ASIAN 470 - Saga of the Three Kingdoms: From History to Videogames
Winter 2017, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
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Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
At least one course in Chinese history, literature, or culture; some background in literary criticism recommended.
May not be repeated for credit.
Rackham Information:
Rackham credit requires additional work.
Primary Instructor:


Constant, violent warfare characterized the “Three Kingdoms” period (220-280 CE), as valiant men exhausted their wits and their strength in an ultimate battle to make their kingdom – Wei, Shu, or Wu – the legitimate successor of the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE). Stories of this period have captured the imagination of people – in China and throughout East Asia – for almost two millennia, in the pages of novels, on the theatrical stage, in shrines, and in oral storytelling. The past several decades, through translations, films, and gaming, have seen an international explosion of interest in these stories.

This course seeks to answer two questions: First, what makes this story endure? And, second, how does it transform as it moves through time and space, and across media? We’ll attempt to answer these questions through critical engagement with what is called China’s first novel, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguo yanyi, ca. 1522), as well as with supplementary texts that include both academic (criticism, commentary, theory) and popular (fan websites, card games, collectibles) materials.

Course Requirements:

  • Participation/Quizzes 20%
  • Reading Journal or Reading Groups 30%
  • Critical Essays 20% (Two assignments, 10% each)
  • Final Project 30%

Intended Audience:

This is an upper-level undergraduate course, students are expected to have some familiarity with both China and college-level literary inquiry.

To receive graduate credit, you will need to undertake research in Chinese language sources and complete a seminar paper (25 pp.) at the end of the course in lieu of the final project.

Class Format:

Two 90-minute meetings weekly


ASIAN 470 - Saga of the Three Kingdoms: From History to Videogames
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM

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