C LIT 240
Comparative approach to literature and a workshop in writing comparative papers in English. Emphasis on cross-cultural comparison of literary works. Readings in English with an option to read selected texts in the original languages Offered: AWSp.
What is the relationship among memory, nostalgia and fantasy? In this class, we will mainly read fiction and watch films produced from the earlier 20th Century till recent from various countries, based on the theme of memory representation in text and image, either in the form of traumatic experience of childhood, or as a nostalgia for a glorified pre-modern past, or in the form of a more complicated nostalgia for the present. The readings will include canonical modern Chinese literature as Border Town by Shen Congwen, Tales of Hulan River by Xiao Hong, and fiction from the English-speaking world, such as Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys, several short stories by Katherine Mansfield, and an excerpt of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, etc. Film titles will include In the Mood for Love, Millennium Actress, Russian Ark, etc. All required texts will be in English. Relevant issues including gender's role in the representation of memory will also be discussed. We will also introduce some basic theoretical and critical writings based on the theme of nostalgia and homeland. In the process of class discussion, student presentations, short response papers, and collaborative editing, students will learn to convey an argument or analysis of literary and visual works in a clear, effective, and creative manner.
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Class assignments and grading