ANS 320 • China's Great Wall & Silk Road Literature
3:00 PM-4:30 PM
This course will provide an introduction to a few intriguing ideas and concepts in the classical Chinese cultural and literary tradition and is open to all students. No previous background in Chinese language, culture or literature is required. Readings in English translation will encompass a selective sampling of poetry, prose, fiction, and drama from as early as the seventh century B.C.E. through the 19th century.
Course emphasis will be given to some topics from the Chinese tradition that are thought-provoking and even bizarre-namely, the literary fruits that were borne through empire expansion and war. These literary records reflect travel through regions along the Great Wall and explorations made possible by the Silk Road. Readings, lectures, and in-class and online discussions will focus on formative texts such as travelogues, frontier and border literature, and records of exotica (flora, fauna and cuisine) in Chinese history and literature. These works will be read within appropriate cultural, literary, historical, social, philosophical, and religious contexts. Background reading will be assigned to supplement the primary works of literature.
Class and online participation and preparedness 15% Informal Writing 10% Discussion questions 25% Critical Writing 2 essays-45% Oral presentation 5%
Cyril Birch, ed. Anthology of Chinese Literature-from early times to the fourteenth century Edward H. Schafer, The Golden Peaches of Samarkand