Undergraduate Course: Chinese Whispers: China in Western Minds since 1300 (HIST10438)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||China 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.
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)
||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 2021/22, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 44,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||1 x 2,000-word exhibition catalogue entry or anthology introduction (20%)
1 x 2,000-word film analysis (20%)
2 x 4,000-word essays (25% and 35%)
||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.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate a command of a body of knowledge relating to the ways in which China has been imagined and reimagined by Western observers since around 1300;
- demonstrate an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
- demonstrate an ability to analyse critically a range of primary source materials, and to contextualise these within a history of China in the Western imagination;
- demonstrate an ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments by formulating appropriate questions and harnessing relevant evidence, and to present those arguments in a manner befitting the discipline;
- demonstrate independence of mind and initiative, and intellectual integrity and maturity.
|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.
|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.
|Course organiser||Dr Stephen McDowall
Tel: (0131 6)50 3754
|Course secretary||Miss Lorna Berridge