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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Chinese Whispers: China in Western Minds since 1300 (HIST10438)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryChina and its people have long been objects of fascination to Western observers. But from admiration to disgust, from 'stately pleasure-domes' to Yellow Peril, the 'China' of Western minds has been invented and reinvented over many centuries of Sino-Western contact.
Course description This course examines the various ways in which ideas about China, Chinese people, and Chinese culture have been imagined and reimagined by Western observers since around 1300. Weekly seminars are based on the critical analysis of a range of primary sources (including texts, objects, images, architecture, music and films), while the course as a whole asks students to engage with an important body of theoretical scholarship on cross-cultural encounters that has emerged since the late 1970s. By the end of the course, students should be able to place the West's current fascination with China within a historical context of which Marco Polo, Lord Anson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Fu Manchu, Franz Kafka and David Bowie are all a part.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in 40 credits of third level historical courses or equivalent.

Before enrolling students on this course, PTs are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503780).
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  15
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 44, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 345 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 20 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Two 3,500-word essays (20% each)
One oral presentation and supporting material (20%)
One three-hour examination (40%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during his published office hours or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)3:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination, an ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative, intellectual integrity and maturity, and an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Edward W. Said, Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient (London, 1978).

Reina Lewis, Gendering Orientalism: Race, Femininity, and Representation (London, 1996).

Christopher Frayling, The Yellow Peril: Dr Fu Manchu & the Rise of Chinaphobia (London, 2014).

David Porter, The Chinese Taste in Eighteenth-Century England (Cambridge, 2010).

Louise Tythacott, 'Trophies of War: Representing "Summer Palace" Loot in Military Museums in the UK', Museum & Society 13.4 (2015): 469-88.

James Ryan, Picturing Empire: Photography and the Visualisation of the British Empire (London, 1997).

Lenore Metrick-Chen, Collecting Objects/Excluding People: Chinese Subjects and American Visual Culture, 1830-1900 (Albany, 2012),

Karla Rae Fuller, Hollywood goes Oriental: CaucAsian Performance in American Film (Detroit, 2010).

Homay King, Lost in Translation: Orientalism, Cinema, and the Enigmatic Signifier (Durham, 2010).

Sarah Cheang, 'Selling China: Class, Gender and Orientalism at the Department Store', Journal of Design History 20.1 (2007): 1-16.

Carla Almeida Santos & Grace Yan, 'Representational Politics in Chinatown: The Ethnic Other', Annals of Tourism Research 35.4 (2008): 879-99.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will help students to develop the following core graduate attributes:
Skills and abilities in research and enquiry;
Skills and abilities in personal and intellectual autonomy;
Skills and abilities in communication;
Skills and abilities in personal effectiveness.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Stephen McDowall
Tel: (0131 6)50 3754
Course secretaryMiss Katy Robinson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3780
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