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ASIANĀ 156: Contemporary China Through Film (in English translation)

This course examines contemporary China through Chinese language cinema across different eras, genres, filmmakers, and geographic regions. Students will explore the art of film and how visual narratives represent, reinterpret, and redefine Chinese society and culture both at home and abroad. Discussion topics include modernity and tradition, nationalism and globalization, class and race, gender and sexuality, independent and commercial films. All readings are in English. FLAC component available. Counts toward film studies and media studies concentrations.


Chinese puts you in touch with 1.3 billion people and with a culture still vital after more than 3,000 years. Already the second-largest economy in the world, with an annual economic growth rate more than double that of the U.S., China is also a nuclear-armed military power playing an increasingly large role in Asia. Our country critically needs proficient speakers of Chinese, not only in government service, but also in business, law, journalism, and technology. But with few exceptions, Americans visit China unable to speak the language. St. Olaf has taught Chinese since 1973 and is one of only a few colleges in the Midwest that offers four years of language study, an active study abroad program, and a broad selection of related courses in art, economics, history, literature, philosophy, and religion. The Chinese Major To fulfill a Chinese major, students will demonstrate both linguistic and cultural competence. For linguistic and language skills, the Chinese language major students will possess proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing at the American Council of Teaching Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Intermediate-High level or above as well as metalinguistic and intercultural awareness of the use of Chinese language in different social milieus. Regarding cultural knowledge, students will have the ability to analyze, interpret, and critique various discourses and cultural productions such as literature, art, history, religion, philosophy, and politics in both social-cultural and global-contemporary contexts.

Media Studies

...History of Photography ASIAN 270 Visual Culture of Modern China ASIAN 156 Contemporary China Through...