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Title: Introducing modernist short stories through participatory drama to Chinese students in higher education
Author: Wang, Xiaodi
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores the possibilities of introducing modernist literature to Chinese university students by means of participatory drama. The target students are not principally those studying in literature departments but those from other disciplines. The potential space for this teaching is in the courses of general education that many universities have introduced in China in recent years. The research is premised on evidence that intelligent readers in China nonetheless find it very difficult to engage with modernist texts. The thesis begins with a literature review that explores why this is the case and proposes that the problem lies in the restricted nature of their literary education, dominated as it is by Marxist criticism and reflectionist theory. It argues for other, broader theories of literary understanding to be applied, specifically drawing from reception theory and the approach to literary study known as poetics. It also argues for the potential of participatory drama as an innovative pedagogy that could help students connect with the texts, which are far removed from the realistic texts that their high school education introduces them to. The fieldwork itself was undertaken between 2012 and 2015 with five groups of Chinese university students, three of these in Beijing and two from students following Masters courses in the University of Warwick, UK. The fieldwork was conducted in two parts. Part 1 consisted of a questionnaire and interviews to students from the teaching groups to gather information relevant to this project, chiefly concerning their reading habits and literary tastes; and Part 2 consisted of two case studies, each of which principally consisted of a three-hour long workshop on a specific modernist short story: these were How Wang-Fo was Saved by Marguerite Yourcenar and Theme of the Traitor and the Hero by Jorge Luis Borges. Each workshop was taught to all five groups. Theoretical explanations and practical descriptions are provided as to how the stories were adapted into dramatic form, along with detailed analyses of the texts themselves. This is followed, in each case, by a detailed analysis and discussion of data gathered from observation and recordings of the workshops and from subsequent interviews with students. My concluding chapter reflects upon the strengths and limitations of the research and examines the possibilities of how its positive findings could be acted upon in the future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania