BA Chinese Studies / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Visual Cultures in China and East Asia

Course unit fact file
Unit code CHIN12522
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 course examines various aspects of contemporary cinema from China and East Asia, with consideration also given to overseas communities. Thematically structured, the module addresses four main concerns: (1) the influence of aesthetic traditions on contemporary cinematic production; (2) the role(s) filmmakers play in reflecting upon national/transnational socio-political issues; (3) the phenomenon of global new-wave cinema and its legacy; and (4) the increasing impact urbanization has had on the socio-politico-artistic life-worlds across the continent. The audiovisuality of course materials is stressed and extended periods of time will be devoted to considering specific filmmakers and their representative works. The ultimate aim is to provide students a broad introduction to the lively artistic communities in China and East Asia and to critically consider how these communities present themselves and explore what it means to be a contemporary Chinese or East Asian filmmaker in a globalized world. 

Pre/co-requisites

Available on Chinese Studies, East Asian Studies, Art History; Film Studies programmes.

Aims

This course aims to: 

  • familiarise students with crucial texts in contemporary Chinese and East Asian cinema from the early 1980s to today; 

  • cultivate students’ skills of close reading and audiovisual analysis; 

  • develop students’ ability to analyse texts of Chinese and East Asian 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: 

  • better understand the complex habitus many contemporary Chinese and East Asian filmmakers find themselves in and to appreciate how they socially manoeuvre within and against these confines; 

  • demonstrate an ability to critically engage with the themes discussed in the module; and 

  • be more aware of the interconnectedness of art and culture and the position(s) they hold in contemporary societies. 

Intellectual skills

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

• think critically and engage in well-informed discussions; 

• critically engage with a variety of secondary literature from across different disciplines; 

• construct coherent, persuasive, and well-supported arguments in writing; and 

• process and understand complicated concepts in the field of Chinese and East Asian    

             contemporary cinema. 

Practical skills

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

• prepare audio-visual presentations; 

• manage time and work to deadlines; 

• apply critical reading skills; 

• assess the relevance and importance of the ideas of others; and  

• present information, ideas and arguments, orally and in writing, with due regard to the target audience; and 

• demonstrate skills of analysis 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

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

  • prepare audio-visual presentations; 

  • express themselves with confidence; 

  • manage time and work to deadlines; 

  • apply critical reading skills; 

  • assess the relevance and importance of the ideas of others; 

  • present information, ideas and arguments, orally and in writing, with due regard to the target audience; and 

  • demonstrate skills of analysis

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

Assessment task  

Formative or Summative 

Length 

Weighting within unit (if summative) 

Attendance and participation 

summative 

Participation in class discussions is compulsory and students will be marked on the regularity and quality of their contributions. To help facilitate this, students will be required to post weekly reflection on the course website wherein they write their thoughts and questions on the various works and assigned readings covered. The course convener will read these posts every week to assess student progress and address any issues that have arisen. 

 

20% 

seminar presentation 

summative 

Each student will give a short, in-class presentation on a topic related to our course. The topic will be provided by the instructor in the first week of class. 

20% 

Final Essay 

Summative 

 

60% 

 

Resit Assessment

Assessment task  

Essay 

Feedback methods

Feedback method  

Formative or Summative 

Written feedback on weekly posts 

summative 

Written feedback on final essay  

Summative 

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

Formative 

Recommended reading

All assigned books, book chapters, and journal articles will be available through Blackboard and the library portal. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Pao-Chen Tang Unit coordinator

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