Reading and Writing about Visual Experience: The Body in Chinese Visual and Material Culture
MW 11-1230P, 104 MOFFITT
This course will examine changing conceptions of the body in Chinese visual and material culture. We will look at examples throughout China’s long history, from the First Emperor’s quest for immortality to contemporary artists’ use of their own bodies as a medium of expression; from plump Tang ladies to twentieth-century “modern girls.” We will consider how the “ideal” body changed throughout this history, and how the multifarious conceptions of body were informed by Buddhism, Daoism, colonialism, and modernity. We will see how conceptions of body are depicted in painting, sculpture, and film, and also how the material culture of clothing and costume is intimately intertwined with how the body behaves and how it is perceived. This is second course in the Reading and Composition series, so we will focus on how to read critically, identify arguments and approaches, and how to compose compelling arguments with appropriate sources. You will produce a 10-12 page undergraduate term paper for your final.