REQUIRED BOOKS (available at Labyrinth Books, 536 West 112th Street ; also on reserve in Starr East Asian Library)
- Confucius, ANALECTS, trans. D. C. Lau (Penguin).
- Mencius, MENCIUS, trans. D. C. Lau (Penguin).
- Lao Tzu, TAO TE CHING, . D. C. Lau (Penguin).
- Chuang Tzu, CHUANG TZU: BASIC WRITINGS, trans. Burton Watson ( Columia University Press).
- Hsun Tzu, HSUN TZU: BASIC WRITINGS, trans. Burton Watson ( Columbia University Press).
- Han Fei Tzu, HAN FEI TZU: BASIC WRITINGS, trans. Burton Watson (CUP).
- THE VIMALAKIRTI SUTRA, trans. Burton Watson (CUP).
- Cao Xueqin, THE STORY OF ATHE STONE (volume one), trans. David Hawkes (Penguin).
- Shen Fu, SIX RECORDS OF A FLOATING LIFE (Penguin).
- COURSE READER (Photocopied packet of texts).
RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR GENERAL REFERENCE (on reserve in Starr Asian Starr East Asian Library)
- SOURCES OF CHINESE TRADITION, ed. W. T. DeBary (CUP)
- SOURCES OF JAPANESE TRADITION, ed. W. T. DeBary (CUP)
- EASTERN CANONS: APPROACHES TO THE ASIAN CLASSICS, ed. W. T. DeBary and Irene Bloom (CUP).
This course is a colloquium and should be experienced as an ongoing conversation amongst the members of the class. It will not be a class in which instructors lecture and students take notes to be memorized for some final examination. Rather, students are asked to take a more active role by critically engaging assigned texts on a weekly basis and participating in class discussion. To facilitate this, we will be passing out guide questions for each reading and have assigned weekly response postings.
This is a 4 point class that meets for 2 hours per week, and its required analytic papers total only 10-14 pages. Thus, the class is supposed to be a work-intensive one, with the bulk of the class work centering on weekly preparation. We will average about 150 pages of reading per week, and taking part in class discussion is paramount.
Attendance, participation, and response postings: 45%
Final Presentation: 25%
- regular class attendance
- weekly one-page response postings
- short class presentation (approximately 5 minutes, based on one of the texts)
- two analytical papers: 4-6 pages due October 22, 6-8 pages due on December 3
- final presentation (fifteen minutes of prepared talk by the student on a prearranged topic followed by a 15 minute question and answer session with the instructors)
Regular class attendance is essential for any colloquium. We will take attendance every class and absences will have an adverse effect on grades. However, if you must miss class for some compelling reason, we ask you to advise us in advance of the class meeting.
- Response postings:
Response postings should be concise (about one or two well-crafted paragraphs, up to 300 words in total) and reflect a thoughtful engagement with the assigned texts on the part of the student. These responses can be written with one of the weekly guide questions in mind, but need not be. Postings must be submitted by 12:00 noon the Sunday before class. This will allow everyone to read the postings before attending class and will thus generate further discussion.
To post, open the following site and click on “New Posting.” Please include your full name at the top of your response as only your e-mail address will appear on the index. You must use your Columbia address to enter the site and to submit postings. https://www1.columbia.edu/sec/bboard/013/ahum3400-001/
- Each student will be required to make a brief presentation approximately five minutes in length on one of the texts. These presentations will take place at the beginning of class and should act as springboards for discussion. Students need not consult secondary sources. Instead, we would like you to present your interpretations based on an in depth reading of the text as well as further problems or questions you would like to discuss. Reading and integrating the weekly postings will allow the presenter to draw in other contradictory or complementary interpretations.
- Analytic papers:
There will be two analytic papers assigned for this class.
The first, to be submitted on October 22, should be 4-6 pages on a single text. It should reflect both an understanding of as well as a critical engagement with the text. Including quotations is a very good idea.
The second, to be submitted on December 3, should be 6-8 pages on two to four texts. The majority of these analyzed texts should be from the second half of the semester. You should explore a theme, an issue, a problem, a motif, or a literary device that you see as being important in several of the texts we have read. Again, it is vital to quote from texts in order to keep these papers focused and concrete.
Both instructors would be delighted to discuss your papers with you before you hand them in. In fact, it is often a good idea to run a paper topic by us before starting to write. However, we cannot read any actual written papers before they are handed in.
- Final presentation:
In lieu of a final written examination, students are asked to give a final presentation. The exam will take approximately 30 minutes. The first 15 minutes will be a prepared presentation on the part of the students on a pre-assigned topic that makes use of 3-5 texts from our class. This will be followed by a 15 minute question and answer session with the instructors. The questions will either ask for further elaboration on the presentation or be about more general themes or problems we have encountered over the semester. (There will be no random questions about picky details.)
The examination will take place during the reading period.
January 26 : Introduction
February 2 : Confucius (551?-479? BCE) and Mencius (390?-305? BCE)
Confucius, ANALECTS (Analects: (pp. 59-75, 86-148)
Mencius, MENCIUS (pp. 49-84, 97-100, 117-137, 143-146, 151-152, 160-193, 200-204)
February 9 : Taoism
Lao Tzu, TAO TE CHING
Chuang Tzu, CHUANG TZU: BASIC WRITINGS (secs. 1-4, 6, 17, 19)
February 16 : Legalism
Hsun Tzu, HSUN TZU: BASIC WRITINGS (pp. 15-55, 79-111, 139-171)
Han Fei Tzu, HAN FEI TZU: BASIC WRITINGS (pp. 1-20, 30-34, 96-117)
February 23 : Buddhism
Course Reader: Selections from The Experience of Buddhism
THE HOLY TEACHINGS OF VIMALAKIRTI (Introduction, pp.1-14; chapters 2-5, pp. 32-74; 7-9, pp. 83-110; 14, pp. 143-146)
March 1 : Tang Poetry (618-907 CE)
Course Reader: Great Preface; An Lu-shan Rebellion and the tragic love story between Xuan-song and Yang the Prized Consort; General introduction to Tang poetry; and individual poets (Wang Wei, Li Bo, Du Fu, and Li He)
***FIRST PAPER DUE 4:00 PM MARCH 8***
March 8 : Ancient Japanese Poetry and Myth
Selections from the Record of Ancient Matters ( Kojiki , 712) (25 pages)
Selections from the Collection of Myriad Leaves ( Man'yōshū , eighth century) (45 pages)
SPRING BREAK (3/14-3/21)
March 22 : Kūkai and the Kokinshū
Kūkai: Indications of the Goals of the Three Teachings ( Sangō Shiki , 797) (39 pages)
Selections from the Ancient and Modern Collection ( Kokinshū , early 10 th century) (24 pages)
March 29 : Court and Recluse Literature
Fujiwara Michitsuna's Mother (936-995): Selections from Kagerō Diary (974) (28 pages)
Sei Shōnagon: Selections from The Pillow Book ( Makura no sōshi , 996?)
Kamo no Chōmei's (1155-1262) Account of My Hut ( Hōjōki , 1212) (14 pages)
April 5 : Korean Literature
Course Reader: The True History of Queen Inhyon and The Song of a Faithful Wife
April 12 : The Unofficial History of the Scholars
Course Reader: The Unofficial History of the Scholars
April 19 : The Story of the Stone
Cao Xueqin (1715-63), THE STORY OF THE STONE (volume one, chapters 1-12)
***SECOND PAPER DUE 4:00 PM DECEMBER 3***
April 26 : Six Records of a Floating Life and The Unofficial History of the Scholars
Shen Fu, SIX RECORDS OF A FLOATING LIFE
READING WEEK: Final presentation.