also aims to develop the following critical skills
- improve close-reading skills and analyze literary texts to academic standards
- locate literary works in their historical and cultural contexts
- demonstrate a reasonable understanding of the material and engage in group discussions
- do research on specific topics using a variety of sources and presenting it effectively
- write essays and assignments that demonstrate organization, coherence, and grammatical correctness
- Attendance and Participation (lecture and tutorial) 30%
- Canvas Discussion (5 posts for assigned readings & questions) 20%
- Group Project & Presentation (specific cultural topic) 20%
- Final Exercise (short reading questions) 30%
Cao Xueqin and Gao E, translated by David Hawkes and John Minford, The Story of the Stone, Vols. 1 & 5. Penguin Books. ISBN: 978-0140442939 & 978-0140443721
(Other readings will be posted on Canvas)
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