Book & Film Groups

National Narratives, Personal Memories: Ai Weiwei’s 1000 Years of Sorrows

Ai Weiwei's 2020 memoir 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows  pays homage to his father Ai Qing, one of China's leading 20th century poets, at the same time providing critical social and historical context for both his father's and his careers as artists and sociopolitical commentators. The memoir is a fascinating and complex intertwining of narratives and perspectives on China from the early Mao years to the Xi Jinping Era, offering windows for instruction in social studies, art history, and world literature. This 5-week asynchronous special topics course will focus on selected chapters in Ai Weiwei's memoir, combined with supplemental readings, to explore the political and social context of the father's and son's roles as voices of conscience for their generation