Dr. Junjie Luo, East Asian Studies

Nature as Represented in Traditional Chinese Fiction

 Based on his experiences at V & R, Junjie Luo plans to revise the syllabus of his course, “Traditional Chinese Fiction.” The revised course syllabus will focus on the representation of the interactions between humans and nature in classical Chinese novels. It is tentatively titled “Nature as Represented in Traditional Chinese Fiction.” Attending V & R has given him new perspectives that will enable him to revise this course.

The proposed course will introduce students to the major works of traditional Chinese fiction by examining how nature is depicted in novels and stories. The course will be divided into three sections, focusing on different themes for each section. The first section will examine the relationship between human beings and animals in these fictional works. The second section will focus on the fictional depictions of humans’ use of natural resources. The final section will discuss how Chinese novels portray localized ecological systems within a global perspective. Relevant theoretical works on ecocriticism will be introduced in each section. This course aims to familiarize students with representative works of traditional Chinese fiction and help students to develop the skills necessary to analyze these literary texts from an ecocritical perspective. The instructor will use pop quizzes, an essay exam, an explication de texte, and a final paper project to evaluate students’ learning. At the end of the course, students will understand that the relationships between humans and nature that are depicted in traditional Chinese novels continued to change due to the changing cultural and historical contexts.