East Asian Languages and Cultures | Screening Contemporary China
E201 | 9550 | Voci


Topic: Media, Culture, and Politics

Through a broad variety of visual media (cinema, TV, and the Internet), this
course considers some of the main aspects of contemporary culture and
society in the People's Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong (HK), and Taiwan.
We will view and analyze feature and documentary films, as well as TV
programs and websites from the "Three Chinas" (PRC, HK, and Taiwan) and from
other areas of the Chinese diaspora  (USA, Europe) from the early 1980s up
until today.  The overall goal of this course is helping students gain a
basic, solid knowledge and critical awareness of what it means to be
"Chinese":  how Chinese cultural identity is constructed and perceived in
the new global context, both inside and outside China.  Chineseness is an
evolving idea that is communicated and reinvented not only by those "in
control" of the media, but also by those who are generally defined as the
"audience" and have used alternative media to make their voices heard.

A course packet will include a historical timeline for the major political
and social events, guides to film/video viewing, and several critical
articles.  Participation in the class and in the web-based class discussion
is essential.  Other requirements are weekly "wrap-up" assignments (e.g.
one-page essays on an assigned topic, take-home short tests, film reviews),
a mid-term, and a final exam.  No knowledge of Chinese language is required
for this class.