Love, Passion, and Politics in Chinese Film (CHINGEN 138, CHINGEN 238)
Focusing on the emotional structure of love and passion in Chinese films, the course will investigate the structures of feelings and moral relations in modern Chinese history from the 1940s till the present. Examining the interplay between private desire, romantic sentiment, family relations, and political passion, we will explore how men and women in China grapple with emotional and social issues in modern transformations. We will consider romantic love, the uplifting of sexuality into political passion, the intertwining of aesthetic experience with politics, nostalgia in the disenchanted modern world, and the tensions between the individual¿s self-realization and the community¿s agenda. Students will learn to ¿read¿ films as a work of art and understand how film works as expression of desire, impulse, emotional connections, and communal bonding during times of crisis. Course work includes a midterm exam (25%) and a final exam (25%), a weekly 250-300 word reflection on the film of the week (10%), participation and oral presentation in class (10%), and a paper of 5-7 pages to be submitted after the midterm week (30%).nStarting from the second week, film screening will begin 6: 30 pm Monday before classes on Tuesday and Thursday. The course does not encourage private viewing. At least 5 dinners will be provided for movie-screening events.