Spring 2020

Chinese Literary Tradition, Antiquity to 1800

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-160


Lei Ying (Section 01)


A survey of the literary and intellectual traditions of premodern China, the course guides students to appreciate a broad array of textual records and literary genres from antiquity to late Imperial China. We will read monumental works such as the records of Shang dynasty oracle bones, the Analects, Laozi, Zhuangzi, Tang poetry, the folk opera Mulian Rescues his Mother, and The Story of the Stone. The course explores the multiple dimensions of the practice of writing and hence reflects on where wen, or “literature,” stood in the premodern Chinese lifeworld.

All readings are in English. No prior knowledge of Chinese language or culture is assumed. Requirements include short reflection papers, a medium-length term paper, and a take-home final examination. Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Ying. 


Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Writing, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Spring 2021