(36) Chinese Box - Rujie Wang, Department of Chinese
The seminar focuses on the issue of identity as it is complicated by cultural, historical, gender, and racial differences. It shows the scope and complexity of cultural studies by introducing the problematics of China when such discourses as history, gender politics, and literary criticism converge. By studying selected Chinese works of art and literature (including film) through the lenses of these discourses as privileged contexts for aesthetic appreciation and interpretation, the student is expected to be critically aware of not only the changes in Chinese values and attitudes but also the differing cultural emphases and perspectives that one must learn to interrogate, historicize, analyze, compare, and contrast. The objectives of the seminar are to familiarize people with the issues of Chinese identity as elaborated and called into question in these works, to heighten their critical awareness of the constructed nature of identity, gender, and nationhood, and to gain insights into the dynamics of cultural politics that has shaped the way people perceive and mythologize “China” as either self-same or the West’s Other.