Modern Chinese Literature and Politics in Context (MLM1011)

15 credits

This module engages in the discussion of Chinese literature from a comparative and historical perspective. The course will revolve around five thematic key words: reform (gailiang), conservatism (fugu), enlightenment (qimeng), revolution (geming), and people (renmin/dazhong). The major primary texts used in this course will be literary works from key thinkers who were essential to understand modern Chinese social transformation and nation-building process since the late 19th century. Class lectures will present important historical and literary background to the period under scrutiny: from the 1910s, through the May Fourth Movement, the radicalization of the 30s, the Anti-Japanese War, and the Chinese Communist Party’s Yan’an period. This course will not only provide a basic chronological narrative to Chinese modern literary history, but also an analytical understanding of literature’s socio-political role in modern and contemporary Chinese society. There are no pre-requisites or co-requisites. This module is suitable for specialists and non-specialists and recommended for interdisciplinary pathways.