CONTEMPORARY CHINESE LITERATURE (1938-present)
Chinese 444, Section 1, 3 Credit Hours
Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:35-3:50 pm – 3016 JKB
Winter Semester 2009
Course Instructor: Professor Steve Riep (饶博荣老师)
Office: 3063 JFSB
Office Phone: 422-1505
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (this is the best way to contact me)
Office Hours: Wed. 10:00-10:50 am, Fri. 12:00-12:50 pm, and by appointment
If you cannot make my office hours, please make an appointment to meet
with me. If you wish to drop by without making an appointment, MW
3:50-4:25 are the best times to catch me.
Prerequisites: Advanced proficiency in spoken and written Modern Standard Chinese demonstrated by
successfully completing either Chinese 321 or 322 and their prerequisites, including Chinese 302.
Familiarity with both simplified and traditional characters is required.
Required Textbook: (available for purchase at the campus bookstore)
Chinese 444 Coursepack (includes texts, glossaries, discussion questions, secondary readings in English,
all writing assignments in English and Chinese, and writing helps)
Recommended Texts: (contain information on the cultural and intellectual history of the period we
will be covering; selections from starred (*) titles are included in the Coursepack) Chang, Yvonne. Modernism and the Nativist Resistance (Durham: Duke UP, 1993).
*Hsu, K.Y. The Literature of the People’s Republic of China (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1980).
*Mostow, Joshua. The Columbia Companion to Modern East Asian Literature (New York: Columbia UP,
2003). This text is shelved in the humanities reference section.
Wang, Jing. High Culture Fever (California, 1996)
Copies of the above books are on reserve at the HBLL circulation desk. They can be located using the
course reserve listing on the library homepage. The access code for Chinese 444 is rie444.
Catalogue Course Description:
Contemporary literature of Taiwan and the PRC. Texts in Chinese.
Extended Course Description:
Chinese 444 is the second in a two-semester sequence of courses that introduces students to twentieth century Chinese literature. Students will read representative short stories, essays, poetry, and critical texts and view selected films from 1938 to the present. Course materials will be presented in three units—Unit I: PRC literature 1938-1976, Unit II: Taiwan literature 1949-present, and Unit III: PRC literature from 1976-present. Texts will introduce students to major intellectual currents and literary movements of this period, including socialist and critical realism, modernism, postmodernism, and nativism. Most primary readings will be in either simplified or traditional Chinese characters. Partial Chinese-Chinese glossaries will be provided for most core texts; supplementary readings will not be glossed. Background material will be presented and discussed in English, while the core discussion of the texts will be conducted in Chinese. The course aims to help students develop an understanding of and appreciation for contemporary Chinese literature and an enhanced knowledge of contemporary Chinese
culture. Students will have opportunities to hone their proficiency in spoken and written Modern Standard Chinese by actively participating in discussions, giving presentations, and completing written assignments and examinations in Chinese and English. Because Chinese 444 is primarily a literature course, stress will be placed on understanding the major themes and issues in each text and their relationship to Chinese history and culture rather than on reading/translation and grammatical analysis. Understanding and properly using terms for critical literary analysis will take precedence over the vocabulary building and testing found in language-centered courses.
This course explores the short fiction, poetry, and essays of representative contemporary writers, the literary movements they participated in, and the impact they had on Chinese culture and history. It also introduces key terminology for analyzing and discussing literature in Chinese and English and helps students better express subjective judgments on literature and other abstract topics in Chinese. Finally, the course aims to help the student become a more independent reader of Chinese literary (and non-literary) texts.
Course Intended Learning Outcomes: a student who completes Chinese 443 should be able to
; read, analyze, and discuss Chinese literary texts from the contemporary (1938-present) period in
; apply key critical terms for discussing and analyzing contemporary Chinese literature in English
and Chinese (see Chinese major expected learning outcome 7).
; discuss contemporary Chinese literary texts in Chinese with fluency and increasing sophistication,
demonstrating facility for expressing subjective judgments on literature and other abstract topics
in Chinese (see Chinese major expected learning outcomes 1, 4, and 5).
; analyze and discuss contemporary Chinese literary genres, works and authors in their social,
historical, and religious contexts (see Chinese major expected learning outcome 7).
; demonstrate self-managed learning skills that will facilitate life-long learning including using print
and electronic language learning tools effectively (see Chinese major expected learning outcome
Personal Learning Goals for this Course:
During the first three weeks of class, use the space below to list a couple of personal goals for this course in pencil. We will discuss them throughout the semester. Feel free to modify and refine them as we go along.
Tips for Using the Syllabus
; Use the expected course outcomes to evaluate your academic progress throughout the course.
; Refer to the schedule to keep track of exam and paper due dates
; Refer to the assignment descriptions and point values often
; Use the recommended study habits and characteristics of students who excel in this course to work
toward the grade you want.
Final Exam Time: Monday, April 20, 7-10 am.
; This course requires three hours of class meetings each week. You should plan on spending an
additional six hours per week outside of class reading, preparing assignments, and studying for
tests. The course will be taught using a combination of short lectures, teacher-led discussions, pair
and group work, and other learning and assessment activities, which will enable you to accomplish
the intended learning outcomes.
; Assessments will consist of activities designed to evaluate your knowledge and abilities to
accomplish the intended learning outcomes. Assessments will include readiness, translation, and
reflective exercises; pair and group discussions; reading quizzes as well as midterm and final
exams; writing assignments in Chinese and in English; as well as oral presentations and debates.
Not all assignments will be used for grading purposes. Some will be used as tools for giving you
feedback and helping you improve.
Advanced preparation and active participation in learning and assessment activities will enable you to make progress towards achieving both expected learning outcomes and your personal goals for the course.
Characteristics of Students Who Excel in this Course
1. Regularly attend class meetings on time.
2. Complete all readings and assignments in preparation for each class meeting.
3. Bring thoughtful questions to class and participate actively in discussions without dominating
4. Prepare for exams and writing assignments in advance and complete them on time.
5. Take notes during class discussions and while completing reading assignments.
6. Work with classmates to study for exams and brainstorm, plan, and proofread writing assignments.
Recommended Study Habits:
Allow sufficient time to prepare all course readings in advance. Skim over the reading first without looking up unfamiliar terms (you may choose to mark or underline some of these). Try to get the basic flow of the reading and a general sense of what is happening in the text. Then go back and read the text more carefully a second time, line by line, looking up words using the glossary and a dictionary. Mark difficult passages and write down any questions you have. Share them with a classmate. Ask the teacher to explain any remaining difficult passages and answer any questions you might have either in class or in office hours. Take time to reread the text after we have finished discussing it and before the next quiz or exam. Bear in mind that your strengths and weaknesses as a reader of Chinese will determine how long it takes you to prepare course readings.
Become familiar with the Chinese and English terms for literary analysis as soon as you can. Read secondary materials for relevant background information on the periods, movements, writers, and works we are discussing. Allow sufficient time to complete the reading and related assessment activities and to prepare for tests. Please make time to meet with the instructor to ask questions and review your performance on assessment activities. Exchange contact information (phone numbers and e-mail
addresses) with several of your classmates so you can study together and share information in the event you must miss class. Please put the names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses for two to three classmates below.
Grading Procedures: Points Possible
Reading Quizzes 100
Writing Assignments 330
Chinese Compositions (6) 90 (15 points each)
Essay 1 80
Essay 2 160
Oral Activities 80
Attendance and Participation 100
Total Points Possible 1000
Grades will be determined by dividing the total points earned by the total possible points. Letter grades are assigned based on the following grade breakdown:
A 94.0% - 100.0% B- 80.0% - 82.9% D+ 67.0% - 69.9%
A- 90.0% - 93.9% C+ 77.0% - 79.9% D 63.0% - 66.9%
B+ 87.0% - 89.9% C 73.0% - 76.9% D- 60.0% - 62.9%
B 83.0% - 86.9% C- 70.0% - 72.9% E 0.0% - 59.9%
Five short reading quizzes will be given during the course. The highest four will be counted. They may be either take-home or timed in class and they may be taken individually or as part of a group. These will test your preparedness for reading the assigned texts, your knowledge of the literary terms and cultural issues we have discussed, and your comprehension of material already covered. Testing strategies may include multiple choice, short answer, identification, definition, or short essay. The quizzes will include questions (and require answers) in English and/or Chinese. These and all other exams will be open book (including texts, glossaries, and notes), though English or other translations are not allowed. You may also use a dictionary. Computers and other electronic aids are not allowed.
You will take this exam in the Testing Center during the eighth week of classes. It will assess your ability to analyze the assigned texts in depth, your knowledge of authors’ biographies, and your ability to situate
both authors and texts in the larger context of contemporary Chinese history and culture. The midterm will cover all texts read through the end of week 7. It will include questions (and require answers) in English and/or Chinese. In addition to the types of questions included on the reading quizzes, you may also be asked to analyze a poem at length and/or prepare a longer essay. This and all other exams will be open book (including texts, glossaries, and notes), though English or other translations are not allowed. You may also use a dictionary. Computers and other electronic aids are not allowed.
You will take this exam in our regular classroom during the official, university-assigned final exam period on Monday, April 20, from 7 to 10 am. The first half of the final will be similar in format to the midterm but will cover the reading from weeks 8 through 15. The last half of the exam will consist of a long essay that will assess your ability to synthesize and apply your knowledge of literature, literary history, and culture to a question addressing works covered throughout the semester. This and all other exams will be open book (including texts, glossaries, and notes), though English or other translations are not allowed except for those works originally read in English. You may also use a dictionary. Computers and other electronic aids are not allowed. In keeping with University and College of Humanities policy, the final exam will be given only during the scheduled final examination session for Chinese 443: no early exams are given. Make-up exams are only allowed in the cases of documented serious illness or personal injury, bereavement of immediate family member, conflicting final examination times (subject to negotiation with the other course instructor), three or more final exams in one day, or other legitimate academic conflicts (such as a licensing examination, conference presentation, or other university-approved activity). You will need to consult with me in advance (when possible) to make arrangements to take the test later during the final exam period. Students who miss the exam for any other reason will receive 0 points for the assignment.
Each student will prepare six, 400 character response papers in Chinese on topics selected from assigned
study questions for the readings. The prompts are included in the Coursepack and the due dates are listed on the course schedule. You are strongly encouraged to have a native speaker read over and correct (but not write) your compositions. Through these assignments, you will demonstrate your ability to discuss
contemporary Chinese literary texts in Chinese with fluency and increasing sophistication.
You will also prepare two essays in English, one three-page essay on a topic assigned by the instructor
and one six-page essay on a topic chosen by the student from a list provided by the instructor. The prompts will be distributed in class. The second essay will require you to discuss at least one of the optional/on your own readings not assigned as part of the core course readings. Both essays must also make reference to the secondary readings in English included in the Coursepack. Rubrics outlining assignment expectations and grading standards will be distributed in class. The page limits will be strictly enforced. Late papers will be penalized. Papers more then one week late will not be given credit. You are strongly encouraged to have a classmate review your thesis statement, outline/concept map, and a draft of your paper. The instructor would be happy to discuss these with you as well. Please be sure to proofread your paper before submission. If you need additional help, please consult the Writing Center for assistance. Through these writing assignments, you will demonstrate your ability to apply key critical
terms for discussing and analyzing contemporary Chinese literature; analyze and discuss contemporary
Chinese literary genres, works and authors in their social, historical, and religious contexts; and on the final assignment on which you will have a chance to write on a topic of interest to you, cultivate self-
managed learning skills.
You will have an opportunity to participate in several oral activities (no more than five minutes each) on course readings or authors’ biographies. Sign-up sheets for these will be circulated throughout the term.
You will be graded based on preparation, content, and clarity of delivery. These will help you develop
oral presentation skills. Make-up of missed presentations is allowed only in the case of an excused absence.
Attendance and Participation
Daily attendance is essential for mastering course material. Regular, on-time attendance and active participation are important parts of your grade. Attendance will be taken either by roll call, by submission of assignment, or by my observation of who is present in class meetings. Your participation will be assessed by your submission of regular class learning assignments and assessments as well as your participation in discussions and answering questions asked by the instructor or other students. You should contribute regularly to class discussions in a courteous way by showing respect for the opinions of others and refraining from dominating the discussion. Discussion dominators and those who are rude to others will lose participation points. You are expected to have done all assigned readings prior to class and be prepared for each class meeting. Active participation not only helps you demonstrate your growing
cultural literacy, but also helps you make connections to other fields of study and clarify questions you
(Subject to Change and Revision)
Week Monday Wednesday
UNIT 1: The People’s Republic of China: Foundations, 1938-1978
1 Course Introduction 毛泽东，“在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话”
3 HOLIDAY 革命诗
保卫延安 ，选读！ 1/19-1/21 杜鹏程，
4 杜鹏程，保卫延安 ，选读！ 杜鹏程，保卫延安 ，选读！
5 Great Leap and GPCR Literature 十七年的电影(红色娘子军
UNIT 2: Taiwan
6 陳若曦，“晶晶的生日” 陳若曦，“晶晶的生日”
Essay 1 Due
7 黄春明, “魚” (Class on 2/17) 黄春明, “魚” (on 2/18)
2/17-2/18 鄉土文學 (Class on Tuesday)
8 王文興，“黑衣” 五十年代台灣新詩
2/23-2/25 現代主義文學 痖弦詩選
Complete Midterm by 2/25 交作文，三！“魚”
Week Monday Wednesday
9 五十年代台灣新詩 白先勇，“冬夜”
3/2-3/4 紀弦詩選 民國歷史
10 白先勇，“冬夜” 台灣新電影
饮食男女 3/9-3/11 白先勇傳記
____________________________________________________________________________________ UNIT 3: The People’s Republic of China: The Post-Mao Era, 1976-present
11 王安忆，“本次列车终站” 王安忆，“本次列车终站”
3/16-3/18 “毛后”文学 王安忆传记
12 王安忆，“本次列车终站” Bonus Story
13 Bonus Story 当代中国电影，一！
14 当代中国电影，二！ 当代中国电影，三！
4/6-4/8 大腕 幸福时光
Essay 2 Due
15 Wrap-up and Review Reading Day
____________________________________________________________________________________ Finals Week Final Exam: Monday, April 20, 7-10 am
Students are permitted two absences for illness or personal reasons. All absences after that must be cleared with me first. Only cases of documented illness or bereavement of immediate family member will be excused. Repetitive absences and/or tardies will lead to a lower participation score and final grade.
Call me at my office phone number (422-1505) to report and explain your illness or emergency as soon as you know you will miss class. If I am not there, please leave a message.
Assignments will be due at the beginning of class. Assignments turned in after the due date will be penalized one letter grade per late day. Assignments more than a week late will not be accepted without prior approval for emergency situations. Late penalties will only be waived for those with an excused absence for documented illness or bereavement of immediate family member.
Make-up exams are only given to those who have an excused absence for documented illness or bereavement of immediate family member. In keeping with University and College of Humanities requirements, all students are required to take the final exam during the scheduled final exam period. Make-up exams will be given only in the cases outlined in the Assignment Descriptions section above.
Course Content Information
Please keep in mind that all of the works we will read and view this semester were produced by writers and filmmakers who are or were not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and who have or had no knowledge of its doctrines, teachings, and values. Be aware that China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other nations with ethnic Chinese populations do not share the same moral attitudes or mores that are dominant in Western culture. You have probably already encountered—and will inevitably
continue to encounter—things Chinese that are offensive to your particular sensibilities. This is an inevitable consequence of reading outside familiar traditions, but can have a positive effect when it reminds us of what our own moral standards are and helps us better appreciate, if not accept, the values of other peoples and cultures. This helps us reconsider attitudes that we may assume to be universal, thus making us more sympathetic readers who are better able to interact on meaningful levels with and have compassion for those from other traditions. Should you find any of the readings particularly distasteful, please do not hesitate to contact me and we will work together to find a less-offensive alternative.
Preventing Sexual Harassment:
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in an educational program or activity that receives federal funds. The act is intended to eliminate sex discrimination in education. BYU’s policy against sexual harassment extends not only to employees of
the university but to students as well. If you encounter unlawful sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination, contact the Equal Employment Office at 422-5895 or visit the website at http://www.byu.edu/hr/students/procedures/gender-based-behavior-policies-students
Students with Disabilities:
Brigham Young University is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability that may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact the Equal Employment Office at 422-5895 or visit the website at http://www.byu.edu/hr/students/procedures/accommodation-persons-disabilties-students
Church Educational System Honor Code:
Brigham Young University exists to provide an education in an atmosphere consistent with the ideals and principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That atmosphere is created and preserved through commitment to conduct that reflects those ideals and principles. Observance of such standards is a condition of employment and admission. Those individuals who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are also expected to maintain the same standards of conduct, except church attendance. If you have any concerns, please contact the Honor Code Office at 422-2848. For more information on the following related topics, visit the Honor Code office website at http://honorcode.byu.edu
Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages (and Chinese Section) Website: