Chinese 280: East Asian Cultures Through Film

Film is one of the most important media through which we learn about and produce culture today. Film not only represents the world but also shapes our perceptions and understandings about it. Through film, we encounter people and places other to our own, and these filmic representations take on lives with global circulation and impact. In this course, we explore the ways in which film has served as a discursive medium for the production of representations and perceptions about East Asia. We examine influential films from throughout the twentieth century, including films produced in the United States, China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan starting in the 1930s through the present. This course is a pilot class for the William and Mary Internationalization Grant on Film and New Media in Higher Education. Thus, we will explore the use of various new media technologies as pedagogical tools for cross-cultural education in this course. These include web publishing, image and video editing, and international online video conferencing. Students will complete two web-based projects analyzing contemporary films that have been produced in or are about East Asia, and these projects will be published on the course website. The second of the two projects will be created through a collaborate with a group of Chinese students at Beijing Normal University in China, using film as a tool for cross-cultural communication and learning.