Prof. Patricia Sieber
Objective: There will be five class sessions where you will be asked to prepare a scholarship summary. The idea for such an assignment is that these scholarly articles may help us better understand certain aspects of the distinctive nature of the traditional Chinese short story and of the reading experience of late imperial readers.
Process: In order to earn points, you will need to submit the assignment before the designated class at 12 noon. You will post the summary to the folder on CARMEN entitled “Scholarship Summaries.” No late write-ups are accepted.
Assignment: You will need to write two pages (double-spaced) on what you see as the major argument(s) that the author proposed in relation to a topic, a set of issues, texts, and/or a figure in Chinese literary culture. Present your summary as objectively as possible. You may not be able to cover every point that the author makes, but focus on the ones that you think are particularly noteworthy or interesting. To the extent possible in two pages, structure your discussion as an introduction, body, and conclusion rather than as a list of bullet points. Save your requests for clarification, questions about background and implications, objections to argument, or opinions for the class discussion that day.
Grading: In order to obtain full points, it is important that the assignment is written clearly and correctly and submitted at noon the day of the relevant class. For each assignment, you can earn up to 5 points per assignment.
- Tuesday, January 26: The Rise of Vernacular Print
Secondary Scholarship: Joseph P. McDermott, “The Ascendance of the Imprint.” In A Social History of the Chinese Book: Books and Literati Culture in Late Imperial China. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2006, pp. 43-78. [CARMEN]
- Tuesday, February 2: The Emergence of the Illustrated Edition
Secondary Scholarship: Yuming He, “The Poetics of Error: Repetition and Novelty in the Age of Woodblock (Re)production.” In Home and the World: Editing the “Glorious Ming” in Block-Printed Books of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2013, pp. 140-142, pp. 150-170. [CARMEN] [Excerpt]
- Tuesday, February 9: The Other Reader In the Text
Secondary Scholarship: David L. Rolston, “Formal Aspects of Fiction Criticism and Commentary in China.” In How to Read the Chinese Novel, edited by David L. Rolston Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990, pp. 42-66 [CARMEN]. [Excerpt]
- Tuesday, February 23: The Language(s) of Chinese Fiction
Shang Wei, “Writing and Speech: Rethinking the Issue of Vernaculars in Early Modern China.“ In Rethinking East Asian Languages, Vernaculars, and Literacies, 1000-1900, edited by Benjamin A. Elman. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2014, pp. 254-272. [CARMEN] [Excerpt]
- Tuesday, March 22: The Trappings of Power
Secondary Scholarship: Sarah M. Allen, “Oral Sources and Written Accounts: Authority in Tang Tales.” In Idle Talk: Gossip and Anecdote in Traditional China, edited by Jack W. Chen and David Schaberg. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014, pp. 71-87.