Modern Chinese literature was, from the very start, a revolutionary project. In reinventing the Chinese language, 20th century writers such as Lu Xun attempted to fundamentally rewrite Chinese social and political realities. It was also a pedagogical project: instructing readers not only about how to be "Chinese" in a time of imperial incursion and political turmoil, but how to be "modern" in all aspects of their lives, from growing up, to falling in love, to changing the world, to dying. To a shocking degree, the project succeeded. In this course, we will explore the historical world out of which modern Chinese literature emerged; and how this linguistic revolution helped to produce modern China, focusing in particular on the problems of gender, youth, and social marginality. We will read short stories and essays in Chinese by many of the greatest writers and public intellectuals of the twentieth century, including Lu Xun, Shen Congwen, Ding Ling, and Eileen Chang. We will also watch and analyze a select group of cinematic masterworks from the same period. We will conclude the semester with a set of stories and films produced in the aftermath of war and the communist revolution of 1949 that reveal the continuing resonance, as well as showing the tragic limits of this project's utopian aspirations, and perhaps even questioning the coherence of "China" and "Chineseness" as its organizing principle. Prerequisites: Much of the reading in the course will be in the original Chinese texts. Good reading knowledge of modern Chinese, or at the very least, concurrent enrollment in Chinese 100A/AX is thus a requirement for admission to the course. Prior college level work in literature is also helpful.