In this cross-listed course, we will examine and compare series of representations of China created by writers and artists outside that country. We will study how such representations (narratives, journalism, images, films) portray and understand China, especially during the modern period. With a focus on American perceptions of China over the 20th century, we will discuss what resonances a certain view or imagination may generate and, furthermore, whether we can identify persistent patterns in representations of modern China.
As we will find out, the complex images of China draw on many sources and continually evolve. This course will further our understanding of issues involved in the representation of a different culture and society on the one hand, and allow us to practice interdisciplinary studies on the other hand. Students will also have opportunities to conduct research and explore related topics under the guidance of the instructor.
Participants in the course are expected to attend class regularly and contribute to class discussion. Assignments will include
- frequent discussion posts through CTools;
- a report (in an appropriate format) on an assigned topic. The report is to be shared with the rest of the class;
- a more developed final research project. Students will decide on the form for presenting the final project in consultation with the instructor.
Participants should consult the CTools course site for reading list and weekly schedule.
Class participation: 20%
Discussion posts: 10%
Final project: 40%