Professor Xudong Zhang | W: 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
This seminar examines the development of Chinese literature in the so-called "Opening and Reforms Era" (1978-) with a focus on fiction, including its film adaptation and, when applicable, its ripple effect in everyday life and in the arena of intellectual political debates and campaigns. We will interrogate this period's obsession with formal innovation; its active participation in the profound change in the collective moral orientation and value system; and its ever deepening dialogue with world literature as well as with various native traditions (ranging from classical to folkloric to revolutionary). Of particular interest will be the close analysis of the radical expansion of narrative, representational and allegorical capacity vis-a-vis the historical reality of contemporary China. Major phenomena and authors to be analyzed include the Misty Poetry movement; the "Literature of Reflections" (fansi wenxue); the Search for Roots movement; the "Avant-Garde" or "Experimental" fiction; and, last but not least, the persistence or recurrence of realism throughout these decades. Roughly following a literary-historical chronology of Post-Mao Chinese development of literature, art and intellectual discourse, the seminar is nonetheless analytical and critical in nature, bent on explicating the formal-structural complexity of literary-cinematic texts in their own socioeconomic contexts. The seminar will be co-taught with Su Tong, Global Distinguished Writer/Scholar in Residence at NYU China House for Fall 2019.