Chinese Language

Advanced Readings in Chinese Literature: Women, Writing, and Story of the Self

Taught in Chinese, this course is designed for superior-level learners who have completed E Asian 401 and 402 to practice reading and writing Chinese for academic purposes. Students will also actively participate in classroom discussions to develop their speaking and listening skills.

Focused on “Women, Writing, and Story of the Self,” this course in Fall 2019 will survey important literary and film works that examine women as writing agents. Our course materials cover a wide range of literature and films in terms of their time, place, theme, genre, and voice. Coupled with the texts are selected literary criticisms, film reviews, or interviews for a critical understanding of the works. Throughout this semester, we will explore how “writing” in a broad sense shapes and is shaped by these authors’ subjectivities. Students will also experiment expressing their own voice in different genres, including response essay, film review, and creative writing.

Grade and Requirements:

Attendance and performance (10%): Students are expected to attend all classes and actively participate in small group discussions. In addition to regular class hours, students need to sign up for two individual sessions with the instructor on writing tutoring throughout the semester. More importantly, students must be well-prepared for each lesson, including reading the day’s text, familiarizing with the vocabulary list, marking sentences that you don’t understand, and bringing your answers to the preview questions to the class.

Quizzes (3% x 5): There will be five quizzes held on Thursday from 11 to 11:20 am that covers the content of the week. The format may include: fill-in blanks, forming sentences, term explanation, and short translation. Students can drop the lowest score at the end of the semester and choose to participate in a make-up test instead.

Writing Assignments (5% x 4): Four writing assignments (one close-reading analysis, one film review, one autobiographical piece of creative writing, and one comparison essay) are due respectively in week 3, 5, 9, and 12. Detailed instructions of the assignment will be uploaded to the course website at least one week before the due date.

Midterm (20%): The midterm exam will be scheduled on Tuesday of Week 7. Details to come

Final project (written assignment 30% + presentation 5%): Students will turn in an analytical or critical essay in Chinese on one or two works that we read this semester. The final essay will be 5-8 pages, 12-point font size in 宋体, double spaced, and due one week after our last class.

The last week of this semester will feature a mini-conference that helps students revise and present their final papers. Students will be grouped in three to four panels, based on the presentation topics. Each presenter has 10 minutes to delineate their research questions, primary texts, preliminary findings, and tentative thesis. I will serve as discussant for each panel’s Q&A session.