Course Information
Course title
Introduction to Historical Fictions in Postwar Taiwan 
Designated for
Curriculum Number
Curriculum Identity Number
Thursday 6,7(13:20~15:10) 
The upper limit of the number of students: 30. 
Ceiba Web Server 
Course introduction video
Table of Core Capabilities and Curriculum Planning
Table of Core Capabilities and Curriculum Planning
Course Syllabus
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Course Description

The brutal struggle between free will of humanity and historical force has long been a controversial and intriguing subject in the discussions of literature. The point, however, lies not in which side wins eventually, but in exploring what happens in the process of struggle. Viewed from the perspective of literary development, it is quite clear that each different literary movement in postwar Taiwan provides their own unique understanding of the relationship between man and history, between social agency and historical transformation, and ultimately between history and fiction.
This course will be divided into four parts, and each of them dealing with specific historical issues or events. Historical Figures Fictionalized, the first part, deals with how historical figures, such as Song Qingling [宋慶齡] and Chen Yi [陳儀], are treated in fiction. History and (Post-)Colonialsim, the second part, as well as History and Politics, the third part, both try to discuss how past experiences have been represented from different ideological point of view by different writers. Finally, History and Social Movements, the fourth part, will take a close look at how writers explain the failure (or success) of certain social movements after they have long perished. In short, all the four parts try to explore the complicated interactions among history, human experience, and literary mind.

Course Objective
This course is designed, first of all, to make students better-informed and to understand better the national history of R.O.C. in both the mainland and Taiwan. Therefore, a variety of historical events happened in prewar Mainland China will be dealt with, for example, the Hsin-hai Revolution [辛亥革命] and its aftermath, the May Fourth Movement [五四運動], and the First and Second Chinese Civil Wars [國共內戰]. Furthermore, although the course tries to examine the historical tragedies of Japanese Colonialism in Taiwan, it does not necessarily exclude the possibilities of reconciliation, especially in "A Pilgrimage to the Mountains" [〈朝山〉], the story written by aboriginal writer It Ta-os [伊替達歐索]. Besides the May Fourth Movements, the two major social movements to be discussed are the Protect Diaoyutai Island Movement [保釣運動] and the Sunflower Movement [太陽花運動], as reflected and recounted from the perspectives provided by writers like Chang Hsi-guo [張系國], Ping Lu [平路], and Chou Fen-ling [周芬伶]. A list of possible questions to be discussed and polemicized might include: What is the relationship between history and literary fiction? What is the nature of writers' historical vision? What is the role played by individuals in history? Can they resist the socio-political and economic forces of history? If these questions are answerable, hopefully historical fiction will be made more understandable, and also more valuable. 
Course Requirement
1. Class attendance is always important, and unexcused absences will affect grades.
2. Grades will be computed according to the following: mid-term paper (30%), final paper (30%), oral presentation and class participation (40%).
3. All participants are required to submit midterm and final papers with the minimum length of 3 pages of typed A 4 paper (single-spaced, 5 pages maximum).
4. In most cases, midterm and final papers are written on the basis of oral presentations, but the writing should follow the academic format with which the students are the most familiar (for example, MLA or APA).
5. The frequency of oral presentations will depend on the number of the students who are enrolled in.
Student Workload (expected study time outside of class per week)
Office Hours
Further Readings
(1) Wang, David Der-wen. The Monster That Is History: History, Violence, and
Fictional Writing in Twentieth-
Century China. New York: Columbia UP, 2004.
(2) Gay, Peter. Savage Reprisals: Bleak House, Madame Bovary, Buddenbrooks.
New York: Norton, 2003.
(3) LaCapara, Dominick. History and Criticism. New York: Cornell UP, 1985.
(4) LaCapara, Dominick. History, Politics, and the Novel. New York: Cornell
UP, 1987.
(5) White, Hayden. The Fiction of Narrative. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP,
Designated reading
1. Assigned Readings
Week 3~4 -- Ping Lu, Love and Revolution: A Novel About Song Qingling and Sun Yat-sen. New York: Columbia UP, 2008.
Week 5 -- Guo Songfen, "Brightly Shine the Stars Tonight" in Running Mother and Other Stories. New York: Columbia UP, 2008.
Week 6 -- Hu, Chang-sung. “The Commander's Last Spring.” in Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series. Vol. 23. Santa Barbara: U of California, Santa Barbara, 2008.
Week 7 -- Wu, Zhuoliu. The Orphan of Asia. New York: Columbia UP, 2006.
Week 8 -- It Ta-os, "A Pilgrimage to the Mountains." in Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series. Vol. 18. Santa Barbara: U of California, Santa Barbara, 2006.
Week 10-- Liu Ta-jen, “Azaleas Wept Blood.” in Death in a Cornfield. Hong Kong: Oxford UP, 1994.
Week 11 -- Chen, Ying-chen. “The Country Village Teacher.” Exiles at Home: Stories by Chen Ying-chen. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, U of Michigan, 2002.
Week 12 -- Lee Chi-yuan, "Love after the Lifting of Martial Law." in Taiwan Literature in Chinese and English. Taipei: Commonwealth Publishing, 2009.
Week 13 -- Pai Hsien-yung, "Winter Nights." in Taipei People. Hong Kong: The Chinese UP, 2000.
Week 14 -- Chang Hsi-kuo, "Red Boy." in The Unbroken Chain: An Anthology of Taiwan Fiction since 1926. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1983.
Week 15 -- Chen Ruo-xi, “Nixon’s Press Corps”[陳若曦 〈尼克森的記者團〉]
Week 16 -- Chou Fen-ling, "The Night of the Great Retreat." in The Taipei Chinese Pen Vol. 174. August 2015.
Week 17 -- “The General's Monument”[張大春 〈將軍碑〉]  
Explanations for the conditions
Semester paper 
minimum length of 6 pages of typed A 4 paper (single-spaced, 8 pages maximum) 
Class participation and oral presentation 
Unexcused absences might affect your semester grade.  
Week 1
09/15  中秋節放假(Holiday) 
Week 2
9/22  Course Introduction 
Week 3
09/29  Love and Revolution: A Novel About Song Qingling and Sun Yat-sen (page 1 to 80), by Ping Lu [平路,《行道天涯》] 
Week 4
10/06  Love and Revolution: A Novel About Song Qingling and Sun Yat-sen (page 81 to 168), by Ping Lu 
Week 5
10/13  "Brightly Shine the Stars Tonight" by Guo Songfen [郭松棻,〈今夜星光燦爛〉] 
Week 6
10/20  "The Commander's Last Spring" by Hu Chang-sung [胡長松,〈總司令最後的春天〉] 
Week 7
10/27  The Orphan of Asia by Wu Zhuoliu [吳濁流,《亞細亞的孤兒》]
Required Parts:
English version, p. 54-154
Chinese version, p. 67-182 
Week 8
11/03  "A Pilgrimage to the Mountains" by It Ta-os [伊替達歐索,〈朝山〉] 
Week 9
11/10  Mid-term exam week (not having class) 
Week 10
11/17  "Azaleas Wept Blood" by Liu Ta-jen [劉大任,〈杜鵑泣血〉] 
Week 11
11/24  "Country Village Teacher" by Chen Ying-chen [陳映真,〈鄉村的教師〉] 
Week 12
12/01  " Love after the Lifting of Martial Law" by Lee Chi-yuan [李啟源,〈解嚴時代的愛情〉] 
Week 13
12/08  "Winter Nights" by Pai Hsien-yung [白先勇,〈冬夜〉] 
Week 14
12/15  "Red Boy" by Chang Hsi-kuo [張系國,〈紅孩兒〉] 
Week 15
12/22  Chen Ruo-xi, “Nixon’s Press Corps”[陳若曦 〈尼克森的記者團〉] 
Week 16
12/29  "The Night of the Great Retreat" by Chou Fen-ling [周芬伶,〈大撤退之夜〉] 
Week 17
01/05  “The General's Monument”[張大春 〈將軍碑〉] 
Week 18
01/18  Final exam week (not having class)