Consulta de Guies Docents



Academic Year: 2022/23

8086 - Master in AsianPacific Studies in a Global Context

32385 - Readings on Contemporary Asian Fictions


Teaching Guide Information

Academic Course:
2022/23
Academic Center:
808 - Masters Centre of Humanities of the Deparment of Humanities
Study:
8086 - Master in AsianPacific Studies in a Global Context
Subject:
32385 - Readings on Contemporary Asian Fictions
Ambit:
---
Credits:
5.0
Course:
1
Teaching languages:
Theory: Group 1: English
Teachers:
Carlos Prado Fonts
Teaching Period:
Second quarter
Schedule:

Presentation

This course offers a study of selected works of fiction written in modern and contemporary East Asia. From a chronological perspective, the course covers the periods between the beginning of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century—with a particular focus on the contemporary decades. From a geographical perspective, the course includes works from Japanese literature, Korean literature, Chinese literature and Sinophone literatures (Taiwan, Southeast Asia) as well as hybrid works written by Asian writers in non-Asian languages. Throughout the sessions representative works will be examined in relation to literary, intellectual and historical contexts in which they were conceived, produced and circulated.

The course will incorporate a gender perspective that will be particulary important in the selection of authors and topics to be read and discussed across the different units.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to: 

  • Display a familiarity with the main chronology and cultural/literary developments of the last 150 years in these geographical contexts.
  • Relate the literary phenomena studied with the historical and sociocultural context in which they are embedded.
  • Recognize the main differences and similarities between these different literary and cultural developments.
  • Develop a critical understanding of how literary works can be interpreted both in the East Asian context and from a transnational and interdisciplinary perspective.

Sustainable Development Goals

Quality education 
Gender equality
Reduced inequalities

Prerequisites

The course has been designed for students in an Area Studies program who have no intensive background in the literary field. Knowledge of Chinese, Japanese or Korean language is not required (all the assigned texts will be in translation), although specific references to relevant issues of language will be made occasionally for students who are familiar with these languages. In any case, these references will not be part of the evaluation. The course will be taught in English. 

Contents

Periods and writers to be read and discussed will include:

  • Modern Chinese literature (Lu Xun)
  • Interwar Chinese literature (Zhang Ailing)
  • Contemporary Chinese literature (Yu Hua)
  • Meiji and Taisho Japanese literature (Soseki Natsume)
  • Postwar Japanese literature (Mishima Yukio)
  • Contemporary Japanese literature (Murakami Haruki)
  • Sinophone literatures and hybrid literatures (Huang Ch'un-ming, Ng Kim-chew, Tawada Yoko, Ha Jin)
  • Contemporary Korean literature and global literatures (Han Kang)

Teaching Methods

Students are required to regularly attend the sessions and actively participate in class discussions about the texts assigned. Regarding the temporalization of these readings, please see the schedule at end of this syllabus. Student participation and preparedness are crucial. Students are therefore required to read the assigned texts in advance and must come to class ready to engage in debates and discussions.

The course is divided into different units. Each unit has a representative text at its core. We will follow a cycle of synchronous and asynchronous activities and tasks around each of these core texts: 

A) Context. During the second half of each session, the instructor will summarize the most important aspects about the historical, cultural, biographical contexts related to the assigned text to be read at home and discussed the following week. Since this will be a short, schematic summary, the instructor may also point students toward a few reliable short scholarly articles or chapters in case they wish to deepen and/or amplify any of the aspects summarized. The instructor will use a slide presentation and will make it available after the session. 

B) Reading and preliminary notes. At home, students will read the assigned text and prepare for the following session. For each unit/reading there will be specific questions posted on Aula Global, but they will always ask, in one way or another, to summarize the text (plot and/or main argument), highlight a few significant aspects (concepts, ideas, features), select a few passages, and offer some critical, personal reaction to all this. Students must (a) read the text and (b) start thinking about and drafting their preliminary responses to the questions. 

C) Discussion. During the first half of the following session, the instructor will lead the discussion about the assigned text. The questions posted on Aula Global will be used as a guide for discussion and students will share their preliminary responses. The instructor will make his own reading notes available after the session. 

D) Personal response. To close the cycle, students will write their critical, personal response to each text from home on an individual reading journal to be kept throughout the course. Each student will be given access to his/her individual document. For each unit/reading there will be specific questions posted on Aula Global. Responses can be very short: less than one page for each reading. Students can also use the reading journal to include any additional thoughts, ideas, images, drawings, etc. The instructor will visit the document from time to time to check on each student’s progress throughout the course. 

General notes and suggestions:

  • The slide presentation on the historical and biographical context will only be a quick guide—do not expect to find a full narrative in the slides. There is a reason for this: the instructor expects students to actively engage with the oral presentation to be given around the material synthesized in the slides and produce their own understanding of the context. In other words, this is not a passive activity but rather a task that students have to perform actively too.
  • For best results in critical comprehension, please follow the cycle of activities mentioned above and read the assigned texts at the right moment to generate your own preliminary but personal reaction to the text: after the instructor has provided the relevant context but before class discussion. You should ideally have one week to read each assigned text at the right time. It is always tempting to postpone your own reading until the instructor and your peers have provided theirs. In my experience, though, students who read the text first by themselves and then contrast their reading with others’ end up developing better critical skills—and performing much better in the final assignments such as synthesis exercises or book reviews.
  • Read the texts carefully and actively: summarize their plot or main ideas, underline relevant passages, draw diagrams, draft personal reactions, etc. To read carefully means also to think and write.  If you have read the text in this way, answering the questions (drafting rough, preliminary answers) should not take you more than 30 minutes.
  • Some of these texts may be quite long and/or quite difficult. Be prepared for that. Plan ahead, organize your time and allow yourselves appropriate chunks of time to read with full attention. When there is a longer text, please read ahead—do not wait until the very last days. In my experience, this is a key aspect if you want to enjoy the course.
  • Your own interpretation of a text may not necessarily coincide with other people’s interpretation of the same text. This does not mean that your reading is wrong—it only means that you have to find convincing ways to explain your points.
  • Make sure to write or revise your personal response to the text in the reading journal after the session. If you have worked properly before and during the session, polishing up your final personal response in the journal should not take you more than 10-15 minutes.

Evaluation

The instructor assumes that students will attend at least 70% of the lectures (or follow their virtual equivalent through readings and materials) and actively participate in the class discussions as part of the process of achieving the learning outcomes of the course. The final grade of the course will be calculated by combining the following aspects:

Class: 40%
This includes a proactive attitude in all aspects of the course: attendance to sessions, participation in debates and discussions, etc. This also includes a collection of personal responses to the assigned readings to be kept in an individual reading journal. The instructor will provide more details about this assignment. 

Synthesis exercise: 30%
Short exercise to be completed in class. It will include one or two general, thematic questions. It will be carried out during the final wrap-up session. The instructor will provide more details about this assignment. 

Book review: 30%
A short review (3-5 pages) of one novel or short story collection that has not been directly covered in class. The instructor will provide a list of elegible works. Each review should include a rough summary of the plot, its main literary features and 1-2 specific aspects that the student considers particularly significant within the context of the course and the previous lectures. The instructor will provide more details about this assignment. DEADLINE: Students must submit the book review by the end of the first week of the following term (see below).

Note:
Students who fail the course will be allowed to retake the final exercise in a longer, more comprehensive form. In this case, the grade of this second exercise will represent 100% of the final grade. This exercise will have to be taken during the last week of the following term. Please contact the instructor for further details.

Bibliography and information resources

General introductions for most of the sessions will be adapted from from the following works, which the students are free to consult:

  • Nolla, Albert. Literatura japonesa I & II. Barcelona: UOC, 2004.
  • Martínez-Robles, David and Carles Prado-Fonts, eds. Narrativas chinas: ficciones y otras formas de no-literatura. Barcelona: EDIUOC, 2008.
  • Mostow, Joshua. The Columbia Companion to Modern East Asian Literature. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003. (Japan section edited by Sharalyn Orbaugh; China section edited by Kirk A. Denton; Korea section edited by Bruce Fulton.)
  • Prado-Fonts, Carles. Regresar a China. Madrid: Trotta, 2019.

For each thematic unit, the instructor will indicate specific relevant bibliography.


Academic Year: 2022/23

8086 - Master in AsianPacific Studies in a Global Context

32385 - Readings on Contemporary Asian Fictions


Informaciķ de la Guia Docent

Academic Course:
2022/23
Academic Center:
808 - Masters Centre of Humanities of the Deparment of Humanities
Study:
8086 - Master in AsianPacific Studies in a Global Context
Subject:
32385 - Readings on Contemporary Asian Fictions
Ambit:
---
Credits:
5.0
Course:
1
Teaching languages:
Theory: Group 1: English
Teachers:
Carlos Prado Fonts
Teaching Period:
Second quarter
Schedule:

Presentation

This course offers a study of selected works of fiction written in modern and contemporary East Asia. From a chronological perspective, the course covers the periods between the beginning of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century—with a particular focus on the contemporary decades. From a geographical perspective, the course includes works from Japanese literature, Korean literature, Chinese literature and Sinophone literatures (Taiwan, Southeast Asia) as well as hybrid works written by Asian writers in non-Asian languages. Throughout the sessions representative works will be examined in relation to literary, intellectual and historical contexts in which they were conceived, produced and circulated.

The course will incorporate a gender perspective that will be particulary important in the selection of authors and topics to be read and discussed across the different units.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to: 

  • Display a familiarity with the main chronology and cultural/literary developments of the last 150 years in these geographical contexts.
  • Relate the literary phenomena studied with the historical and sociocultural context in which they are embedded.
  • Recognize the main differences and similarities between these different literary and cultural developments.
  • Develop a critical understanding of how literary works can be interpreted both in the East Asian context and from a transnational and interdisciplinary perspective.

Sustainable Development Goals

Quality education 
Gender equality
Reduced inequalities

Prerequisites

The course has been designed for students in an Area Studies program who have no intensive background in the literary field. Knowledge of Chinese, Japanese or Korean language is not required (all the assigned texts will be in translation), although specific references to relevant issues of language will be made occasionally for students who are familiar with these languages. In any case, these references will not be part of the evaluation. The course will be taught in English. 

Contents

Periods and writers to be read and discussed will include:

  • Modern Chinese literature (Lu Xun)
  • Interwar Chinese literature (Zhang Ailing)
  • Contemporary Chinese literature (Yu Hua)
  • Meiji and Taisho Japanese literature (Soseki Natsume)
  • Postwar Japanese literature (Mishima Yukio)
  • Contemporary Japanese literature (Murakami Haruki)
  • Sinophone literatures and hybrid literatures (Huang Ch'un-ming, Ng Kim-chew, Tawada Yoko, Ha Jin)
  • Contemporary Korean literature and global literatures (Han Kang)

Teaching Methods

Students are required to regularly attend the sessions and actively participate in class discussions about the texts assigned. Regarding the temporalization of these readings, please see the schedule at end of this syllabus. Student participation and preparedness are crucial. Students are therefore required to read the assigned texts in advance and must come to class ready to engage in debates and discussions.

The course is divided into different units. Each unit has a representative text at its core. We will follow a cycle of synchronous and asynchronous activities and tasks around each of these core texts: 

A) Context. During the second half of each session, the instructor will summarize the most important aspects about the historical, cultural, biographical contexts related to the assigned text to be read at home and discussed the following week. Since this will be a short, schematic summary, the instructor may also point students toward a few reliable short scholarly articles or chapters in case they wish to deepen and/or amplify any of the aspects summarized. The instructor will use a slide presentation and will make it available after the session. 

B) Reading and preliminary notes. At home, students will read the assigned text and prepare for the following session. For each unit/reading there will be specific questions posted on Aula Global, but they will always ask, in one way or another, to summarize the text (plot and/or main argument), highlight a few significant aspects (concepts, ideas, features), select a few passages, and offer some critical, personal reaction to all this. Students must (a) read the text and (b) start thinking about and drafting their preliminary responses to the questions. 

C) Discussion. During the first half of the following session, the instructor will lead the discussion about the assigned text. The questions posted on Aula Global will be used as a guide for discussion and students will share their preliminary responses. The instructor will make his own reading notes available after the session. 

D) Personal response. To close the cycle, students will write their critical, personal response to each text from home on an individual reading journal to be kept throughout the course. Each student will be given access to his/her individual document. For each unit/reading there will be specific questions posted on Aula Global. Responses can be very short: less than one page for each reading. Students can also use the reading journal to include any additional thoughts, ideas, images, drawings, etc. The instructor will visit the document from time to time to check on each student’s progress throughout the course. 

General notes and suggestions:

  • The slide presentation on the historical and biographical context will only be a quick guide—do not expect to find a full narrative in the slides. There is a reason for this: the instructor expects students to actively engage with the oral presentation to be given around the material synthesized in the slides and produce their own understanding of the context. In other words, this is not a passive activity but rather a task that students have to perform actively too.
  • For best results in critical comprehension, please follow the cycle of activities mentioned above and read the assigned texts at the right moment to generate your own preliminary but personal reaction to the text: after the instructor has provided the relevant context but before class discussion. You should ideally have one week to read each assigned text at the right time. It is always tempting to postpone your own reading until the instructor and your peers have provided theirs. In my experience, though, students who read the text first by themselves and then contrast their reading with others’ end up developing better critical skills—and performing much better in the final assignments such as synthesis exercises or book reviews.
  • Read the texts carefully and actively: summarize their plot or main ideas, underline relevant passages, draw diagrams, draft personal reactions, etc. To read carefully means also to think and write.  If you have read the text in this way, answering the questions (drafting rough, preliminary answers) should not take you more than 30 minutes.
  • Some of these texts may be quite long and/or quite difficult. Be prepared for that. Plan ahead, organize your time and allow yourselves appropriate chunks of time to read with full attention. When there is a longer text, please read ahead—do not wait until the very last days. In my experience, this is a key aspect if you want to enjoy the course.
  • Your own interpretation of a text may not necessarily coincide with other people’s interpretation of the same text. This does not mean that your reading is wrong—it only means that you have to find convincing ways to explain your points.
  • Make sure to write or revise your personal response to the text in the reading journal after the session. If you have worked properly before and during the session, polishing up your final personal response in the journal should not take you more than 10-15 minutes.

Evaluation

The instructor assumes that students will attend at least 70% of the lectures (or follow their virtual equivalent through readings and materials) and actively participate in the class discussions as part of the process of achieving the learning outcomes of the course. The final grade of the course will be calculated by combining the following aspects:

Class: 40%
This includes a proactive attitude in all aspects of the course: attendance to sessions, participation in debates and discussions, etc. This also includes a collection of personal responses to the assigned readings to be kept in an individual reading journal. The instructor will provide more details about this assignment. 

Synthesis exercise: 30%
Short exercise to be completed in class. It will include one or two general, thematic questions. It will be carried out during the final wrap-up session. The instructor will provide more details about this assignment. 

Book review: 30%
A short review (3-5 pages) of one novel or short story collection that has not been directly covered in class. The instructor will provide a list of elegible works. Each review should include a rough summary of the plot, its main literary features and 1-2 specific aspects that the student considers particularly significant within the context of the course and the previous lectures. The instructor will provide more details about this assignment. DEADLINE: Students must submit the book review by the end of the first week of the following term (see below).

Note:
Students who fail the course will be allowed to retake the final exercise in a longer, more comprehensive form. In this case, the grade of this second exercise will represent 100% of the final grade. This exercise will have to be taken during the last week of the following term. Please contact the instructor for further details.

Bibliography and information resources

General introductions for most of the sessions will be adapted from from the following works, which the students are free to consult:

  • Nolla, Albert. Literatura japonesa I & II. Barcelona: UOC, 2004.
  • Martínez-Robles, David and Carles Prado-Fonts, eds. Narrativas chinas: ficciones y otras formas de no-literatura. Barcelona: EDIUOC, 2008.
  • Mostow, Joshua. The Columbia Companion to Modern East Asian Literature. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003. (Japan section edited by Sharalyn Orbaugh; China section edited by Kirk A. Denton; Korea section edited by Bruce Fulton.)
  • Prado-Fonts, Carles. Regresar a China. Madrid: Trotta, 2019.

For each thematic unit, the instructor will indicate specific relevant bibliography.


Academic Year: 2022/23

8086 - Master in AsianPacific Studies in a Global Context

32385 - Readings on Contemporary Asian Fictions


Informaciķn de la Guía Docente

Academic Course:
2022/23
Academic Center:
808 - Masters Centre of Humanities of the Deparment of Humanities
Study:
8086 - Master in AsianPacific Studies in a Global Context
Subject:
32385 - Readings on Contemporary Asian Fictions
Ambit:
---
Credits:
5.0
Course:
1
Teaching languages:
Theory: Group 1: English
Teachers:
Carlos Prado Fonts
Teaching Period:
Second quarter
Schedule:

Presentation

This course offers a study of selected works of fiction written in modern and contemporary East Asia. From a chronological perspective, the course covers the periods between the beginning of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century—with a particular focus on the contemporary decades. From a geographical perspective, the course includes works from Japanese literature, Korean literature, Chinese literature and Sinophone literatures (Taiwan, Southeast Asia) as well as hybrid works written by Asian writers in non-Asian languages. Throughout the sessions representative works will be examined in relation to literary, intellectual and historical contexts in which they were conceived, produced and circulated.

The course will incorporate a gender perspective that will be particulary important in the selection of authors and topics to be read and discussed across the different units.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to: 

  • Display a familiarity with the main chronology and cultural/literary developments of the last 150 years in these geographical contexts.
  • Relate the literary phenomena studied with the historical and sociocultural context in which they are embedded.
  • Recognize the main differences and similarities between these different literary and cultural developments.
  • Develop a critical understanding of how literary works can be interpreted both in the East Asian context and from a transnational and interdisciplinary perspective.

Sustainable Development Goals

Quality education 
Gender equality
Reduced inequalities

Prerequisites

The course has been designed for students in an Area Studies program who have no intensive background in the literary field. Knowledge of Chinese, Japanese or Korean language is not required (all the assigned texts will be in translation), although specific references to relevant issues of language will be made occasionally for students who are familiar with these languages. In any case, these references will not be part of the evaluation. The course will be taught in English. 

Contents

Periods and writers to be read and discussed will include:

  • Modern Chinese literature (Lu Xun)
  • Interwar Chinese literature (Zhang Ailing)
  • Contemporary Chinese literature (Yu Hua)
  • Meiji and Taisho Japanese literature (Soseki Natsume)
  • Postwar Japanese literature (Mishima Yukio)
  • Contemporary Japanese literature (Murakami Haruki)
  • Sinophone literatures and hybrid literatures (Huang Ch'un-ming, Ng Kim-chew, Tawada Yoko, Ha Jin)
  • Contemporary Korean literature and global literatures (Han Kang)

Teaching Methods

Students are required to regularly attend the sessions and actively participate in class discussions about the texts assigned. Regarding the temporalization of these readings, please see the schedule at end of this syllabus. Student participation and preparedness are crucial. Students are therefore required to read the assigned texts in advance and must come to class ready to engage in debates and discussions.

The course is divided into different units. Each unit has a representative text at its core. We will follow a cycle of synchronous and asynchronous activities and tasks around each of these core texts: 

A) Context. During the second half of each session, the instructor will summarize the most important aspects about the historical, cultural, biographical contexts related to the assigned text to be read at home and discussed the following week. Since this will be a short, schematic summary, the instructor may also point students toward a few reliable short scholarly articles or chapters in case they wish to deepen and/or amplify any of the aspects summarized. The instructor will use a slide presentation and will make it available after the session. 

B) Reading and preliminary notes. At home, students will read the assigned text and prepare for the following session. For each unit/reading there will be specific questions posted on Aula Global, but they will always ask, in one way or another, to summarize the text (plot and/or main argument), highlight a few significant aspects (concepts, ideas, features), select a few passages, and offer some critical, personal reaction to all this. Students must (a) read the text and (b) start thinking about and drafting their preliminary responses to the questions. 

C) Discussion. During the first half of the following session, the instructor will lead the discussion about the assigned text. The questions posted on Aula Global will be used as a guide for discussion and students will share their preliminary responses. The instructor will make his own reading notes available after the session. 

D) Personal response. To close the cycle, students will write their critical, personal response to each text from home on an individual reading journal to be kept throughout the course. Each student will be given access to his/her individual document. For each unit/reading there will be specific questions posted on Aula Global. Responses can be very short: less than one page for each reading. Students can also use the reading journal to include any additional thoughts, ideas, images, drawings, etc. The instructor will visit the document from time to time to check on each student’s progress throughout the course. 

General notes and suggestions:

  • The slide presentation on the historical and biographical context will only be a quick guide—do not expect to find a full narrative in the slides. There is a reason for this: the instructor expects students to actively engage with the oral presentation to be given around the material synthesized in the slides and produce their own understanding of the context. In other words, this is not a passive activity but rather a task that students have to perform actively too.
  • For best results in critical comprehension, please follow the cycle of activities mentioned above and read the assigned texts at the right moment to generate your own preliminary but personal reaction to the text: after the instructor has provided the relevant context but before class discussion. You should ideally have one week to read each assigned text at the right time. It is always tempting to postpone your own reading until the instructor and your peers have provided theirs. In my experience, though, students who read the text first by themselves and then contrast their reading with others’ end up developing better critical skills—and performing much better in the final assignments such as synthesis exercises or book reviews.
  • Read the texts carefully and actively: summarize their plot or main ideas, underline relevant passages, draw diagrams, draft personal reactions, etc. To read carefully means also to think and write.  If you have read the text in this way, answering the questions (drafting rough, preliminary answers) should not take you more than 30 minutes.
  • Some of these texts may be quite long and/or quite difficult. Be prepared for that. Plan ahead, organize your time and allow yourselves appropriate chunks of time to read with full attention. When there is a longer text, please read ahead—do not wait until the very last days. In my experience, this is a key aspect if you want to enjoy the course.
  • Your own interpretation of a text may not necessarily coincide with other people’s interpretation of the same text. This does not mean that your reading is wrong—it only means that you have to find convincing ways to explain your points.
  • Make sure to write or revise your personal response to the text in the reading journal after the session. If you have worked properly before and during the session, polishing up your final personal response in the journal should not take you more than 10-15 minutes.

Evaluation

The instructor assumes that students will attend at least 70% of the lectures (or follow their virtual equivalent through readings and materials) and actively participate in the class discussions as part of the process of achieving the learning outcomes of the course. The final grade of the course will be calculated by combining the following aspects:

Class: 40%
This includes a proactive attitude in all aspects of the course: attendance to sessions, participation in debates and discussions, etc. This also includes a collection of personal responses to the assigned readings to be kept in an individual reading journal. The instructor will provide more details about this assignment. 

Synthesis exercise: 30%
Short exercise to be completed in class. It will include one or two general, thematic questions. It will be carried out during the final wrap-up session. The instructor will provide more details about this assignment. 

Book review: 30%
A short review (3-5 pages) of one novel or short story collection that has not been directly covered in class. The instructor will provide a list of elegible works. Each review should include a rough summary of the plot, its main literary features and 1-2 specific aspects that the student considers particularly significant within the context of the course and the previous lectures. The instructor will provide more details about this assignment. DEADLINE: Students must submit the book review by the end of the first week of the following term (see below).

Note:
Students who fail the course will be allowed to retake the final exercise in a longer, more comprehensive form. In this case, the grade of this second exercise will represent 100% of the final grade. This exercise will have to be taken during the last week of the following term. Please contact the instructor for further details.

Bibliography and information resources

General introductions for most of the sessions will be adapted from from the following works, which the students are free to consult:

  • Nolla, Albert. Literatura japonesa I & II. Barcelona: UOC, 2004.
  • Martínez-Robles, David and Carles Prado-Fonts, eds. Narrativas chinas: ficciones y otras formas de no-literatura. Barcelona: EDIUOC, 2008.
  • Mostow, Joshua. The Columbia Companion to Modern East Asian Literature. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003. (Japan section edited by Sharalyn Orbaugh; China section edited by Kirk A. Denton; Korea section edited by Bruce Fulton.)
  • Prado-Fonts, Carles. Regresar a China. Madrid: Trotta, 2019.

For each thematic unit, the instructor will indicate specific relevant bibliography.