A cultural-historical approach to examining the transformations of the Chinese culture
of writing in the modern world. The course is taught in English. No previous knowledge
of Chinese is required.
Why did language activists propose to abolish Chinese characters and replace them
with the Latin alphabet at the beginning of the 20th century? How do Chinese characters
enjoy a reversal of fate in the 21st century by tapping into new media technology?
This paper examines the history of modern China and the transformations of today's
China in terms of the changing mediums and practices of the Chinese language. The
paper is taught in English. No previous knowledge of Chinese language is required.
||Writing China: Texts, Ideas and History
|Domestic Tuition Fees
|International Tuition Fees
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- 18 200-level CHIN or HIST points
- CHIN 244
- Schedule C
- Arts and Music
- Teaching Arrangements
- NOTE: This paper is also offered as CHIN 344 - the content of the paper is the same
for both CHIN 244 and CHIN 344, but assessment is differentiated between the 2 levels.
- Suitable for students specialising in any discipline.
- Teaching staff
- Convenor: Dr Lorraine Wong
- Paper Structure
- The paper examines the relation between Chinese "language" and "culture" by analysing
the cultural implications of different modern mediums of the Chinese language appearing
in China from the late 19th century to the present. These modern mediums extend from
the written form and the oral form to the Latin-alphabet-based form, the printed form,
the sonic form and the digitalised form. Analysing the Chinese language in various
modern mediums, this paper also takes a deliberate cultural-historical approach to
understanding China in the 20th and 21st centuries.
The primary materials
of this paper include not only Chinese literary texts and intellectual essays on the
themes of linguistic modernisation and nationalisation, but also songs, performances,
films, propaganda posters, art works and digitalised representations.
to be explored include: the interface between Pinyin, Chinese characters and the Latin
alphabet in relation to global media culture; Mao Zedong as a poet and a calligrapher;
the allegorical articulations of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) in the fake Chinese
characters created by Chinese avant-garde artists; Internet euphemism in relation
to the June 4th Incident, as well as the ways Chinese artists respond to and resist
globalisation by re-imaging the Chinese script in terms of digital culture.
- All required readings are available on Blackboard.
- Graduate Attributes Emphasised
- Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking,
Cultural understanding, Research.
more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
- Learning Outcomes
- By participating in lectures, tutorials and screenings, students will gain:
By reading and completing the assigned readings/tasks,
student will develop:
understanding of the complex, evolving and non-homogenous nature of the Chinese language
(both as a medium and as a practice)
- An understanding of the main themes of
Chinese intellectual debates and their influences on Chinese society An appreciation
of Chinese culture in its changing historical contexts
- A critical awareness
of the tensions between old traditions and modern situations facing Chinese thinkers,
writers and artists
- An ability to articulate the connections between modern
Chinese history and media culture in the global contexts
- A historically-informed,
up-to-date and critical knowledge about the transformations of Chinese literary culture
appreciation of the multiple ways in which the Chinese language is materialized around
- An ability to independently investigate a particular topic focusing
on aspects of past or contemporary Chinese society by refining their research and
argumentation skills through essay-writing, tutorial discussion and in-class presentation
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- Teaching method
- This paper is taught On Campus
- Learning management system
||Tues : 10:00-11:50
||Wed : 16:00-16:50