LTCH 101 - READINGS IN CONTEMPORARY CHINESE LITERATURE
The Role of Controversy in Chinese Literature
Instructor: Angie Chau
This course takes a closer look at the role that controversy has played in the reception of contemporary Chinese literature. Although controversy has most often appeared in the field of literature from the PRC in the form of state censorship, it has also taken alternative forms such as plagiarism and piracy. Analyzing a selection of novels, film adaptations, blogs, and essays from the 1990s to the present day, we will discuss how these literary controversies can limit the exposure and circulation of these works, but at the same time serve to heighten their appeal and marketability (cultural capital) in the West. We will also explore the changing ways that readers approach more traditional literary works such as novels, in relationship to digital media such as blogs and internet literature, and how contemporary writers situate themselves and their work in the context of political activism and celebrity pop culture. Advanced (i.e., near native) reading skills in Chinese are required. Presentations, papers, and exams are in English.