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Modern Chinese Literature: The Exile Experience



For Chinese Studies majors.

Literature in exile and exile in literature are of all times and places. “Chinese” examples include the archetypal exile-cum-poet Qu Yuan, banished to the countryisde of Chu in antiquity, and large-scale wartime migration from the mainland to Taiwan in the 1940s; but also the “spiritual exile” – and sometimes physical exile within the nation’s borders – forced on texts and authors that were incompatible with Maoist orthodoxy in the People’s Republic of China up until the 1980s.

For the PRC, the government’s crackdown on the 1989 Protest Movement dramatically heightened the relevance of literatures of exile and related categories such as banishment, diaspora, and “wandering” or “drifting” overseas through foreign lands. What does the exile perspective – theoretical, literary-textual, sociological – tell us about modern Chinese literature and its socio-cultural contexts, and how universal or particular can the exile experience be?


Wednesday from 11.00-13.00 in Vrieshof2/002. Also see the schedule for further information.


State of the Field Seminar


  • 10 EC x 28 = ca 280 hours – 10 × 2 = 20 contact hours – ca 10 × 10 = ca 100 hours in preparation for class meetings – ca 40 hours on brief written work (position papers) – ca 40 hours on oral presentations – ca 80 hours on term paper


  • in-depth understanding of the exile experience in Chinese literature, within the contours of Chinese (literary) history – reflection on the above point within an Area Studies framework – development of generic academic skills on the graduate level


A wide variety of readings, all available through the UL library


  • Brief written work, for 25% of the final mark – Oral presentations, for 25% – Term paper, for 50% – The term paper must be a pass or higher to pass the course


Maghiel van Crevel, email:


Register through uSis


This course may use Blackboard