Shanghai Stories HUMN-SHU 266 (Class number 15797), – Wednesdays 1:00pm-4:00pm.
This course provides an introduction to the history and culture of Shanghai through the eyes of fiction writers. We will read short stories (in English translation) by Chinese, British, American, Japanese, French, Polish, and South African writers who lived in the city between 1910 and 2010. Their stories will take us on an imaginary city tour through time and space: from businessmen, politicians, and prostitutes gathering in the nightclubs of the old Bund, to Jewish refugees struggling to find a home in the poor shikumen neighborhoods of Hongkou, to teachers and students fighting political battles at the university campuses during the Cultural Revolution, and young urban youth pursuing cosmopolitan lifestyles in the global city of today. The course also includes trips to various places featured in the stories and guest lectures by some of Shanghai’s most famous writers today
Representing Ethnicity in Mainland China and Beyond: A Comparative Study
HUMN-SHU 267 (Class number:18498), Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:00-2:15
This course introduces students to the various theories, practices, and representations of multiculturalism in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore from the 20thcentury onwards. Setting focus on how ethnicity (minzu) and race (zhongzu) emerge as a historically grounded and changing public discourse, we engage in a comparative examination of multiculturalism as an incomplete ideal. Within and across each of these multiethnic, or multiracial, societies where Han Chinese constitute the majority, we ask how nation-building processes bear on the transformation of minority culture, and vice versa. Toward the end of the course, we also probe the growing impact of domestic and transnational labor migration on the so-called ethnic mosaic. Our goal is not only to understand diversity as a social reality; in asking how such a reality finds voice in various artistic forms including short story, novel, documentary and fiction film, we also train students to do the rigorous work of literary and cultural criticism.