Exploration through Literature
A Conversation with Clare Pearson
About the Event
Join us for a conversation with Clare Pearson exploring the classic Ming Chinese novel, Journey to the West.
Deeply embedded in Chinese culture and the teachings of the “three religions,” Journey is a mythologized form of the historical 17-year walking journey of Tang era Buddhist monk Xuanzang from China to India in search of scriptures. Profoundly comic yet with a serious underpinning, Journey is beloved in China and still inspires operas, video games, and art based on the primary characters.
Our conversation will explore the novel together with its most important cultural contexts.
Basic Program Instructor
Clare Pearson joined the Basic Program staff in 1997 after ten years of undergraduate teaching at the University of Chicago and the honors college at Valparaiso University. She did her undergraduate and graduate work with the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, where she worked on the intersections of literature and philosophy with special attention to the interrelationship of literature and ethics. While in graduate school, she studied in Germany on a DAAD fellowship, then taught for three years in Germany in a study-abroad program for American undergraduates. She has given papers and published articles on Martin Heidegger and lectures regularly for the Basic Program. In addition to her work in higher education, she also spent a year as lead teacher and acting principal at a Chicago area alternative high school. From 2004 to 2008, she chaired the Basic Program and co-designed the Asian Classics program, which she also chaired from 2006 to early 2009. She is the 2008 recipient of the Graham School Excellence in Teaching Award for the Basic Program, and also teaches in the Humanities and Philosophy Department at Oakton Community College.