The module aims to enable students to reflect critically on how China is represented in a wide variety of Western media and, in the process, investigate the ways in which Western discourse on China has changed through history. It will shed light on some of the cultural assumptions, fallacies and blind spots informing the Western engagement with China and the discipline of sinology. It will also examine the ways in which Sino-Western economic and political relations have both influenced and been affected by the changing discourse on China. The module will thus equip students with an understanding of identity/alterity politics and will encourage them to scrutinise the complex ideological dimensions of media representations.
A. Describe a range of portrayals concerning China and locate them within particular contexts
B. Reflect critically on the ways in which media representations of China contribute to its cultural, geographical and linguistic identity
C. Account for differences in intercultural and intergroup perceptions relating to China and its population
D. Identify, study and evaluate primary and secondary sources of relevance to the portrayal of China across a range of media
E. Demonstrate theoretical and historical understanding of the contexts that effect changes in media representations of China
F. Analyse how Western-centric concepts of tradition and modernity inflect specific readings of China and the way in which they differ from how many Chinese read their own culture and society