HST 404 Chinese History in Films

Summer 2002                                                                                             Class Room: Niccol 301
June 17-July 12                                                                                          Time: Mon-Thur 7:30-10:20am

Instructor: Dr. Pingchao Zhu
Office: Rm 315 AD
Office Hour: MTWR 1:30-2:30pm
Office Phone: 885-7166
Email: pzhu@uidaho.edu

This course intends to present cultural & political developments of modern Chinese history (from the 18th century to the present) through the examination of both documentary films and movies. Major themes covered include tribute system, emperor system, the Opium War, the 1911 revolution, New Cultural movement, woman issue, legal system, the Communists vs. Nationalists, China's Anti-Japanese War (1937-1945), Mao years (1949-1976), and China in reforms. In addition to showing the films, lectures and class discussions will help the class understand specific events and traditions. Some of the films are only in Chinese, and the instructor will provide timely translation.

Craig, Alert M., The Heritage of Chinese Civilization, Prentice Hall, 2001.

    1. One in-class presentation                     150 points
    2. Two film critiques                                100 each
    3. Movie analysis (10)                               10 each
    4. Attendance                                            50

In-Class Presentation is based on the examination of one film. Students will be divided in several groups (2 students in each group). Presentation should include the following:
        --Major story of the movie;
        --Historical background;
        --How does the movie present the reality in history (if it is applicable);
        --Questions for class discussion;
        --A written report of the presentation from each member in the group should be turned in at the end of the presentation.

Movie Analysis includes two parts: 1)Identifications of major characters, events, or some important contexts in the movie; 2) short answer questions (answer in a sentence or two). The analysis is to be completed and turned in by the end of the class.

Film Critiques are reviews of two movies (in two separate essays) of students choice, except the movies students do in-class presentation. The essay should include a brief story, identify a couple of Chinese traditions, discuss how the movie reflect certain Chinese historical developments, and finally comment on the merit and weakness of the movie from a historical perspective. Each essay should be at least 3 full pages in length, typed, and doubled spaced.

A=500-450 B=449-400 C=399-350 D=349-300 F=299 & below

Week 1         June 17-20
                      Imperial China
        Mon: Traditions & Emperor system
                --The Forbidden City (documentary)
                --The First Emperor of China (documentary)

        Tue: The Opium War
                --The Pacific Century: Two Coasts of China (Documentary)
                --Lin Tse-hsu (English subtitles)

        Wed: Republic of China
                --The Soong Sisters (English subtitles)
                **Farewell My Concubine (English subtitles)

        Thur: Presentation (Chinese tradition & society)
                **The Good Earth

Week 2         June 24-28
                     China In Revolution, 1911-1949
        Mon: New Cultural Movement
                --The Story of Ah Q (in Chinese)
                **Shadow Magic

        Tue: Women & Society
                --Small Happiness (documentary)
                **Ju Dou (English subtitles)

        Wed: Presentation (woman issue)
                **Raise the Red Lantern (English subtitles)

        Thur: Anti-Japanese War (1937-45)
                --China in Revolution, 1911-1949 (documentary)
                **Red Sorghum (English subtitles)
                --Nanjing Massacre (in Chinese)
                --War of Mines and Tunnels (in Chinese)

The First Movie Critique due on Thursday

Week 3         July1-3 (No Class on Thur., July 4, National Holiday)
                      Communist China: Mao Years, 1949-76
        Mon: The Cultural Revolution
                --Mao Years, 1949-76 (documentary)
                **To Live (English subtitles)
                **Blue Kite (English subtitles)

        Tue: Presentation (Cultural Revolution)
                **Xiu Xiu, The Send Down Girl (English subtitles)

        Wed: Political Culture
                --The Korea War Heroes (in Chinese)
                --Peking Operas

The Second Movie Critiques due on Wednesday

Week 4         July 8-11
                      China in Reforms, since 1978
        Mon.: Presentation (food culture)
                **Eat, Drink, Man, Woman

        Tue: Economic reforms
                --Breaking the Silence (English subtitles)

        Wed: Presentation (legal system)
                **Red Corner

        Thur: Education & Society
                **Not One Less (English subtitles)
                **The Road Home (English subtitles)

##Movies marked with ** means they are available in video store in town, most likely in Howard Hughes or The Bookpeople.