Shadow History: Archive and Intermediality in Chinese Cinema
240-003 | CCN: 23125
M 2pm-5pm, Location: Starr Library 341
Screening: M 5pm-7pm, Location: Starr Library 341
This graduate seminar engages modern China’s transnational film and media history by working with and reflecting upon the questions of the archive and intermediality. The dynamic history of cinema’s interaction with a number of media (radio, phonograph, architecture, photography, theater, etc.) in China can be vividly witnessed when we delve into the rich archive available to us: the virtual archive online, the print reproduction of historical material, the historical films themselves, and the vast Paul Fonoroff Collection Berkeley recently acquired which includes historical film journals, press books, play bills, and other ephemera that we will closely examine. These range of archival material also testifies the multiple dialects and languages involved in the history of Chinese cinema, making the notions of “Chinese Language” or “Sinophone” cinema simultaneously useful and inadequate. The transregional and transnational traffic between Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia, between Chinese, Hollywood, European, and other Asian Cinemas, between domestic and diasporic filmmaking and reception are equally visible in the materials we will examine. The class will sample a wide range of materials while devoting the discussions to a number of methodological issues concerning the questions of the archive, medium, form, technology in relation to coloniality, nationalism, and transnationality. Each week will organize discussions of these issues through a case study on film stardom, architecture, studio, film aesthetics, film theory and so on. We will work closely with a number of university libraries/archives and respective librarians to practice hands-on research skillsæ Students will be encouraged to develop research projects, both collectively and individually, involving in-depth archival research.