BA Modern Language and Business & Management (Chinese) / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

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
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course examines various facets of Chinese and East Asian visual cultures from early modern to contemporary periods, with consideration also given to diaspora communities. Chronologically and thematically organised, the course situates visual cultures of China and East Asia within the broader world by delineating: (1) the visual materialisation of cross-cultural communication between early modern China and Europe; (2) multiple sites of visual modernity shaped by the intercultural mediascape both within and without East Asia; and (3) the engagement of Chinese and Asian diaspora filmmakers with global new-wave cinema. The course ultimately aims to provide students with a comprehensive overview of the vibrant interactions between Chinese, East Asian, and other visual cultures in the world by exploring how China has been deeply embedded in East Asian contexts and the larger world beyond.

Aims

This course aims to: 

  • familiarise students with visual, textual, and multimedia materials pertinent to Chinese andg East Asian visual cultures from the seventeenth century to today;
  • cultivate students’ skills of close reading and audiovisual analysis; 
  • develop students’ ability to analyse Chinese and East Asian visual materials through English translation in conjunction with the historical contexts in which they were produced; and
  • develop students’ critical skills in reading, thinking, writing, and presenting. 

Teaching and learning methods

This course will employ mixed lecture-seminars, screenings, directed readings, and Blackboard.

Knowledge and understanding

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

  • become familiar with visual materials that embody cross-cultural exchanges between China, Easy Asia, and the world beyond;
  • 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;
  • 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 TaskFormative or SummativeWeighting
Weekly PostsSummative10%
Recorded Video PresentationSummative20%
Final EssaySummative70%

 

Resit Assessment:

Essay

 

Feedback methods

Feedback method  

Formative or Summative 

Written and oral feedback on weekly posts 

Summative 

Written feedback on recorded video presentation

Summative 

Written feedback on final essaySummative

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. 

Sample Secondary Readings:

  1. Kleutghen, Kristina. Imperial Illusions: Crossing Pictorial Boundaries in the Qing Palaces. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2015. 
  2. Rea, Christopher. Chinese Film Classics, 1922-1949. New York: Columbia University Press, 2021. 
  3. Sun, Hongmei. Transforming Monkey: Adaptation and Representation of a Chinese Epic. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2018. 
  4. Waltner, Ann. Dream of the Red Chamber: Afterlives. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing, 2022. 

Sample Films:

  1. Hou Hsiao-hsien, dir. Flowers of Shanghai.
  2. Wong Kar-wai, dir. In the Mood for Love.
  3. Zhang Yimou, dir. Raise the Red Lantern.

Study hours

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

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Zhaokun Xin Unit coordinator

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