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KEIO Opencourseware >> Course List >> International Center >>LITERATURE AS HISTORY, Spring 2007
LITERATURE AS HISTORY, Spring 2007

CONTEMPORARY CHINESE SOCIETY

[Instructor]
Elizabeth CHANDRA

[Course Guide]

Sub Title:

The Colonial Experience

Course Description:

This course will consider issues in historiography, particularly the use of literature as history. Filling in the gaps in the so-called conventional historiography, literature provides what institutional libraries, judicial/criminal proceedings, church records, civil registry, and state archives fail to preserve. More important, it has the capacity to represent the fine curves of a political landscape, the nuances of cultural connotations, the minute features in social relations, and the complexity of human emotions.
The colonial experience is precisely a context that calls for such “sensitive” historical inquiries due to the cultural gap between our Western intellectual tradition and the colonized people’s particular schemes of culture. The fact that most written records from the colonial period were produced by and speak from the point of view of “power” further complicates historical reconstruction of the experience.
In this course we will read novels and short story written by colonial agents and colonized persons, and attempt to catch glimpses on its “micro sites” as diverse and intimate as domestic order, sexual exchange, gossip, humor, paranoia, and melancholia.

Classes: 13
One 90-minute class per week

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