Chinese and Japanese Literature and Culture

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1st: Lu Xun Short Stories. Preface, 15-20, Diary of a Madman, 21-32, Medicine, 37-45
2nd: The Strange Tale of Panorama Island
3rd: The Crab Cannery Ship
4th: Love in a Fallen City Short Stories. Sealed Off, 235-252
5th: Ding Ling Short Stories. When I Was in Xia Village, 128-156.
Five Reading Worksheets (30%): Throughout the class, you will be asked to complete one Reading Worksheet per book – an activity that will help you practice the ability to summarize and quote from a text (for our two films and graphic novel, there will be different versions of the worksheet). Worksheets are approximately 300 words and are due in class at the end of every three weeks. A worksheet template with instructions and a grading rubric will be posted to our Google Drive.
Carthage College: Department of Modern Languages
CHN/JPN 200A-01:
Chinese and Japanese Literature and Culture in and Beyond the Flashpoint 20s
Spring 2018♦ T, TR 2:20 – 4:00 PM♦ Straz Center 155 ♦ HUM
Instructor: Darwin H. Tsen, Ph.D. Email: dtsen@carthage.edu
Office Location: 242 Lentz Hall Office Phone: 262-551-6679
Office Hours: M, 9:00 – 10:00 AM, W 1:30 – 2:30 PM
TR. 9:00 – 11:00 AM and by appointment. Please feel free to contact me with any questions and concerns.
Prerequisites: JPN 1010, 1020 or CHN 1010, 1020 or with the instructor’s permission.
The Strange Tale of Panorama Island (2013) by Suehiro Maruo and Edogawa Rampo
Course Description & Learning Outcomes:
Chinese and Japanese literature and culture have been entwined from antiquity to the modern period. How did Japanese and
Chinese culture, ideas, and politics mutually influence one another? How did they interact and overlap in times of harmony
and during severe geopolitical conflict? What are some common themes, aesthetic concerns, and forms that the two cultural
spheres valued and shared – up to this day?
This particular course is centered around but not limited to the cultures that emerged from the 1920s to the 1950s, a
historical period where Japanese and Chinese culture, ideas, and politics enjoyed an enormous amount of overlapping while
the geopolitical ambitions of the Japanese Empire gradually engulfed the region in war. As a precursor to the contemporary
convergences and exchanges between the Japanese and Chinese cultural spheres, the novels, films, poetry, and philosophy
that emerged from the 20s to the 40s had a lasting effect on how we perceive the cultural dynamics between China and
Japan today. Critical perspectives, mutual influence, and debate suffuse the spirit of exchange surrounding these works.
Selections include colonial-era literature from Taiwan, Japanese detective fiction, Japanese modernist short stories, as well as
foundational vernacular Chinese literature, contemporary films that reimagine that era, and graphic novels.
This course will help students develop the following skills:
i.) Become familiar with a number of texts, films, and graphic novels about China/Japan in that time period.
ii.) Acquire a strong basis for further study of Chinese/Japanese literature and culture. To acquire intercultural
understanding of the significance of the connections among Chinese- and Japanese-language literature and culture.
iii.) To learn techniques of interpreting texts that take into account their historical, cultural, and national contexts; develop
and refine critical thinking, oral and written expression.
iv.) To understand how a cultural object interacts with their histories, and how such objects play active roles within those
very histories.
v.) Develop and refine critical thinking, oral and written expression, and techniques of textual analysis. In short, the
fundamentals of academic skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
vi.) Engage in collaborative learning and teamwork through weekly assignments and class work.
vii.) By engaging texts through translation or the original Chinese/Japanese languages, students will develop linguistic and
cultural competency for global cultures.
All readings materials, class discussions, and writing assignments will contain English versions. For the purpose of this class,
those who have the ability are highly recommended to read the texts in their original languages. We will organize discussion
sessions in the target languages separately, to your needs.
Responsibilities & Expectations, Classroom Policy:
For a productive learning experience in this course, active engagement and strong attendance are two key factors. If you
happen to not be in class, feel free to discuss your thoughts with me during office appointments or correspondence through
email. Since this is primarily a literature class, first, I expect you to read. You should have read the texts carefully, have
thought about them, and come to class every time with at least one question or comment on the text for the day. Plan in
some time for reading, especially on weekends. Secondly, you will team-up with a different classmate every week to discuss a
key concept in literary/cultural studies in class, after which you will write a response which contains a definition and an
example of the concept. Thirdly, you will complete five reading worksheets that will help you to practice quoting and
analyzing the texts we read on a small scale; films and graphic novels will have unique forms. Finally, there will be a midterm
“process” paper and a final “research” paper that reflects the different emphases on learning methods in the first- and
second-halves of the semester.
Grading & Assignments:
a.) Attendance (10%): Students are allowed three absences without excuses; please save them for minor illness, emergencies,
family events, job interviews etc. Beyond these, each additional unexcused absence will result in a 1-point deduction from
your final average. If you miss a class, you should contact others to obtain missed information. Those who have missed class
due to serious illnesses, College-approved absences and have official written excuses may be excused, and this must be
completed within a week. Be ready to share your thoughts on the week’s reading, and come with at least one question about
the content every session.
b.) Concept of the Week Discussions & Responses (30%): this activity is designed to familiarize you with the many basic
assumptions and ideas that the disciplines of literary and cultural studies use when it tries to understand a book, a film, a
graphic novel, a poem, or even a piece of music or a video game. The first seven weeks of the semester will focus on
seemingly “commonsensical” concepts, whereas the latter seven will deal with concepts more closely related to research
methodology in the humanities. Every week, I will provide you with a series of questions about a concept; you must discuss
them with a classmate and share your thoughts in class (such a discussion can take different forms of in-class activities).
Afterwards, you will write a short response paper consisting of i.) what you think this concept means, derived from your
discussion in class, and ii.) an example of this idea. Minimum word count is 250. A template of this response paper will be
available on our Google Drive.
c.) Five Reading Worksheets (30%): Throughout the class, you will be asked to complete one Reading Worksheet per book
– an activity that will help you practice the ability to summarize and quote from a text (for our two films and graphic novel,
there will be different versions of the worksheet). Worksheets are approximately 300 words and are due in class at the end
of every three weeks. A worksheet template with instructions and a grading rubric will be posted to our Google Drive.
d.) Midterm “process paper” (15%): this class is designed to disclose and teach you the expectations of literary and cultural
studies. To this end, our Midterm “process paper” is a slightly unorthodox creature: it asks you to reflect on and re-evaluate
your learning instead of producing a research argument. Structure it along these four questions: what did I have the most
difficulty with in the class so far, and why is that? What idea/text/concept resonated the most with me, and why? After half
a semester, how has your understanding of literary & cultural studies changed? What tools will I need to develop in order to
be more successful in the class? Please write no more than 1000 words.
e.) Final “research paper” (15%): this is where you put all you’ve learned into a short research paper – everything needs to
be here, a guiding question (based on a text or film in class), a thesis, body paragraphs that analyze your primary source
material, and the help of two secondary sources. This is not going to be the best paper you’ll ever write, but it’ll be the
greatest thing you do for this class. We will have “research workshops” at Hedberg Library’s writing center to learn about
databases, citations, and extra resources. For this assignment, please don’t go over 1,500 words.
f.) Original Language Reading Groups (extra%): depending on your interest and willingness, I will set aside time for both a
Chinese and a Japanese close reading group once a week. In this group, we will (with the help of dictionaries and English
translations) slowly plow through texts in the original. For Chinese, I am thinking about Lu Xun and Ding Ling’s short
stories; for Japanese, since The Crab Cannery Ship is short, it would make a fitting candidate. We will decide on a time/space
on our first day of class. We can also adjust the content if it is too difficult.
g.) Grade Percentage Rubric:
TASK GRADE %
Attendance 10%
Concept of the Week Discussion +
Response
30%
Midterm Process Paper 15%
Five Reading Worksheets + Extra 30%
Final Research Paper 15%
Grading scale:
A+(>97%) A (>93%) A- (>90%) B+ (>87%) B (>83%) B- (>80%)
C+ (>77%) C (>73%) C+ (>70%) D+ (>67%) D (>63%) D- (>60%)
F (59% and below)
Extra credits:
You may get extra points for your final grade by actively participating in extracurricular activities and/or events such as:
・ Original Language Reading Group
・ Literature, Arts, and Film related talks: TBA
・ Modern Languages related events: TBA
・ Other Events
`
Semi-Unplugged Classroom:
Technology can be a blessing and a curse; when integrated well, devices greatly assist in one’s learning; when used for
surfing and recreation, electronics greatly disrupt the individual and the class’s learning. This is my social contract with you
regarding devices: if you don’t have a book, please print the shorter texts on paper, or the e-book on a tablet/Kindle reader;
please don’t take out laptops unless the classroom activity necessitates it, and the same applies to your smartphones. Focus
on the here and now in the classroom – that will make your use of technology all the more satisfying.
Plagiarism & Academic Honesty:
Give credit where it is due in your written assignments, either through direct quotation, paraphrasing, or a list of citations.
(We will learn what these mean throughout the class.) The creation of knowledge is in essence acts of exchange, borrowing
and reformulation, so one should at least have the courtesy to recognize the person(s) you took from. Other forms of
dishonesty besides plagiarism, such as cheating in tests, copy & pasting content for your assignments, will not be tolerated
and the offender will be subject to academic sanctions, reported to the College for further action. In humanities classes such
dishonesty usually revolves around plagiarism. Don’t do it. For Carthage’s stance on this, please see:
https://www.carthage.edu/community-code/academic-concerns/academic-honesty-guidelines/ for more details.
Equal Access Statement:
Students who need special consideration because of their learning differences should inform the instructor. They should
also contact Diane Schowalter, Carthage’s Learning Specialist at the Learning Common of Hedberg Library (Tel: 262-551-
5802, Email: dschowalter1@carthage.edu). This information will remain confidential.
Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Statement:
An equitable, inclusive and diverse classroom environment encourages students to feel empowered in their participation and
learning. A classroom that strives for all three enables students to blossom to their full potential within a positive
community. Be mindful of others’ differences, but also actively engage them with respect, mutuality, and collegiality. In
short, our inclusive classroom community should be, and can be greater than the sum of its parts.
Professional Communication:
Mastering the art of communicating professionally with your peers and your professors is crucial to your success. This
pertains not only to the classroom, but in your entire college career and beyond. Communicating professionally reduces the
chances of miscommunication and discord. Let’s start here: please always address me as 程老师,ダーウィン先生, or
Prof. Tsen in both verbal and written instances of communication.
Statement on Letters of Recommendation:
As you begin your college career, which might eventually involve asking professors to recommend you for graduate
programs, jobs, or internships, please be aware that professors are not obligated to write references for any student who
asks us. I don’t write a reference for a student unless I can write a very positive and specific one. Therefore, your job as a
college student is to become the kind of student professors can rave about in recommendations — hardworking, collegial,
and intellectually inquisitive and honest. Consider maintaining relationships over time with professors, so that they know
you well enough to write for you. Many juniors and seniors tell me they wish they had thought about this during their first
year. Talk to us, engage with us, well, just like you would any other human being.
Required & Recommended Texts:
Required & Recommended Texts: All books are available for purchase at the Carthage Bookstore (and are on reserve at
Hedberg Library’s circulation desk). You may use other sources to acquire them. All films will either be put on reserve or
will be available on Kanopy Streaming or Films on Demand.
Required Books:
Lu Xun, The Real Story of Ah-Q and Other Tales of China: The Complete Fiction of Lu Xun (鲁迅,呐喊, 1922) – in Hedberg
Library. Publisher: Penguin Classics. ISBN: 0140455485
Shinobu Orikuchi, The Book of the Dead (折口信夫、死者の書, 1939) – Library doesn’t have a copy yet.
Publisher: Minnesota University Press. ISBN:
Eileen Chang, Love in a Fallen City (倾城之恋, 1943) – in Hedberg Library.
Publisher: NYRB Classics. ISBN: 9781590171783
Zhuoliu Wu, Orphan of Asia (吴浊流,亚细亚的孤儿, 1956) – Library is in the process of cataloguing it.
Publisher: Columbia University Press. ISBN: 0231137265
Takiji Kobayashi, The Crab Cannery Ship (小林多喜二、蟹工船, 1933) – Online copy in library.
Publisher: University of Hawai’i Press. ISBN: 0824837428
———————. Kanikousen/Touseikatsusha (蟹工船・党生活者) – used copies available on Amazon.com.
Publisher: Shinchou Bunko 新潮文庫. ISBN: 9784101084015
Edogawa Rampo, The Early Cases of Akechi Kogoro (江戸川乱歩, 1925-1929) – please order this at the bookstore; in Hedberg
Library. Publisher: Kurodahan Press. ISBN: 4902075628.
Ding Ling, The Power of Weakness: Four Stories of the Chinese Revolution (丁玲, 1920+) – in Hedberg Library.
Publisher: The Feminist Press. ISBN: 1558615428.
Recommended Books: will scan or prepare the texts otherwise for the class.
Noriko Mizuta Lippit & Kyoko Iriye Selden Ed, Japanese Women Writers: Twentieth Century Short Fiction. – in Hedberg Library.
Publisher: Routledge. ISBN: 0873328604.
Suehiro Maruo & Edogawa Rampo, The Strange Tale of Panorama Island. – in Hedberg Library collection in addition to Drive.
Publisher: Last Gasp. ISBN: 0867197773.
Films:
Masaki Kobayashi, Harakiri (小林正樹、切腹, 1962) – on Kanopy Streaming.
Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises (宮崎駿、風立ちぬ, 2013) – in Hedberg Library collection.
Detailed Course Schedule (tentative)
Week 1
2/8 (Thr) Introduction; Concept of the Week: Reading
Week 2
2/13 (Tue) Lu Xun Short Stories. Preface, 15-20, Diary of a Madman, 21-32, Medicine, 37-45. “Reading” response due.
2/15 (Thr)
Lu Xun Short Stories. The Real Story of Ah-Q, 79-123. Concept of the Week: Emotions
Week 3
2/20 (Tue) Edogawa Rampo. The Dwarf, 69-136. “Emotions” response due.
2/22 (Thr)
Edogawa Rampo. The Dwarf, 137-193. Concept of the Week: Text. Reading Worksheet 1 due.
Week 4
2/27 (Tue) The Strange Tale of Panorama Island, 1-127. “Text” response due.
3/01 (Thr) The Strange Tale of Panorama Island, 127-252. Concept of the Week: Film
Week 5 – Spring Break
Week 6
3/13 (Tue) Orphan of Asia, 1-170 (read ahead!).
3/15 (Thr)
Orphan of Asia, 171-256. Concept of the Week: Character. “Film” response due. Reading Worksheet 2 due.
Week 7
3/20 (Tue) Harakiri . “Character” response due.
3/22 (Thr) Possible Time Change! The Crab Cannery Ship, 19-58. Concept of the Week: Plot
Week 8
3/27 (Tue) The Crab Cannery Ship, 58-96. “Plot” response due.
3/29 (Thr)
Book of the Dead, 1-58. Concept of the Week: Theme
Week 9
4/3 (Tue) Book of the Dead, 59-96.
4/5 (Thr)
Book of the Dead, 97-133. “Theme” response due. Concept of the Week: Quoting/Citation. Reading Worksheet 3 due.
Week 10
4/10 (Tue) Book of the Dead, 134-174. “Quoting/Citation” response due. Mid-term “process” paper due.
4/12 (Thr)
Love in a Fallen City Short Stories. Sealed Off, 235-252. Concept of the Week: Research/Thesis
Week 11
4/17 (Tue) Love in a Fallen City Short Stories. Love in a Fallen City, 109-168. “Research/Thesis” response due.
4/19 (Thr)
Love in a Fallen City Short Stories. Jasmine Tea, 77-109. Concept of the Week: Structure
Week 12
4/24 (Tue) The Wind Rises. “Structure” response due.
4/26 (Thr)
Ding Ling Short Stories. New Faith, 54-83, Thoughts on March 8, 93-100. Concept of the Week: Analysis.
Reading Worksheet 4 due.
Week 13
5/01 (Tue) Start thinking about your final paper! Sign-up sheet to meet me during office hours.
Ding Ling Short Stories. When I Was in Xia Village, 128-156. “Analysis” response due.
5/03 (Thr)
Japanese Women Writers Selection – TBA. Concept of the Week: Interpretation.
Week 14
5/08 (Tue) Japanese Women Writers Selection – TBA. “Interpretation” response due.
5/10 (Thr) Poetry selection, TBA. Concept of the Week: History/Context.
Week 15
5/15 (Tue) Chinese popular culture of the era – we’ll decide on this together. “History/Context” response due.
5/17 (Thr)
Japanese popular culture of the era – we’ll decide on this together. Concept of the Week: Literature/Culture. Reading
Worksheet 5 due.
Week 16, Finals Week
5/22 (Tue) Last day to make up all missing work.
5/24 (Fri) Final essay due. Please email it to me
READING WORKSHEETS
CMLIT 143.002 | ASSIGNMENT SHEET
The Reading Worksheet asks you to break down and analyze readings in advance of our discussion in class. You will complete between 5 (minimum) and 7 (maximum) Worksheets. At the end of the semester, your five highest scores will count toward the final grade.
Guidelines:

  • Download the .docx template for the Reading Worksheet and fill it out. The completed Worksheet should be approximately one page (single-spaced) or at least 300 words.
  • Save the file with the following name: YOUR NAME_WORKSHEET #.doc(x) and submit through CANVAS (e.g. your first Worksheets should go in the Box marked “Reading Worksheet 1,” and so on)
  • The completed Worksheet must be submitted before the class session in which the reading is discussed; Worksheets submitted after the reading has been discussed will not be counted.

Grading rubric: this assignment is graded out of three (3) points, according to the following criteria:
3 points:       Thoughtfully and thoroughly answers all of the questions; answers show a clear grasp of the reading (the result of repeated and careful re-reading). Answers are focused and provide examples; this includes the necessary page numbers and/or appropriate references to specific places in the text. The writing is clear and well-edited
2 points:     Answers all of the questions, but occasionally lacks supporting examples or explanation. It is clear that the student has made an effort to carefully read the assigned text, but may have misunderstood parts. The writing is clear, but may include mistakes in editing or proofing
1 points:     Assignment handed in, but skips one or more questions and lacks examples or other references to the text. Answers reflect a poor or minimal grasp of the reading and/or include factual errors. The writing includes mistakes in editing or proofing
0 points:     Assignment not handed in, or only minimal effort is made to answer the questions; assignment reflects poor or no grasp of the reading. References and citations are missing. The writing includes several mistakes in editing or proofing
Name:
 
Date:
 
Reading(s) Discussed:
 
Answer the questions below. When citing from the reading, be sure to include page numbers. The completed Worksheet must be at least 300 words of your own writing.
 

  1. Description of the reading: describe what kind of reading this is (novel, memoir, short story, article, etc.) and outline the information covered therein (150-200 words).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

  1. Key passages: choose one passage you think is important to the reading as a whole and explain why. (150-200 words, not counting the passage itself)

 
 
 
 

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