Professor of Chinese
Carrie Reed has a PhD from University of Washington in pre-modern Chinese Literature and has been at Middlebury since 1995. She teaches courses in the Chinese language and pre-modern Chinese prose and poetry. Outside the department, she teaches a course in world literature for the Comparative Literature Program, and in ancient mythologies and cosmologies for the First Year Seminar program. She has served as the Director of the East Asian Studies Program and twice as the Chair of the Chinese department.
Carrie has published two Chinese textbooks, two monographs on the Tang dynasty miscellany, Youyang zazu, and a number of articles on ancient tattoo and on the informal narrative forms, zhiguai and chuanqi. Her most recent research has focused on medieval folktales that made their way from India to China. She is currently working on a full translation of the Youyang zazu, as well as a series of children’s stories retold from ancient Chinese tales.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
CHNS 0102 - Continued Beginning Chinese
An intensive continuation of CHNS 0101, this course is required of those wishing to take CHNS 0103 in the spring. Students may anticipate learning a significant amount of new vocabulary, sentence patterns and idiomatic expressions. Skits, oral presentations, writing assignments, and cultural activities are also part of this course. (CHNS 0101)
Winter 2012, Winter 2014
CHNS 0201 - Intermed Chinese ▲
This course is designed to enable the student to converse in everyday Chinese and to read simple texts in Chinese (both traditional and simplified characters). Discussion of assigned readings will be conducted primarily in Chinese. Familiarity with the vocabulary and grammar introduced in CHNS 0101, CHNS 0102, and CHNS 0103 is assumed. Grammatical explanations, written exercises, dictation quizzes, sentence patterns, oral drill, and CD's will accompany assignments. By the completion of CHNS 0202, which follows CHNS 0201 directly, students should be able to read and write approximately 1,200 characters. (CHNS 0103 or equivalent) 5 hrs. lect., 1 hr. drill
Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2013, Fall 2014
CHNS 0202 - Intermediate Chinese II
This course is a continuation of the first term's work, with the class conducted primarily in Chinese. (CHNS 0201) 5 hrs. lect., 1 hr. drill
Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2014
CHNS 0219 - Chinese Literary Tradition ▲
The Chinese Literary Tradition (in translation)
This course, an introduction to the works of literature that formed the basis of traditional Chinese culture, is a discussion-based seminar. It focuses first on texts written in classical Chinese from the earliest times up through the Song dynasty, including selections from early poetry and history, Daoist classics, stories of the strange, and Tang Dynasty poetry by Wang Wei, Li Bai and Du Fu. These texts shaped the traditional Chinese understanding of the world, and provided models of what was perceived to be powerful, beautiful language. In the second part of the course we will explore narratives written in the vernacular language, focusing on the literary significance and aesthetic value of drama, stories and novels long treasured by the Chinese. Students will gain a better understanding of traditional Chinese literary values, as well as Chinese society and worldviews. This class is not intended for native Chinese students who have studied Chinese literature in high school classes in China. (No background in Chinese culture or language needed.) 3 hrs. lect./disc.
Fall 2011, Fall 2014
CHNS 0325 - Traditional Chinese Poetry
Traditional Chinese Poetry (in translation)
Introducing the basics of Chinese poetics, this junior/sophomore discussion-based seminar explores inter-connections across a wide spectrum of Chinese poetry belonging to a vibrant tradition spanning more than two thousand years--folk songs; court rhapsodies; courtesan love poems; extended allegorical fantasies; ballads and lyric verse of love, war, friendship, loss, and separation. Landscape, travel, romantic and metaphysical poems by masters such as Qu Yuan, Tao Yuanming, Wang Wei, Li Bai, Du Fu, Su Dongpo and Li Qingzhao will be studied. We will analyze poetic expression ranging from poetic genres following strict formal conventions to relatively free-form verse. Traditional Chinese literary theories regarding poetry and its appreciation will be considered, yet students will also be encouraged to apply other critical approaches. (Either CHNS 0219 or CHNS 0220, or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect.
Spring 2012, Spring 2014
CHNS 0500 - Independent Project ▲ ▹
Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Winter 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
CHNS 0700 - Senior Essay ▲
Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Winter 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Fall 2014
CHNS 0701 - Senior Thesis Research ▲
Senior Thesis Proposal
Fall 2013, Fall 2014
CHNS 0702 - Senior Thesis
FYSE 1049 - Myth & Cosmology
Myth and Cosmology
In this seminar we will trace some of the fundamental concepts underlying ancient ways of approaching the world. We will compare the Chinese, Biblical, Hindu, Navajo, and Maori creation traditions, the divination cultures of East Asian and African nations, and the rich symbolism that emerged out of some of the major centers of ancient civilization. Through our reading of myths, scholarly writings, and literary works, we will explore the ways China and various other cultures understood and dealt with the world around them, from flood myths to astrology, from the Yijing to omens and geomancy. 3 hrs. sem.
Fall 2010, Fall 2013
LITP 0101 - Intro to World Literature
This course is an introduction to the critical analysis of imaginative literature of the world, the dissemination of themes and myths, and the role of translation as the medium for reaching different cultures. Through the careful reading of selected classic texts from a range of Western and non-Western cultures, students will deepen their understanding and appreciation of the particular texts under consideration, while developing a critical vocabulary with which to discuss and write about these texts, both as unique artistic achievements of individual and empathetic imagination and as works affected by, but also transcending their historical periods. 3 hrs. lect./disc.CMP CW LIT
Expertise and Research Interests
Tang dynasty Informal Literature
Pre-Qin to Tang Philosophical and Poetic texts
Medieval Indian Story Literature
Comparative Ancient Mythologies