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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

John C. Hamm
CHIN 380
Seattle Campus

Premodern Chinese Narrative in Translation

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.

Class description

In Winter 2014, 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.

Recommended preparation

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.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by John C. Hamm
Date: 01/02/2014