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Note: all readings in these courses are in English.
MEM 3730/GET3200: The Literature of Knighthood in the Holy Roman Empire
Prof. Will Hasty. A study of the chivalric literature written in the northern, German-speaking regions of the Holy Roman Empire during the High Middle Ages (ca. 1200). Students will explore the political and historical foundations of knighthood in these regions, the narrative traditions to which the different chivalric works are related, and the cultural significance of adventures, tournaments, and quests.
MEM 4931/JPT 3100 Tales of Kyoto
Prof. S. Yumiko Hulvey. The main objective of the course is to introduce prose masterpieces of the classical Japanese literary canon from the Heian (794-1185), Kamakura (1185-1333), Muromachi (1336-1573), Azuchi-Momoyama (1573-1600), and Edo (1600-1867) periods. Fictional and non-fictional texts by male and female authors form the core reading material. Readings in literary criticism and literary history provide the framework for analyzing the classical Japanese literary canon. The primary objective is to provide a solid foundation of knowledge of classical Japanese literature and culture, especially those written during the Heian and Kamakura periods. Secondary objectives are to expand the knowledge base by reading scholarly articles that provide critical and historical frameworks to interpret the texts; to develop critical thinking skills through reading scholarly articles and writing analytical essays, and to enhance meaningful cross-cultural communication skills by leading class discussion. Knowledge about classical Japanese literature will provide the necessary foundation for a proper interpretation of contemporary Japan.
MEM 4931/CHT 4603, Journey to the West
Prof. Richard Wang. This course is designed to explore the religious culture, cultural history and literary expression of traditional China through a 100-chapter novel known as Journey to the West, or Monkey. Based on the famous Tang Buddhist monk Hsüan-tsang’s (596-664) historical pilgrimage to India, and encompassed the story cycle of the journey to the west developed in a millennia, the novel of the Ming dynasty demonstrates its rich texture of religious and literary themes, sentiments, and assumptions in this novel, a work considered one of the masterpieces of traditional Chinese fiction, and the finest supernatural novel. The Journey’s scope includes a physical journey, a heroic adventure, a religious mission, and a process of self-cultivation, through the encounters between the pilgrims, mainly the well-known character Monkey who is Hsüan-tsang’s chief disciple and guardian, and various monsters. This novel has an unsurpassingly penetrating impact on Chinese cultural history and society. It represents the maturity of the Chinese novel, and most literary genres in its pages. While basically a supernatural novel, it also describes social customs and daily life of different regions of China. More than any other traditional Chinese narratives, the Journey presents concerns and themes directly related to Chinese religious, intellectual and cultural history, in addition to literary tradition.
Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Will Hasty, 263 Dauer Hall, 273-3780
Mary Watt, 301 Pugh Hall, 392-2422
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Last Updated Wednesday, 04-May-2011 16:17:40 EDT