CHINE204-19A (HAM)

Visualising China

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts


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Paper Description

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This paper offers an examination of Chinese visual culture, with an emphasis on the modern and contemporary. It focuses on an exploration of Chinese film and, to a lesser extent, Chinese painting, within a comparative historical framework. The aim of the paper is to broaden students’ exposure to aesthetic paradigms of the visual that may be different from those they are accustomed to, and to develop students’ ability to engage critically with the cultural (aesthetic, historical, philosophical and ideological) signifiers embedded in Chinese films and paintings.

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Paper Structure

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This paper is taught largely through Moodle. Students can access Moodle from the Student Landing page of the University of Waikato’s website - This is where other useful quick links, e.g. the University Library, are also displayed.If you open the Waikato website (, then click the “Staff + Student Login” link at the top right, you will be on that page.

**Please note, however, that a one-off lecture has been scheduled, for Monday 25 February at 5 pm in K.B.12. This is for introductory comments, as well as to give students an opportunity to meet each other, to learn more about the course and ask questions, etc.

Several of the films used in this paper can be accessed online. For those films not readily available on the web, copies are kept for short-term loan to students at the main counter in the ITS building at the end of the main car park off Gate 1, Knighton Road. Further details on this will be posted on Moodle.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Students who complete this course should be able to:-

    -have an understanding of some of the aesthetic, historical, philosophical and ideological dimensions that have shaped Chinese visual culture;

    -observe and analyse key cultural signifiers embedded in Chinese film and painting;

    -engage in discussions on specific films and paintings, sharing observations and ideas, and commenting critically on the analyses of others;

    -undertake self-directed research on a particular film or painting;

    -have a greater awareness and appreciation of the richness of Chinese visual culture, and some of the ways in which it diverges from and aligns with its western counterpart.

    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Written assignment on painting topic
6 Jun 2019
4:30 PM
  • Hand-in: Assignment Box (FASS)
2. Five online assessments
  • Online: Moodle Forum Discussion
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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There are no required texts for this paper. A Suggested Reading List will be posted separately on Moodle.

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Online Support

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This paper is taught largely through Moodle. Students can access Moodle from the Student Landing page of the University of Waikato’s website -
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Approximately 150 hours. Students will be expected, via Moodle, to watch any Panopto lecture segments posted, read through any lecture notes or PowerPoint presentations, and, where required, participate in online tutorial discussions, and prepare items of assessment after reading around the topic.

Students will also be expected to view at least one complete film for most topics covered, as well as short YouTube clips. They will, therefore, need to have access to equipment that will play DVDs, as well as Broadband (3 GB), to view YouTube, etc.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: CHIN204, CHIN304

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