Timothy M. O'Neill
Introduction to ancient and classical Chinese literature in its cultural context. Texts in English translation.
This course examines the literature and culture of ancient China, focusing on Warring States and Han dynasty prose texts. Topics explored in this class include: cannibalism, castration, books written on bamboo slips, war, depression, suicide, assassination, emperors, executions, facial tattoos, the ethical implications of time travel, gender and sexuality, literary theory, hermeneutics, adultery, brutal sexually-tinged murder, ritual human sacrifice, cannibalism (yet again), and food.
This course is reading-intensive, writing-intensive, and participation-intensive; students will be required to read the day's materials before each class, engage in class conversations on a regular basis, and write four essays (three short, one long) during the term. The class is seminar format: there will be no tests, quizes, or exams. The curriculum is specifically designed to encourage critical thinking by means of hands-on practice in close reading, formal discussion, academic writing, and oral presentation of student final papers. Segments from films and television shows will be screened in class periodically, followed up by analysis and class discussion. No prerequisites, all readings are in English. 'W' course, I&S, VLPA.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading