ANS 372 • Encountering Modernity: Film and Literature from Taiwan
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
4:00 PM-7:00 PM
In spite of the moderate size of its land and population, Taiwan boasts an impressive body of richly diverse and artistically accomplished literary and cinematic works. Some scholars compare Taiwan to Ireland for its exceptional literary achievements; others praise works of the Taiwan New Cinema as the best art films that have been produced in the last two decades. The class will take a chronological approach: beginning in the early part of the 20th century, when Taiwan was a colony of Japan, through the martial-law period under the Chinese Nationalist Party (1949-1987), to contemporary Taiwan as a peacefully transformed new democracy in East Asia. We will read literary works that bear distinctive marks of Taiwan's lively literary trends (from the anti-imperial/ anti-feudalist early phase, through the modernist and nativist literary movements of the post-1949 era, to a "postmodern" period marked by pluralism), and view films by such internationally renowned auteur directors as Hou Hsiao-hsien, Edward Yang, and Tsai Ming-liang. The films and fiction will be simultaneously appreciated for their artistic values and treated as the testimony of Taiwanese peoples struggle to come to terms with a modernity that is complexly shaped by the islands frequently truncated history and critical geopolitical position.
Course packet Wang, Wen-hsing. Family Catastrophe. Pai, Hsien-yung. Crystal Boys. Chang, Sung-sheng Yvonne. Modernism and the Nativist Resistance: Contemporary Chinese Fiction from Taiwan.