The Chinese Tradition
An introduction to the literature, culture, and thought of premodern China, from the beginnings of the written record to the turn of the twentieth century. Close study of textual and visual primary sources, with attention to their historical and cultural backdrops.
The Vernacular Short Story in Early Modern China
Introduction to the literary genre huaben, or the vernacular short story. Seventeenth century texts, written in a version of spoken Chinese, provide an unparalleled view of life in early modern China. Discussions of book culture, commercial publication, and the social role of the vernacular.
The Vernacular Short Story in Early Modern China (Huaben)
This course introduces students to the genre often called huaben, or the vernacular short story. These stories are written in a version of spoken Chinese, and for texts dating from the 17th century are quite easy to read, while providing an unparalleled window onto everyday life. We will be reading a wide range of these stories, in significant volume, and the class will culminate in the student’s writing a final paper.