Scott Gregory is a scholar of Chinese literature, with special interest in late imperial vernacular fiction and its intersection with the culture of print. He is currently working on a book manuscript concerning different manifestations of the sixteenth-century work The Water Margin and the reading practices surrounding them. He has also published on how novels of the Ming Dynasty conceived of their own historical era. He obtained his PhD from Princeton University in 2012. Before coming to Arizona, he spent two years as a visiting fellow at the National University of Singapore. He has also lived in Taipei and Kyoto.
Introduces you to traditional Chinese civilization for the purposes of this course defined as: "the totality of a culture's perception of itself and the world it occupies and the ways in which that self-perception is expressed in society, politics, religion, philosophy, and the arts." The content of the course is arranged in thematic units, each unit being placed in the context of a specific historical period. We will examine the religious symbolism of ancient Chinese bronze vessels, Chinese theories of nature based on concepts like Yin and Yang, the great medieval religions of Taoism and Buddhism, and other topics. Over the semester you will learn to think more like the Chinese of centuries past to exercise your imagination, and to explore a world that is different from your own.
For centuries, Chinese people have thrilled to the adventures of characters such as the Monkey King, Lord Guan, and Wu Song the tiger killer. All of these stories are found in classic novels printed in sixteenth century. The exciting plots and plain-speech storyteller style of these novels have made them accessible in the original to readers even today. Increasingly, however, such stories have found fame throughout Asia and the world through popular culture and new media adaptations. In this course, we will examine both the originals (in translation) and the modern adaptations. We will explore the historical setting of the sixteenth- century Ming dynasty in which the novels were first created, as well as recent films and other cultural creations based on them. The aim will be to uncover the cultural dynamics that allow for such creativity and fluidity. Topics may include Chinese religions, print and popular culture, literary and cross-cultural adaptation, film, graphic novels/manga, video games, and taboos against sex and violence. Readings will be primarily in English; supplementary/alternative readings, including portions of the original texts as well as secondary scholarship, will be made available for readers of Asian languages upon request.