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BA East Asian Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Modern Chinese Literature and Cinema

Unit code CHIN12122
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Chinese Studies
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This module introduces first-year students to crucial texts in modern Chinese literature and cinema. By reading and viewing a variety of novels, short stories, poems, essays, and films, we will trace the development of literary and cinematic forms through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. As we discuss various transformative moments in modern Chinese literary and cinematic history, we will explore how writers and filmmakers respond not only to traditional Chinese aesthetics but also to transnational impacts, not least modernism, in their own pursuit of artistic innovation. We will situate select works of art, too, within sundry political and historical contexts. The goal is to see how the works are shaped by different social factors and, conversely, how narratives of modern Chinese history and culture are, themselves, mediated and reimagined in fiction. A variety of primary texts will be paired with relevant secondary scholarship. Close reading and audiovisual analysis will be our privileged methods, and they constitute key parts of our in-class discussion. All readings are in English. No prior knowledge of the Chinese language required, though students with adequate reading and listening comprehension are encouraged to explore the writings in the original and the films without subtitles.

Aims

This course aims to:

  • Familiarise students with crucial texts in modern Chinese literature and cinema from the early twenty century through to the early twenty-first century;
  • Cultivate students’ skills of close reading and audiovisual analysis;
  • Develop students’ ability to analyse texts of Chinese literature and cinema through English translation in conjunction with knowledge about the historical contexts in which they were produced; and
  • Develop students’ critical skills in reading, thinking, writing, and presenting.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • show familiarity with key authors and texts of modern Chinese literature and cinema;
  • demonstrate understanding of how literature and cinema are shaped by varied cultural and historical contexts;
  • explain how specific sites have impacted the stylistics, content, and reception of modern Chinese literature and cinema; and
  • conceptualize how our views of Chinese history might themselves be shaped by artistic creations.

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • read, view, discuss, and analyse primary texts of modern Chinese literature and cinema;
  • relate literature and cinema to their appropriate historical and social contexts;
  • think critically and engage in guided discussions;
  • familiar themselves and critically engage with a variety of secondary literature in the field of Chinese literature and cinema; and
  • deliver coherent and persuasive arguments based on textual evidence in writing and in presentation.

Practical skills

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • understand the convention of scholarly presentation and writing;
  • think critically about writing in general;
  • express ideas clearly and persuasively in presentation and writing;
  • demonstrate skills of textual analysis;
  • collaborate with peers;
  • manage time and work to deadlines; and
  • read effectively (both primary and secondary texts).

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • understand the convention of scholarly presentation and writing;
  • think critically about writing in general;
  • express ideas clearly and persuasively in presentation and writing;
  • demonstrate skills of textual analysis;
  • collaborate with peers;
  • manage time and work to deadlines; and
  • read effectively (both primary and secondary texts).

Employability skills

Other
By the end of this course, students will be able to: ¿ think and argue critically and coherently; ¿ work well independently and in groups; ¿ present information in a convincing and accessible manner; and ¿ write clearly and effectively in English.

Assessment methods

Attendance and participation - 20%

Seminar presentation - 20%

Final Essay - 60%

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Oral feedback on contributions to class discussion and presentation

Summative

Written feedback on final essay

Summative

Additional one-to-one feedback (during the consultation hour or by making an appointment with the lecturer)

Formative

 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 22
Tutorials 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 145

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Pao-Chen Tang Unit coordinator

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