ASIA 55: Kunfu: Concept of Heroism in Chinese Culture
Kung-fu has become a global phenomenon, but its central place in the traditional culture of China remains unknown to most of the world. This course will explore the rich and complex traditions of kung-fu in relation to the concept of the heroism (xia) from ancient to modern times. The course will be divided into three parts: part I focuses on the reflection of what a hero is in Chinese tradition, and this search for the definitions of “hero” will be approached from the ideas of what the “ideal man” is from Confucian terms comparing to Emerson’s ideas of “The American Scholars”; part II focuses on how the heroic story is told; and part III focuses on how a pursuit of heroism can go wrong. The course material will include historical biographies, kung-fu novels, theater, to kung-fu films. PH, BN.