ASIAN 472 - Topics in Chinese Studies
Fall 2022, Section 001 - Interpreting the Zhuangzi
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
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May be elected twice for credit.
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The course focuses on one of the principal classics of ancient Chinese philosophy, the Zhuangzi (aka the Chuang-Tzu). Written in a humorous style, filled with fables, inside jokes, and metaphors, the work later came to be considered as one of the foundational texts of Daoism. Despite its jocular style of writing, the work touches on themes that are fundamental to the human condition, such as the distinction between “good” and “bad,” human and non-human, and life and death. As different characters grapple with these questions, they also simultaneously reflect on the most crucial question of all: how to live with joy in a world that is full of adversity. Although the focus of the course is the Zhuangzi itself, we will also contextualize the text within the broader classical Chinese philosophical tradition. Given that so much of what goes by the name "classical Chinese philosophy" is actively engaged in political discourse, this intertextual approach will also allow us to reflect on the extent to which many of the tales in the Zhuangzi could also be read as political satire.

Intended Audience:

Upper-level undergraduate and graduate students

Class Format:

One 3-hour meeting weekly


ASIAN 472 - Topics in Chinese Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
Th 4:00PM - 7:00PM

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