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John Zaixin Zhang

 
 
 

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Selected Short Stories and Western Culture  

2015-01-07 15:51:15|  分类: +短篇小说第二课 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Selected Short Stories and Western Culture              

Zhang Zaixin

Course Objectives

       This course aims to help students to better understand Western culture through films and short stories (12 and 16 of them, respectively). We are going to discuss issues like desire, man and woman, marriage and family, capital and commodity, society and tradition, racial conflict, reality and representation, man versus nature, etc. And we are going to study some critical theories on these issues.

Textbooks    

Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today: A User-friendly Guide. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2006.

Zhang Zaixin, Reading the Short Story in English. FLTRP, 2009.

Requirements and Grades

       1. Fifteen-minute presentation on an assigned movie (pair work), 15%;

       2. Active participation in discussion, 15%;

       3. Ten-page, double-spaced term paper on a movie or a short story (with literature review, theoretical framework, MLA documentation), 70%.

Tentative Schedule

Week 1  Introduction: Reading Film/Short Story to Discover Meaning

              Film clip (from The Unbearable Lightness of Being)

                         Kate Chopin, “The Kiss.”

Weeks 2-3    Desire

            Presentation 1 (Week 2): Tadpole (DVD) – The Oedipus Complex

 Frank O’Connor, “My Oedipus Complex”;

            Presentation 2 (Week 3): Notes on a Scandal (DVD) – Lesbianism

 Katherine Mansfield, “Feuille d’Album.”

Reading: Tyson, Chapter 2 “Psychoanalytical Criticism.” Grosz, Jacques Lacan: A Feminist Introduction (Blog).

Week 4  Man and Woman

            Presentation 3: The Ugly Truth (DVD) – Woman as Body

            Presentation 4: Elegy (DVD) – Male Gaze, Fear of Intimacy, Act Your Age

John Collier, “The Chaser.” Supplementary Story (handout): “The Model” by Bernard Malamud

Reading: Tyson, Chapter 4 “Feminism”; Chandler, Daniel. “Notes on ‘The Gaze’” (Blog); Laz, Cheryl. “Act Your Age” (Blog).

Weeks 5-6    Marriage and Family

           Presentation 5 Down with Love (DVD) – Feminism

 Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour.”

Supplementary Story (handout):

“I Could See the Smallest Things” by Raymond Carver

            Reading: Tyson, “Feminist Criticism.”

            Presentation 6: Gigli (DVD) – Feminism, Gender as Performance

John Updike, “Unstuck.”

            Reading: Tyson, Chapter 10, “Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Criticism.”

Weeks 7-8       Capital and Commodity

             Presentation 7 (Week 7): Indecent Proposal (DVD) – Capital and Commodity

Max Shulman, “Love is a Fallacy”; Mark Twain, “The ?1,000,000 Bank-Note.”

D. H. Lawrence, “The Rocking-Horse Winner.”

 Reading: Tyson, Chapter 3 “Marxist Criticism.”

Weeks 9-10  Society and Tradition

             Presentation 8 (Week 9): The Pursuit of Happyness (DVD) – The American Dream

James Joyce, “The Boarding House”; William E. Barrett, “Se?or Payroll.”

Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery.”

Week 11       May Day

Week 12       Racial Conflict

            Presentation 9: Ghosts of Mississippi (DVD) - Racism

  Somerset Maugham, “Mr. Know-All.”

Reading: Tyson, Chapter 12 “Postcolonial Criticism.”

Weeks 13-14   Reality and Representation

            Presentation 10 (Week 13): Changeling (DVD) - Power and Truth

O. Henry, “The Last Leaf.”

Supplementary Story (handout): “The Scoop” by James T. Farrell

Reading: Tyson, Chapter 8, “Deconstructive Criticism,” Chapter 9, “New Historicism and Cultural Criticism”; Zhang on Tyson’s misreading of deconstruction and poststructuralist cultural criticism (blog).

            Presentations 11&12 (Week 14): The Truman Show (DVD) and Chicago (DVD) Postmodernism

Milos Macourek, “Jacob’s Chicken”; Julio Cortazar, “Continuity of Parks.”

Reading: Eagleton, Chapter 4, “Post-Structuralism”; Selden, Chapters 7 and 8, “Poststructuralist Theories,” “Postmodernist Theories.”

Week 15       Report on a one-page outline for the term paper

Week 16       Term paper due

Academic Honesty

       To plagiarize is to use someone else’s work (words, ideas, etc, published or unpublished) as if it was one’s own. Any act of plagiarism in this class will be reported to the dean.

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