Classical Chinese I
This course introduces students to the grammar and vocabulary of Classical Chinese. Readings concentrate on philosophical and historical works from the pre-Hàn period, accompanied by selections from later verse. Students should already have some familiarity with Chinese characters (Hànzì 漢字, Kanji, Hanja), whether through Mandarin Chinese or another East Asian language. The main goal of this course is to achieve the foundations of a technical understanding of Classical Chinese through its grammar, through its syntax, through its essential vocabulary, and through the reference works which provide deeper understanding of these elements.
Chinese 101A. Offered Winter 2018.
Classical Chinese II
This course introduces students to the grammar and vocabulary of Classical Chinese. Readings cover a range of texts and genres from the early and medieval periods, with a few examples from later periods. Students should already have some familiarity with Chinese characters (Hànzì 漢字, Kanji, Hanja), whether through Mandarin Chinese or another East Asian language. The main goal of this course is to achieve the foundations of a technical understanding of Classical Chinese through its grammar, through its syntax, through its essential vocabulary, and through the reference works which provide deeper understanding of these elements.
Chinese 101B. Offered Winter 2019 (syllabus).
Masterpieces of Chinese Literature
Examines a selection of works from Chinese literature, with the goal of understanding the major genres and their development over time. The cultural roles of literature, as well as criteria for critical evaluation, are also addressed.
Chinese 80. Offered Spring 2019, Fall 2019.
China in Translation: Theory, Art, History
This course examines what happens to Chinese literature when it is translated into other languages and what happens to other languages when they are translated into Chinese literature. It uses the case study of China—long regarded as a unique civilization utterly distinct from the west—to explore recurring themes in the theory, art, and history of translation.
Chinese / Comparative Literature 139. Offered Spring 2018 (syllabus), Fall 2019.
East Asian Buddhist Poetry
This course is an introduction to Buddhist poetry written in East Asia, along with some selections from South Asia and North America. Representing more than two millennia and half a dozen languages, it will emphasize the diversity of literary encounters with the teachings and practices of Buddhism. Throughout the course, we will be guided by the question, “What makes a Buddhist poem?”
East Asian Cultural Studies / Comparative Literature 165. Offered Spring 2018.
Bibliography and Research Methods
The purpose of this course is to introduce graduate students to the tools, methods, and history of sinology. Sinology refers to the study of China as performed in a philological manner. Philology refers to the historical study of language and literature in its fullest context. It is inherently interdisciplinary. It draws on the fields of linguistics, literary studies, history, art history, archaeology, religious studies, geography, and more. Though its ultimate aims are grand, philology is especially attentive to detail: the footnote, the comma, the variant, the accidental brush mark of a long-dead scribe. It is rooted in what Qing scholars called xiaoxue 小學, and, accordingly, our motto this quarter will be: THINK SMALL.
Chinese 211. Offered Winter 2019 (syllabus).
Topics in Tang Literature
Explores themes and issues in the literature of the Tang dynasty (618–907 CE), with an emphasis on close reading and translation of original texts in Classical Chinese. Topical focus varies.
Spring 2020: Dunhuang Poetry
Introduces the cache of medieval manuscripts found in the Mogao Caves at Dunhuang 敦煌莫高窟, with particular attention to the poetry found therein. Includes units on codicology, received poetry, vernacular poetry, Buddhist didactic verse, educational primers, fu 賦, and history of sexuality and gender.
Offered Spring 2020 (preliminary syllabus).