John C. Hamm
Premodern Chinese fiction in English translation. Historical and cultural contexts of narrative traditions. Emphasis on the Ming and Ch' ing periods; works and topics vary from year to year.
In Fall 2008, Chinese 380 will be devoted to what many readers and scholars consider the greatest of Chinaís pre-modern vernacular novels, The Dream of the Red Chamber, also known as The Story of the Stone. We will read Hawkes and Minfordís five-volume English translation in its entirety, and through discussion, writing, and secondary readings explore its characters, plot, and themes, its historical context, its reception, and the techniques of traditional Chinese fiction.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
The course will be taught in a lecture/discussion format. Group and small-group discussion of the readings will be supplemented with short lectures by the instructor and student presentations.
There are no formal prerequisites for the course. Previous university-level coursework in literature, and/or in Chinese literature, history, or culture, is strongly recommended but not required. In order to succeed in the course, students must be prepared to keep up with the required reading (200+ pages a week), and must possess solid basic skills in English writing and composition.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments will include 200+ pages of reading a week; weekly written notes or response papers; oral presentations; a final paper with required first draft and revision; and midterm and final exams.
Grades will be assigned on the basis of participation in class discussion, oral presentations, papers, and exams.