Politics of Art: a Cultural Studies Perspective on Modern China (MLM2012)

15 credits

This module looks at modern Chinese social transformation and nation-building process since the late 19th century from a comparative and historical perspective. It focus on five thematic key words: reform (gailiang), conservatism (fugu), enlightenment (qimeng), revolution (geming), and people (renmin/dazhong,). The major primary texts (translated into English) are literary and political writings from key thinkers. Class lectures will present important historical and literary background to the period under scrutiny: from the 1910s, through the May Fourth Movement, the radicalisation of the 30s, the Anti-Japanese War, and the Chinese Communist Party’s Yan’an period. This course will provide an analytical understanding of literature’s socio-political role in modern and contemporary Chinese society. There are no pre-requisites or co-requisites. This module is suitable for specialists and non-specialists and recommended for interdisciplinary pathways.