900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301
This course focuses on the rites of passage practiced by the Chinese in and outside China. The rites of passage includes the life-cycle rituals of birth-marriage-death, seasonal festivals, and other types like the rite of "first." Chinese ritual symbols like bell, flute, pig and cloud will be analyzed. Related issues like beliefs, tales, gender, age, and ethnicity will be studied in depth. Participants will learn and apply related ideas from various disciplines like folkloristics, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, linguistics, history and religious studies. The readings include translations of the ancient ritual books and contemporary studies. Historical and cultural context will be emphasized in understanding the Chinese everyday ritual practices. The goal of the course is to provide the students a platform to learn the subject as a body of knowledge, and as a disciplinary field, and to be equipped with some theories in understanding the making and maintaining of identity in multicultural environments.
Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society