BA Spanish and Chinese

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Modern Chinese Literature

Unit code CHIN12122
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Chinese Studies
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This module is designed to introduce first year students to modern Chinese literature of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries by providing an overview of key authors, movements, texts and trends, and by situating modern literature within its relevant historical contexts (including political, social and economic) from the collapse of the Qing dynasty through to the growth of the market economy and advent of the Internet. Students are asked to read a variety of primary texts including short stories, essays and poetry, and literary analysis will constitute a key part of the in-class discussion. Both primary and secondary readings are in English, so prior knowledge of the Chinese language is not necessary, although would be advantageous to those who wish to explore the literature in its original form.

Pre/co-requisites

Available on which programme(s)?

Chinese Studies; East Asian Studies

 

Aims

This course aims to:

  • Familiarise students with canonical works of modern Chinese literature from the Republican era through to the early twenty-first century
  • Teach students’ close reading of primary texts
  • Develop students’ ability to analyse works of Chinese literature in English translation in conjunction with knowledge about the historical contexts in which they were produced
  • Develop students’ critical skills in reading, thinking and writing 

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Identify the key figures and movements that shaped Modern Chinese Literature
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills
  • Critically engage with a variety of primary and secondary material in the field of Chinese Literature
  • Approach undergraduate-level coursework with an appropriate level of skill and analytical sophistication
  • Produce historically sensitive literary analysis
  • Present their ideas and arguments in a convincing manner

Syllabus

Weekly syllabus will be uploaded to Blackboard prior to the start of teaching; sample topics include modern literature and the nation, realism, modernism in fiction and poetry, socialist realism, Scar literature, avant-garde fiction and poetry, commercialization of literary production and Internet literature.

Teaching and learning methods

A combination of weekly three-hour lectures, seminars and tutorials.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Show familiarity with key authors and texts of modern Chinese literature
  • Demonstrate understanding of how literature is shaped by differing historical contexts
  • Explain how major intellectual and cultural movements have impacted the style, content and reception of modern Chinese literature
  • Understand how the status of literature is affected by broader political and economic developments

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Read, discuss and analyse primary texts of modern Chinese literature
  • Relate literature to its appropriate historical context
  • Think critically and engage in well-informed discussions
  • Critically engage with a variety of secondary literature in the field of Chinese Literature
  • Construct coherent, persuasive and well-supported arguments in writing

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Think critically about writing
  • Express ideas clearly in speech and writing
  • Demonstrate skills of analysis
  • Collaborate well in groups
  • Manage time and work to deadlines
  • Read effectively (both primary and secondary texts)

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Think critically about writing
  • Express ideas clearly in speech and writing
  • Read effectively (both primary and secondary texts)
  • Collaborate well in groups
  • Collaborate well in groups
  • Manage time and work to deadlines 

Employability skills

Other
By the end of this course students will be able to: ¿ Think and argue critically and coherently ¿ Work independently ¿ Present information in a convincing and accessible manner ¿ Write clearly and effectively in English

Assessment methods

Assessment task

Length

Weighting within unit

Reading and class participation (summative)

Students must keep notes on each week’s readings; these will not be marked but will form the basis of the class discussions each week. Participation in class discussions is compulsory and students will be marked on the regularity and quality of the contributions.

10%

Mid-term paper (summative)

1800 words

30%

Final exam (summative)

1,5 hours

60%

 

Feedback methods


 

 

Recommended reading

·         Denton, Kirk A. Modern Chinese Literary Thought: Writings on Literature, 1893-1945. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1996.

·         Hong, Zicheng. A History of Contemporary Chinese Literature. Tr. Michael Day. Brill, 2007.

·         Hsia, C.T. A History of Modern Chinese Fiction. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999.

·         Inwood, Heather. Verse Going Viral: China’s New Media Scenes. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2014.

·         Lau, Joseph and Howard Goldblatt, eds. Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature. NY: Columbia UP, 2007.

·         Lin, Julia C. Modern Chinese Poetry: An Introduction. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1972.

 .         McDougall, Bonnie and Kam Louie. The Literature of China in the Twentieth Century. NY: Columbia University Press,      1997.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

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