America versus China through the Movies and TV (Cultural study Activities Autumn Winter 2019-20)

 Dear students,

welcome to the course.

We’ll learn about American culture by watching and discussing American movies and comparing them with Chinese movies. To inform our discussions, we’ll draw on the some of the key categories of cultural studies analysis, equality, ‘race’, class, and gender, as well as rural/urban divisions.

So, we will be learning and practicing  a little bit of the craft of movie reviewing, and a little bit of theory and method of cultural studies.

Each week I will give several movies to watch (you can copy them all at the beginning of semester, or week by week, bring your usb). Some weeks I will give you some short readings and we will have in class quizzes on these, and on your knowledge of the films.

The course will have five parts.

Part 1. Introduction: Culture and film

An introduction to the concept of culture, and the craft of movie reviewing.

Part 2. American and Chinese Heroes and Gender

Captain Marvel, Superman, the Movie, and other superhero movies

The Wandering Earth, Hero, Wolf Warrior 1, Wolf Warrior 2

Part 3. American Racism.

12 Years a Slave, Do the Right Thing,

On Beale Street, The Hate You Give

Part 4. America and immigrants

Roma, The Immigrant, The Farewell

Part 5. Chinese and American rural/urban culture

Blind Mountain, An Elephant Sitting Still.

Readings

Brief readings on the cultural studies concepts (for example, racism, gender) will be given as homework throughout the semester.

Assessment

There will be two tests that will examine your knowledge and understanding of the films we have watched and the concepts we have used to understand them. Each test will be worth 45%.

There will be assessment for attendance and participation as well (10%)

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