China health

Apply Now

Think Global Act Local

Click on the image for a brochure (pdf)


Feed icon

News and Events

A unique opportunity to learn Chinese Sign Language at UCL!

学中国手语!Short intensive introductory immersion course spread over 6 days, 13–24 July More...

Hot and Numb! 2000 years of Sichuan pepper

Saturday 13th June, 12.00 midday, The Spice Exchange, Kew Gardens. As part of the Kew Full of Spice Festival 2015, Vivienne Lo (UCL CCHH) will give a presentation on the history of Sichuan pepper, its medical and culinary uses. More...

Film and Discussion: When China Met Africa

Wednesday 20 May, 6.30pm, Roberts 106, UCL. FREE – part of UCL Festival of the Arts 2015. Book via Eventbrite.

Lady Precious Stream

A symposium on S. I. Hsiung's 1934 play, and the obstacles to and opportunities for East Asian voices in UK theatre and literature. Monday 18 May, 6.30–8pm, Anatomy JZ Young LT.

Medical Humanities in China

An international interdisciplinary conference at Peking University Institute for Medical Humanities, 15-17th October, 2015. Call for papers.

Call for Chinese-speaking choral singers!

London Chinese Philharmonic Choir 伦敦华人爱乐合唱团 (LCPC) is looking for additional singers to perform the Yellow River Cantata 黄河大合唱 in September/October 2015. More...

5th Annual Chinese Visual Festival

7–22 May 2015, at King’s College London, BFI Southbank, Bertha DocHouse and Chelsea College of Arts. The festival will welcome to London some of the most exciting directors currently working in Chinese-language cinema and art. More...

The Chinese Erhu during the First World War

An evening of performance and discussion with Dr Colin Huehns. Friday 8th May, 7pm, UCL South Cloisters More...

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 11th November 2014 to 10th February 2015
Intensive Course: 16th – 22nd February 2015 (Reading Week)

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

Location: to be arranged

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 16th and 22nd February 2015.  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 11 – Presentation/discussion 1:
Public Health 1: Barefoot revolution
Viewing:     Cui Wei 崔嵬 – Hongyu (Hongyu 红雨, 1975)
Location: tba


November 18Presentation/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: tba

Zui ai (with crew)

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

Ren gui qing

December 2Presentation/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)
Location: tba

Inner Senses

December 9Presentation/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: tba


January 13Presentation/discussion 6:
Childhood and disability
Viewing:     Peng Tao 彭韬 – Little Moth (Xue chan 血蝉, 2007)
Introduced by Lily Chang
Location: tba
Download screening notes


January 20Presentation/discussion 7:
East meets West – cultural approaches to medicine
Viewing:     Zheng Xiaolong 郑晓龙 – The Treatment (Guasha 刮痧, 2001)
Location: tba

Gua sha

January 27Presentation/discussion 8:
Viewing:    Zhang Yuan 张元 – Mother (Mama 妈妈, 1989)
Location: tba


Feb 3:Presentation/discussion 9:
Old age
Viewing:     Zhang Yang 张杨 – Full Circle (Feiyue laoren yuan 飞越老人院 2012)
Location: tba

Full Circle

February 10Presentation/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)
Location: tba

Fly with the Crane

Reading Seminar: January 2015, date tbc

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

Intensive Seminar Week, 16 – 22 February  2015

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.

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:

Need directions to the screening room? Try the UCL Campus Route Finder.

Page last modified on 05 jan 15 18:59 by Penelope Barrett