LITR 036CH. Women’s Literature in Premodern China
(Cross-listed as CHIN 036 )
Contrary to our stereotypes about the silent, invisible woman of premodern China, women actually wrote and published their work in unprecedented numbers from the late 16th century to the early 20th century. This course will explore the literary and historical significance of this output, which mainly took the form of poetry and prefaces to poetry collections, letters, some drama, and novels in verse, and which was produced primarily by gentry women (e.g. women from elite families), courtesans, and nuns. A central theme will be the place and problem of women’s poetry in a male-dominated literary tradition and society. Topics to be addressed include the social function of poetry and women’s literary networks, women’s relationship to the publishing market as writers, editors, and readers, the forces driving male interest in women’s writing at certain historical moments, and the changing ideas about what kinds of styles of past poets should be offered to boudoir poets as a repertoire of available choices to read and imitate.
Eligible for ASIA
Catalog chapter: Modern Languages and Literatures: Literatures in Translation
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/modern-languages-literatures
Check the Fall 2020 Schedule of Courses
Check the Spring 2021 Schedule of Courses