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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Common Courses (School of Lit, Lang and Cult)

Postgraduate Course: Gender, Revolution and Modernity in Chinese Cinema (CLLC11087)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will focus on a number of key Chinese films that have explored the impact and influence of political, social and cultural change during the twentieth century on both gender relations and representations of femininities and masculinities. Although the course concentrates on films made in the 1980s and 1990s, a number of important films from earlier decades will also be explored. The content and style of the films will be analysed to investigate how, and in what ways, Chinese filmmakers have used gender perspectives to address such issues as the relationship or tensions between 'tradition' and modernity, the impact of the state on the lives of individuals, and the connections between political ideologies and discourses of sexuality. By the end of the course, students should be able to deconstruct (stylistically and thematically) a number of significant Chinese films that have addressed the impact of dramatic change in twentieth century China on gender relations and representations of femininities and masculinities. They will also be able to situate these films within their political and social contexts, and to see in a wider sense how evolving ideological concerns have been reflected in the country's cinema.
Course description Students will attend screenings of each of the films on the course. At the meeting of the class which follows each screening students will take turns in giving presentations on one film and the topic which it covers, at which they will be expected to present their own ideas, informed by suggested secondary reading material.

Indicative Topics and Films (subject to change):

1. Stage Sisters (Wutai jiemei). (Xie Jin, 1965) Seminar Topic: Chinese melodrama of the 1950s and 1960s

2. Hibiscus Town (Furong zhen). (Xie Jin, 1986) Seminar Topic: Gender and Post-Mao Interpretations of the Cultural Revolution

3. Yellow Earth (Huang tudi) (Chen Kaige, 1984) Seminar Topic: Gender, the Chinese Communist Party and Peasant Culture.

4. Sacrificed Youth (Qingchun ji). (Zhang Nuanxin, 1985) Seminar Topic: Femininity and Ethnic Minorities in Chinese Cinema

5. Raise the Red Lantern (Da hong denglong gao gao gua). (Zhang Yimou, 1991) Seminar Topic: Discourses of Sexuality in Post-Mao China

6. Ermo, (Zhou Xiaowen. 1994) Seminar Topic: Post-Mao Reforms and Gender

7. In the Heat of the Sun (Yangguang canlan de rizi) (Jiang Wen, 1994) Seminar Topic An alternative view of the Cultural Revolution

8. East Palace, West Palace (Donggong, xigong) (Zhang Yuan, 1996) Seminar Topic: the Representation of homosexuality in contemporary Chinese cinema

9. The World (Shijie), (Jia Zhangke, 2004) Seminar Topic: The sixth generation, postsocialist realism and gender

10. Shanghai Dreams (Qing Hong) (Wang Xiaoshuai, 2005) Seminar Topic: Youth and gender in films of the post-cultural revolution period
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Presentation 20% (duration 20 to 30 minutes)
Coursework 80% (3,000 Word Essay)
Feedback After around five weeks of the course students are invited to submit a review of one of the films they have watched as a formative feedback exercise. This is returned before the students submit their coursework essay.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Display an understanding of how to read and interpret film.
  2. Situate the films they have watched within their political and social contexts.
  3. See in a wider sense how evolving ideological concerns have been reflected in the country¿s cinema.
  4. Understand the ways in which Chinese filmmakers have reflected gender issues affecting China.
  5. Present a reasoned argument analysing one or more of the social themes discussed in the course.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Julian Ward
Tel: (0131 6)50 4226
Course secretaryMiss Charlotte McLean
Tel: (0131 6)50 4114
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