In the weeks leading up to the 2017 Flexner Lectures, we're highlighting the many engaging courses being offered in conjunction with Brown University Professor Bonnie Honig's residency and lectures. "Refusal: Chinese Civil Resistance in Literature and Films" is taught by Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures Yonglin Jiang.
This seminar examines Chinese civil resistance, an important form of human refusal — the expression and action of refusing and denying — through works of Chinese literature and film, as well as critical work in the field, including the Flexner Lectures delivered by the leading scholar of democratic, feminist and legal theory Bonnie Honig of Brown University.
We will address three sets of questions: 1) What is refusal and civil resistance, and what are the general experiences and themes of civil resistance in world communities? 2) What are the Chinese political, social, and cultural powers that shape and enforce class, gender, and ethnic injustice, and how do the Chinese people engage in civil resistance in either everyday life or organized social movements? 3) In what ways is Chinese civil resistance different from and similar to that in other societies and cultures?
Through weekly reading and writing assignments and class discussions, including the attendance at the Flexner Lectures, students will not only become familiar with general concepts and issues of civil resistance, the Chinese values, experiences, and representations of civil resistance, and the differences and similarities between the Chinese and other societies, but also hone their skills in critical thinking, clear and analytical writing, and effective presentation. Texts include the novels of To Live by Yu Hua, Farewell My Concubine by Lillian Lee, and their film adaptations.
Established in honor of Mary Flexner, a Bryn Mawr graduate of the class of 1895, the Flexner Lectureship has brought some of the world’s best-known humanists to campus for a brief residency. In addition to their public lectures, holders of the Mary Flexner Lectureship often lead seminars or discussions with undergraduate and graduate students. By agreement with Bryn Mawr, the Flexner Lectures are subsequently published by Harvard University Press.