This course introduces students to Chinese popular media and cultures from the 1990s to the present. In this class, students will embark on a historical and transcultural exploration of popular media, and in the process, conduct a broader examination of Chinese modern and contemporary cultural and social transformations. The course will explore how popular media, as extremely powerful meaning-making institutions, shape the experiences of modernity, incite revolution and war, construct national, racial, ethnic, gendered, and sexual identities, and negotiate questions concerning socialism/post-socialism, colonialism/post-colonialism, and global capitalism. Through examining diverse forms of popular media, i.e., cinema, animation, music, networked and social media, and digital streaming platforms, students will engage with the questions of medium "specificity" or key technological, material, formal, and aesthetic features of different media, in a comparative context, to open up a larger conversation about the ideological effects of various media, and spectatorship, sense perception, and interactive media experiences that go beyond the visual. Alongside theoretical texts, screenings from a wide variety of geographical locations and historical contexts, including The New Woman (Cai Chusheng, 1934), Dislocation (Huang Jianxin, 1986), Lust, Caution (Ang Lee, 2007), Dragonfly Eyes (Xu Bing, 2017), A Bright Summer Day (Edward Yang, 1991), and Comrades, Almost a Love Story/Tian Mi Mi (Peter Ho-Sun Chan, 1996), will help students to acquire an intermedial and multisensorial view of contemporary China in the globally entwined media landscape. Other emergent popular media objects and phenomena to be discussed include TikTok/Douyin short videos, Nintendo games, digital filters and selfies, and VR art installations. This class will also offer students a chance to explore multimedia productions as a new mode of critical thinking and creative expression. No prerequisites.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; BU IS; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM