ASIA 226
Chinese Film and Its Significant Others Fall 2022
Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed CHIN 226 / COMP 296 / ASIA 226

Class Details

From the first “wows” that the short films invoked at a Shanghai teahouse in 1896, Chinese films have made successive wonders that straddle reality and fantasy, technological modernity and shadow-making craft, aesthetic experiments and monetary yearnings, global investments and local interest. This seminar will explore the evolving relationships between Chinese films and five “significant others” that are central to film and film-making. Roughly following a chronological order, this course will examine 1) the effect of new technological developments (such as photography, sound, color, special FX) on film; 2) the tension between film and traditional modes of public entertainment (such as operas and shadow plays); 3) film’s social role to affirm and contest gender, national, and class identities; 4) the need to garner differing sources of financial support (state funding, cultural entrepreneurs, and transnational capital); and 5) the circulation of Chinese films in the global market. Class materials include various genre films (melodrama, horror, martial arts, comedy, etc.), directors’ notes, contemporary reviews, and scholarship in China and media studies. All materials and discussions are in English.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 20
Expected: 15
Class#: 1045
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Evaluation will be based on 1) ACTIVE in-class discussion; 2) Pre-class discussion posts based on reading and recorded lectures (Graded as Complete or Incomplete); 3) Three short papers (3-5 pages); and 4) the final project (including a presentation, and a paper or other form of project).
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: current or prospective majors in Department of Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Comp Lit majors; those with Asian Studies Concentration.
Distributions: Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
CHIN 226 Division I COMP 296 Division I ASIA 226 Division I
DPE Notes: This course provides students with the opportunity to analyze the clashes and negotiations between Western media technological modernities and Chinese indigenous understanding of shadows, visuality, and sound. By discussing various films produced from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other diaspora areas from 1920 to now, this course asks students to explore how cinema invokes (and erases) differences, and consolidates (and challenges) hegemonic notions of nation, gender, and class.
Attributes: FMST Core Courses

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