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News and Events

Come and join the China-Taiwan cross-straits debate!

Monday 23 June, 2–3.30pm, Room 105, 24 Gordon Square, UCL
The debate will bring together established academics and UCL graduate students to explore contemporary Taiwan-China relations in the light of the recent Sunflower protest movement (太阳花学运).

Published: Jun 10, 2014 3:48:29 PM

UK première – Sauna on the Moon (Chang’e 嫦娥), dir. Zou Peng 邹鹏, China 2011

This Thursday, 29 May 2014, 6.30–8.30pm. Roberts G06, Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre.

Published: May 26, 2014 3:04:08 PM

The 'Subtle Body' in the Indo-Tibetan and Chinese traditions

Speakers: Prof. Geoffrey Samuel (Cardiff) and Dr Vivienne Lo (UCL)
Time: Thursday 15th May, 5–6.30pm
Place: RHB 137a, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths, University of London, SE14 6NW. More...

Published: May 13, 2014 4:14:02 PM

A transnational history of the forensic gaze

Speaker: Dr Vivienne Lo (UCL China Centre for Health and Humanity)
Time: Wednesday 14th May, 4–6pm
Room G01, 23 Gordon Square

Published: May 8, 2014 3:26:54 PM

Chinese Visual Festival 2014

Don't miss the 2014 Chinese Visual Festival at KCL and other venues around London from 7th to 18th May.

Published: Apr 25, 2014 10:59:52 AM

HISTGC06: Chinese Film and the Body

Course Convenor: Vivienne Lo
Room G03, 23 Gordon Square          tel. 020 7679 3605
Office hours: Wednesday 10–11am

Film screenings: Tuesday 7–9.30pm, from 12th November 2013 to 11th February 2014
Intensive Course: 17th – 23rd February 2014

Lecturers: Patrizia Liberati (Peking University) and Michael Clark (King's College, London)

Location: Room 107, 25 Gordon Square unless otherwise stated

Zui ai 1

This module will use the medium of Chinese film to analyse representations of social and cultural issues related to health, medicine and the body in twentieth and twenty-first century China. A set of ten Chinese films will form the core content of this course, ordered thematically: 1950s hagiographies of traditional doctors, eulogies of revolutionary health campaigns, depictions of women, women’s and children’s health, martial arts, the experience of drug use, SARS, and the contemporary health system. The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the relationship between the factors influencing Chinese film making and styles of cinematic representation, and the unique set of meanings associated with health and the body in China.

Students will be required to watch all the films during the first term and first half of the second term on the dates detailed below. Selected compulsory reading material will be provided for each film. Please also see the general reading list below. The course itself will be held intensively in 20 hours between 17th and 23rd February 2014.  At that time the films already viewed will be introduced and discussed in seminar style. In addition, a small number of other relevant films will be shown and analysed during the intensive week.

Assessment: 1 Essay, 4000 words (100%)

Course outline

November 12 – Presentation/discussion 1:
Public Health 1: Barefoot revolution
Viewing:     Cui Wei 崔嵬 – Hongyu (Hongyu 红雨, 1975)
Location: Room 107, 25 Gordon Square


November 19Presentation/discussion 2:
Public Health 2: HIV/Aids awareness
Viewing:     Zhao Liang 赵亮 – Together (Zai yiqi 在一起, 2011, 84'),
a documentary on the making of Gu Changwei's 顾长卫 Love for Life (Zui ai 最爱, 2011).
Students are required to watch Love for Life before the showing of Together
Location: Room 107, 25 Gordon Square

Zui ai (with crew)

November 26Presentation/discussion 3:
Viewing:     Huang Shuqin 黄蜀芹 – Woman, Demon, Human (Ren gui qing 人鬼情, 1987)
Location: Room 107, 25 Gordon Square

Ren gui qing

December 3Presentation/discussion 4:
The troubled mind
Viewing:     Lo Chi-leung [Luo Zhiliang] 罗志良 – Inner Senses (Yidu kongjian 异度空间, Hong Kong, 2002) 

Inner Senses

December 10Presentation/discussion 5:
Martial Arts: China and the forensic gaze
Viewing:     Peter Chan 陈可辛 – Dragon (Wuxia 武俠, 2011)
Possibly also: Lo Chi-leung 罗志良 – The Bullet Vanishes (Xiaoshi de zidan 消失的子弹, 2012)
Location: Room 107, 25 Gordon Square


January 14Presentation/discussion 6:
East meets West – cultural approaches to medicine
Viewing:     Zheng Xiaolong 郑晓龙 – The Treatment (Guasha 刮痧, 2001)

Gua sha

January 21Presentation/discussion 7:
Medical hagiographies
Viewing:     Wang Jing 王竞 – The Fall of the Ming (Da Ming jie 大明劫, 2013) [about Wu Youke 吴又可]

Da Ming jie

January 28Presentation/discussion 8:
Viewing:    Zhang Yuan 张元 – Mother (Mama 妈妈, 1989)


Feb 4:Presentation/discussion 9:
Old age
Viewing:     Zhang Yang 张杨 – Full Circle (Feiyue laoren yuan 飞越老人院 2012)

Full Circle

February 11Presentation/discussion 10:
Death and dying
Viewing:     Li Ruijun 李睿珺 – Fly with the Crane (Gaosu tamen, wo cheng baihe qu le 告诉他们,我乘白鹤去了 2012)

Fly with the Crane

Reading Seminar: January 2014, date tbc

Seminar leaders: Michael Clark, Vivienne Lo
This session is an integral part of the course.

Intensive Seminar Week, February 17th – 23rd 2014

Seminar leader: Patrizia Liberati
Much of this week will be devoted to an analysis of representations of the body in different genres of Chinese film.

Chinese Film and the Medical Humanities

The last two days of the Intensive Seminar Week will be taken up with a workshop run collaboratively with Kings College, London and Peking University School of Medical Humanities. The workshop will have one element dedicated to student experience and this will also provide an excellent opportunity for students to present their essay topics for advice and support from a variety of academic experts.

Suggested reading list

Berry, Christopher J. Chinese Films in Focus II, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan/ BFI, 2008.

Berry, Christopher J. and Mary Farquhar, China on Screen: Cinema and Nation, New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.

Berry, Michael, Speaking in Images: Interviews with Contemporary Chinese Filmmakers, New York: Columbia University Press, 2005.

Berry, Michael, A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film, New York: Columbia University Press, 2008.

Chow, Rey, Primitive Passions – Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography and Contemporary Chinese Cinema, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.

Cui Shuqin, 'Kekexili: Mountain Patrol? Moral Dilemma and a Man with a Camera', in Chris Berry (ed.), Chinese Films in Focus II.

Lim, Song Hwee and Julian Ward (eds), The Chinese Cinema Book, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Lu, Sheldon H. and Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh (eds.), Chinese-Language Films: Historiography, Poetics, Politics, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2005.
(esp. Chapter 2, Zhang Zhen, 'Bodies in the air: the magic of science and the fate of the early "martial arts" film in China')

Mulvey, Laura, Visual and Other Pleasures, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana Univ. Press, 1989. [contains a slightly revised version of her celebrated essay, 'Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema', originally published in Screen, Vol. 16, No. 3 (1975), 6-18.

Reagan, Leslie J., Nancy Tomes and Paula A. Treichler, (eds.), Medicine's Moving Pictures: Medicine, Health and Bodies in American Film and Television, Rochester, N.Y., Univ. of Rochester Press, 2007.

Richards, Andy, Asian Horror, Harpenden: Kamera Books, 2010. (Chapters 10, 'Hong Kong horror cinema' and 11, 'Modern Hong Kong horror: essential viewing')

Silbergeld, Jerome, China into Film: Frames of Reference in Contemporary Chinese Cinema, London: Reaktion Books, 1999.

Silbergeld, Jerome,  Body in Question: Image and Illusion in Two Chinese Films by Jiang Wen, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2002.

Van Dijck, Jose, The Transparent Body: A Cultural Analysis of Medical Imaging, Seattle and London: Univ. of Washington Press, 2005.

Xu, Gary. G., Sinascape: Contemporary Chinese Cinema, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007.

Zhang Yingjin, Chinese National Cinema, London: Routledge, 2004.

Zhu Ying and Stanley Rosen (eds.), Art, Politics and Commerce in Chinese Cinema, Hong Kong: Univ. of Hong Kong Press, 2010.

Other film and body bibliographies:

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Page last modified on 12 jan 14 16:52 by Penelope Barrett