This course introduces students to Vietnamese culture and history by means of a direct encounter with Vietnamese writing. Lectures and background readings provide the context for the interpretation of the poetry, prose and memoirs that we read. The emphasis will be placed on understanding the cultural significance of these works, rather than on literary criticism. Readings follow the chronological development of Vietnamese literature and philosophy, and are guided by five major themes:
Who Are the Vietnamese People?
Vietnamese Philosophy and World View
Development of the Language
Development of National Consciousness
The Culture of War.
Among the works we read are the narrative poem, The Tale of Kieu by Nguyen Dieu; the poetry of Ho Xuan Huong, an earthy 18th-19th century poetess; and the satirical novel about French colonialism, Dumb Luck. We also read one of the most-acclaimed novels about the Vietnam War, The Sorrow of War , by Bao Ninh.
This course is being offered in Spring 2005 as History 190: Topics in World History. For further information on the course please contact Dr. Quinn-Judge at firstname.lastname@example.org.