Week 5: Sept. 24 and Sept. 26

Assignments: check you have done all the steps in this document by Monday, Sept. 23, 5pm.

Tuesday, Sept. 24: Poetry on Tea from the Tang Dynasty (618-907)

Prepare for Tuesday’s class:

  1. Refresh your memory on what we have seen from the Method so far: repetitions, strands, binaries, and anomalies
  2. No reading to prepare BUT use the extra time to go through your previous blog posts and your website and make improvements, based on feedback or on new insights you gained.
        • Remember all your written work remains open for rewriting until the very end of the semester. If you are prepared to put in the extra work to become a better writer, it will show in the quality of your work (and your grade).
        • Texts for Tuesday’s class (copies will be provided in class) (PDF)
  3. OPTIONAL EXTRA: If you want to read more about the literary requirements of Tang Chinese poetry, you can find out more in the Part 4: “The Tang Dynasty” in this book: Cai, Zong-qi. How to Read Chinese Poetry : A Guided Anthology. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. (available through Trexler library as an e-book).
  4. Slides (Gdrive link)

Thursday, Sept. 26: “The Debate Between Mr. Tea and Mr. Alcohol”

  • Start thinking about questions you’d like to ask Professor Benn! He is our guest via videolink on Tuesday Oct. 1.
  • “The Debate between Mr. Tea and Mr. Alcohol,” translation based on Chen, Tsu-lung. 1961. “Note on Wang Fu’s Cha Chiu Lun,” Sinologica 6: 271–87, collated with excerpts and notes from James Benn, Tea in China: A Religious and Cultural History, Honolulu: Univ. of Hawaii Press, 2015.(PDF)
        • If you’re curious: link to Chinese text
        • If you’re curious: digital version of one of the original manuscripts on the International Dunhuang Project (IDP) website. Move the text by clicking on the text in the top image window. We will talk more in class about the Dunhuang manuscripts, and their importance.
  • Read the translation of this tenth-century manuscript, and think about the arguments used by Mr. Tea and Mr. Alcohol respectively use? Which ones are convincing? What does the existence of this kind of text tell us about 9th-10th Century China? (And which words did you have to look up?)
  • OPTIONAL EXTRA: excerpt from a video documentary about the Dunhuang Caves (YouTube link)
  • Slides (Gdrive link)
  • Info about first essay (Gdrive link)