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Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Chien-hsin Tsai

Assistant Professor Ph.D., Harvard University

Chien-hsin Tsai

Contact

  • Phone: 512-471-1302
  • Office: WCH 5.104B
  • Office Hours: FALL 2014: M 2:20-4
  • Campus Mail Code: G9300

Biography

Dr. Tsai's focuses are in Modern Chinese literary and cultural studies, with particular interests in literature as ground of representation as well as sensorium; Sinophone studies; and colonial literature from Taiwan in Chinese and Japanese alike.

Recent publications:

 

2013 “At the Crossroads: Orphan of Asia, Postloyalism, and Sinophone Studies,” Sun Yat-Sen Journal of Humanities 35.2

2012 “The Heterotopic Agent in Chu T’ien-hsin’s ‘The Old Capital,’” Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies 38.2

2011 "In Sickness of in Health: Yan Lianke and the Writing of Autoimmunity." Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, vol. 23, no. 1 (Spring 2011), pp. 77-104

2011 "The Museum of Innoence: The Great Leap Forward and Famine, Yan Lianke, and Four Books" http://mclc.osu.edu/rc/pubs/tsai2.htm

 

 

ANS 385 • Visual Evidence In Mod China

32020 • Fall 2014
Meets M 400pm-700pm MEZ 1.104
show description

Study of various aspects and periods of Chinese language and literature.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 301M • East Asian Martl Art Film

32065 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CPE 2.210
show description

At the turn of the twentieth century, one notices the fast-growing popularity of Asian films outside Asia. What used to be high-brow, academic, or even “cultish” has now, in the twenty-first century, become a popular if not entirely routine part of visual experience in the US. Seemingly, everything Asian becomes the “It,” ever in trend and ever showcasing the awareness and sensitivities of foreign culture. Certainly, things are always more complex than one would like to imagine. For instance: How do we understand Asian, geographically or ethnically or both?

This undergraduate class is designed to reconsider the notion of “East Asian” from the cinematic perspective. To get the minimal specificity of the issue at stake, we are to focus on the specific genre of martial arts film. Through weekly screenings, we are to rethink the following issues: What are the possible significances of the choreography of martial arts?  How does the choreograph of actors in East Asian martial art films correspond to heroism, self-discipline, and routine training? How does the expressiveness of body correspond to cultural, ideological, and economic transactions, or even political confrontations, either inside or outside the East Asia proper? What influence do East Asian martial arts films have on its western counterparts?

ANS 372 • Pop Lit/Cul Modern China

32200 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GAR 0.132
show description

This course provides a comprehensive examination of modern Chinese literature and culture in the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong from the perspective of “the popular.” Throughout the semester we will study works by important Chinese literary figures and Chinese filmmakers. The course is designed to bring into dialogues literary and cinematic texts in conjunction with various thematic topics of adaptation, performance, music et cetera.  From writing to acting, from music to theatre, this course will probe “the popular” as it has manifested itself, and trace its sociopolitical, aesthetic, and affective impact on modern Chinese writers, filmmakers, and cultural brokers in general. 

ANS 372 • A Tale Of Five Chinese Cities

31840 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GAR 0.132
show description

Course Description:

A cultural critic Michel de Certeau once reminded us: “A city, no matter how efficiently planned out or how beautiful, is rendered worthless without people.” Studies of cities thus are studies of people, their everyday life, and their stories. In this course, we will study both literary and cultural productss about five Chinese cities: Beijing, Hong Kong, Nanjing, Shanghai, and Taipei. We will treat the featured cities not so much as a concrete jungle, but as an object of literary representation and a place of cultural production. By examining the themes such as modernization, migration, globalization, gender, and labor in literature and films about the five cities, we aim to radically rethink certain historical moments and the notion of Chineseness in an increasingly and culturally deterritorialized world. 

 

Required texts (Available at the university bookstore)

Rickshaw Boy

Beijing Doll

Shanghai Baby

 

ANS 384 • Asian Modernities

31945 • Fall 2013
Meets TH 400pm-700pm GAR 2.124
show description

The topic for this semester (Fall 2013) is "China: Theories and Applications." We will be reading critical theories on nationalism, Sinophone studies, gender studies, and several others and discussing the applicability of Western theories in the field of Chinese studies.

ANS 372 • A Tale Of Five Chinese Cities

31745 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GAR 2.128
show description

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.  Some topics partially fulfill legislative requirement for American history.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 385 • Visual Evidence In Mod China

31850 • Spring 2012
Meets T 330pm-630pm CBA 4.342
show description

Study of various aspects and periods of Chinese language and literature.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 301M • Everybody Is Kung Fu Fighting

31350 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm BUR 134
show description

Course Description:

 

At the turn of the twentieth century, one notices the fast-growing popularity of Asian films outside Asia. What used to be high-brow, academic, or even “cultish” has now, in the twenty-first century, become a popular if not entirely routine part of visual experience in the US. Seemingly, everything Asian becomes the “It,” ever in trend and ever showcasing the awareness and sensitivities of foreign culture. Certainly, things are always more complex than one would like to imagine. For instance: How do we understand Asian, geographically or ethnically or both?

 

This undergraduate class is designed to reconsider the notion of “East Asian” from the cinematic perspective. To get the minimal specificity of the issue at stake, we are to focus on the specific genre of martial arts film. Through weekly screenings, we are to rethink the following issues: What are the possible significances of the choreography of martial arts?  How does the choreograph of actors in East Asian martial art films correspond to heroism, self-discipline, and routine training? How does the expressiveness of body correspond to cultural, ideological, and economic transactions, or even political confrontations, either inside or outside the East Asia proper? What influence do East Asian martial arts films have on its western counterparts?

 

Requirements and Grading:

Participation 25%

11 Quizzes 15%

Presentation (10)/Final Project (25) 35%

Final exam 25%

ANS 372 • Taiwan And Cultural Imaginary

31550 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GAR 0.132
show description

Envisioning (Post)Coloniality: Taiwan and the Cultural Imaginary

 

Course Description:

 

Taiwan was colonized by Japan for 50 years from 1895 to 1945. This 50-year period marks a decisive watershed in terms of social, cultural, and economic developments between Taiwan and China. To date, Taiwan remains a site of contestation between postcolonial and national discourses, and provides a contrastive entrance to further studies of the rise of China in the 21st century.

In this class, we will study films, fictional writings, and other cultural products (e.g. music, art, etc.) from Taiwan and see how they help construct a unique historical consciousness. This class will also examine how such consciousness help the people of Taiwan project certain cultural imgainaries onto practices of everyday life. Throughout the semester, we will ponder the following questions with regard to Taiwan’s colonial experiences and postcolonial status in relation to its position, geographically, politically, and culturally speaking, on the global stage:

How do writers and filmmakers in Taiwan imagine various spaces that undergo rapid modernization? How do they document the transformation of landscapes, negotiate with political ideologies, and engage in certain identifications through films and texts? And how do we reflect on such a wide array of cultural products, political beliefs, and contradicting (hi)stories as objectively as possible, refraining from any cultural essentialism and ideological preoccupation? 

ANS 372 • A Tale Of Five Chinese Cities

31879 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GAR 0.132
show description

As a cultural critic Michel de Certeau once reminded us: “A city, no matter how efficiently planned out or how beautiful, is rendered worthless without people.” Studies of cities thus are studies of people, their everyday life, and their stories. In this course, we will study both literary and cinematic texts about five Chinese cities: Beijing, Hong Kong, Nanjing, Shanghai, and Taipei. We will treat the featured cities not so much as a concrete jungle, as a forest of architectural marvels, but as an object of literary representation and a place of cultural production. By examining the themes such as modernization, migration, international relations, gender, and labor in literature and films about the five cities, we aim to radically rethink the notion of Chineseness in an increasingly and culturally deterritorialized world.

ANS 372 • Pop Lit And Cul In Mod China

31910 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm GAR 0.132
show description

This course provides a comprehensive examination of modern Chinese literature and culture in the People’s
Republic of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong from the perspective of “the popular.” Throughout the semester
we will study works by important Chinese literary figures and Chinese filmmakers. The course is designed to
bring into dialogues literary and cinematic texts in conjunction with various thematic topics of adaptation,
performance, music et cetera. From writing to acting, from music to theatre, this course will probe “the
popular” as it has manifested itself, and trace its sociopolitical, aesthetic, and affective impact on modern
Chinese writers, filmmakers, and cultural brokers in general.

TEXTS:

Chang, Ta-chun, Wild Kids: Two Novels about Growing Up
Lillian Lee, Farewell, My Concubine
Wang, Chen-ho, Rose Rose I Love You
Additional readings provided online

GRADING:

Class Participation (15%): attend lectures and screenings regularly and participate actively in discussion; give
one oral presentation (7-10 minutes);
Online postings (15%): post a weekly response (200 words) on the course website before Wednesday 8pm;
Two writing assignments (40%): submit two short papers (each 5-7 pages) on given topics;
Final paper (30%): 15-20 pages on select topic of interest.

ANS 301M • Forbidden Romance Mod Chi Lit

30610 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 4.104
(also listed as C L 305 )
show description

This course is an introduction to Chinese literature from the late Qing (the second half of the 19th century) to the present with a less-explored but nevertheless important dimension: romance and the legitimacy of its representation. We will engage in topics such as the literary construction of
romantic subjects in response to socio-political and intellectual provocations, gender studies, and the proliferation of amorous engagements as they pertain to our understanding of modern Chinese literary and cultural studies. We will examine varied textual representations of emotion and passion and reconsider the notion that literature is a reflection of reality.

TEXTS:

Yu Dafu, "Sinking"
Xu Dishan, "Chuntao"
Eileen Chang, Love in a Fallen City
Chu T'ien-wen, Notes of a Desolate Man
Chen Ran, A Private Life
Li Ang, The Butcher's Wife
Other selected electronic readings

GRADING:

Attendance and Participation 15%
Weekly Reading Responses 15%
Two Writing Assignments 40%
Final Exam 30%

ANS 384 • Asian Modernities

30840 • Fall 2010
Meets TH 330pm-630pm JES A209A
show description

Asian Modernities

ANS 301M • Everybody Is Kung Fu Fighting

30855 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm JGB 2.218
show description

See attachment

ANS 372 • Pop Lit And Cul In Mod China

31015 • Spring 2010
Meets MW 500pm-630pm GAR 0.132
show description

See attachment

ANS 385 • Visual Evidence In Mod China

31230 • Fall 2009
Meets TH 330pm-630pm GAR 0.132
show description

Visual Evidence in Modern China (ANS 385, 31230)
Fall 2009, TH 3:30-6:30 PM (PAR 214)
Instructor: Chien-hsin Tsai, (WCH 5.105),
chtsai@mail.utexas.edu
Office Hours: TBA
Description:
How do we see? Why do we see? Are visions always reliable? How does our visual experience add to, or on the contrary, challenge our perception of the world? These are only but a few questions that puzzle writers and thinkers since Plato: for Plato vision is illusion whereas for a Chinese writer like Lu Xun, vision has the power of turning a spectator into spectacle.
Through a broad reading of literary texts and critical writings on photography, pictorial press, advertisement, cinema, and fashion, this course explores the interactions of social context, technology, and culture in modern China. Students will be guided to think more extensively and contextually about the role material media plays in changing epistemological formations, and in defining the “modern” in Chinese literary and cultural fields. The class uses mainly fiction for the literary texts. In many cases, literary text itself becomes a pictograph with careful design and printing, a manifestation of modern, or modernist, sensibility. For critical writings, students will read and discuss theoretical and methodological treatises of ranging from photography to museum exhibitions.
Expectations and Requirements:
Students are required to attend all the seminars, complete the assigned reading, and present a short introduction to one or more of the readings in class, facilitating discussion by directing our attention to a particular segment of the reading for that day by raising a specific issue, question, or link to other texts. A fairly detailed prospectus (5 pages) or draft with preliminary bibliography will be due in class, week 15.
Since Visual Evidence is an interdisciplinary research seminar, students are encouraged to set to work as soon as possible on their individual projects, that first, will be presented for group discussion, and subsequently, will be elaborated into a full-length research paper (20-25 pages). Projects may be individual or collaborative—and, if the latter option is chosen, the length of the seminar paper or scope of the project (such as a website) should reflect the number of students working collaboratively.
We will be presenting our ideas to each other in workshop format at our final session, so students are expected to have preliminary materials on their projects ready for circulation to the other members of the class, either in the form of a prospectus or a preliminary draft of their paper.
Visual Evidence, 2
Grading:
Weekly Reading Responses 15%—Due every Wednesday at 5 PM.
Class participation and oral report 20%
Final Presentation 20%
Prospectus 10%
Final Project 35%--Due December 15 at 5 PM
Week One: Introduction—August 27
The logistics
Week Two: What is Visual Culture?—September 3
Nicholas Mirzoeff, “Introduction: What is Visual Culture?”
W.J.T. Mitchell, “What is an Image?”
Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”
Pang Laikwan, “Introduction” in The Distorting Mirror.
Guan Zengjian, “Zhongguo gudai shijue lilun tansuo” (An exploration of visual theory in ancient China)
Week Three: Photography—September 10
Lu Xun. “Preface” in Call to Arms.
Eileen Chang. “Contrasts” ???.
Select Essays from Classic Essays on Photography.
Susan Sontag. “In Plato’s Cave” from On Photography.
Roland Barthes. Camera Lucida.
Lu Xun. “On Photography” ????? .
Week Four: Pictorials and the Mass—September 17
Wu Youru huabao ????? NC 990.6 W8 A4 1983 On reserve at the Fine Art Library
Harold Kahn, “Drawing Conclusions: Illustration and the Pre-history of Mass Culture.”
Li Hsiao-t’i. Chapter 2 and 4 in Shanghai jindai chengshiwenhua de chuantong yu xiandai 1880-1930 ??????????????.
Leo Lee and Andrew Nathan. “The Beginnings of Mass Culture: Journalism and Fiction in the Late Ch’ing and Beyond.”
Richard Terdiman, “Newspaper Culture: Institutions of Discourse; Discourse of Institutions” from Discourse/Counter-Discourse.
Visual Evidence, 3
Week Five: Women, Magazines, and Advertisements—September 24
Linglong ?? (http://www.columbia.edu/dlc/linglung)
Zhang, Yingjin. “Artwork, Commodity, Event: Representations of the Female Body in Modern Chinese Pictorials." In Jason C. Kuo ed., Visual Culture in Shanghai 1850s-1930s. Washington, DC: New Academia, 2007.
Carrie Waara. “The Bare Truth: Nudes, Sex, and the Modernization Project in Shanghai Pictorials. In Jason C. Kuo ed., Visual Culture in Shanghai 1850s-1930s. Washington, DC: New Academia, 2007.
Shih, Shu-mei. “Shanghai Women of 1939: Visuality and the Limits of Feminine Modernity” In Jason C. Kuo ed., Visual Culture in Shanghai 1850s-1930s. Washington, DC: New Academia, 2007.
Ellen Johnston Laing. “Introduction” in Selling Happiness: Calendar Posters and Visual Culture in Early Twentieth Century Shanghai.
Week Six: Cities—October 1
Dong, Qizhang ???. Atlas ??? selections.
Chen, Danyan ???. Shanghai de fenghua xueyue ??????? selections.
Walter Benjamin. “Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century” from the Arcades Project.
Michel De Certeau. “Walking in the City” from The Practice of Everyday Life.
Wang Der-wei. Xianggang: Yizuo chengshi de gushi ??????????.
Leo Lee. “The Urban Milieu of Shanghai Cinema, 1930-1940.” Shanghai Modern.
Week Seven: Exhibiting Cultures—October 8
Tony Bennett, “The Exhibitionary Complex”
Carol Ann Christ, “‘The Sole Guardians of the Art Inheritance of Asia’: Japan and China at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.” Positions 8:3, pp. 675-709.
Tamara Hamlish, “Preserving the Palace: Museums and the Making of Nationalism(s) in Twentieth-Century China. Museum Anthropology, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 20-30.
Curtis Hinsley. “The World as Marketplace: Commodification of the Exotic at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893.”
Lu, Shao-li ???. Zhanshi Taiwan ????, pp. 152-160.
Week Eight: Fashion, Vision, and Everyday Life—October 15
Eileen Chang. Changing Clothes ???.
Chu T’ien-wen. Fin-de-siecle Splendors ??????.
“China Chic: East Meets West” in Valerie Steele and John Major, eds. China Chic.
Visual Evidence, 4
Antonia Finnane. “Military Culture and Chinese Dress in the Early Twentieth Century” in China Chic.
Christopher Breward. “Cultures, Identities, Histories: Fashioning a Cultural Approach to Dress.” Fashion Theory, Vol. 2 No. 4, pp. 301-314.
Chang, Hsiao-Hung. “Chengshi shi jian huayishang” ???????. Chuang-wai Wenxue Literary Monthly 34:10, pp. 167-186.
Recommend: Chang, Hsiao-Hung. “Xiandaixing de quxian” ??????. Chung-wai Wenxue Literary Month 36:3, pp. 171-200.
Week Nine: Face—October 22
http://www.orlan.net/
Reality TV. The Extreme Makeovers.
Suzanne Fraser. Cosmetic surgery, gender and culture. New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2003. Chapter 3.
Sander Gilman. Creating Beauty to Cure the Soul: Race and Psychology in the Shaping of Aesthetic Surgery. Durham: Duke University Press, 1998. Select chapters.
Cressida J. Heyes. “Cosmetic Surgery And The Televisual Makeover” in Feminist Media Studies, Vol. 7, No.1, pp. 17-32.
Jonathan Watts. “China’s Cosmetic Surgery Craze.” The Lancet, Vol. 363, No. 9413, pp. 958-958.
Eugenia Kaw. “Medicalization of Racial Features: Asian American Women and Cosmetic Surgery.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 74-89.
Week Ten: Revolutionary Aesthetics—October 29
Mao Zedong, “Talks at the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art” excerpts.
Chang-Tai Hung, “Popular Culture in the Communist Areas” from War and Popular Culture.
Harriet Evans and Stephanie Donald eds. “Introducing China’s Posters of Cultural Revolution” in Picturing Power in the People’s Republic of China.
Melissa Schrift, “Manufacturing Mao,” “An Iconography of Mao Badges,” from Biography of a Chairman Mao Badge: The Creation of Mass Consumption of a Personality Cult.
Verity Wilson, “Dress and the Cultural Revolution” in Valerie Steele, ed., China Chic.
Week Eleven: Trauma, Photojournalism, Ethics—November 5
Chang, Hsiao-Hung. “Kan, bujian Jiu Er Yi: Zainan, Chuangshang yu shijue xiaofei” ??????????????????. Chung-wai Wenxue Literary Monthly 35:6, pp. 83-131.
Julianne Newton. The Burden of Visual Truth : The Role of Photojournalism in Mediating Reality. Chapter 2. Netlibrary.
Visual Evidence, 5
Roger Simpson and William Coté. Covering Violence: A Guide to Ethical Reporting About Victims and Trauma. Selections.
Douglas Kellner. “9/11, Spectacles of Terror, and Media Manipulation.” Critical Discourse Studies. Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 41-64.
Week Twelve: Fiction Break/Workshop with the Writers—November 9
Chu, T’ien-wen. Wu yan ??. Huangren shouji ????, (The Notes of a Desolate Man) selections.
Ko, Yu-fen ???. Tianmei de chana ????? Selections.
Liu, Ke-hsiang ???. Selected writings.
Week Thirteen: Prospectus Writing and Preparation for Final Presentation—November 16
No class meeting. Instead, we will have a slightly longer seminar in our last meeting.
Week Fourteen: Thanksgiving Holidays—No Class
Week Fifteen: Final Presentation—December 3
Prospectus Due in the beginning of the class.
Our final session will be in the form of a mini-conference/workshop which. Students will give brief presentations (no to exceed 20 minutes;15 minutes ideal) of their final projects, followed by discussion from others. As the time approaches, we can decide as a group whether the workshop should be publicized and/or open to an outside audience.
Final Paper Due—5 PM, December 15
Official Policies
Visual Evidence, 6
• Academic integrity: You are expected to adhere to university requirements on academic honesty and integrity. Behaviors, such as plagiarism, copying of another student’s work, are serious offenses that will result in the grade of an “F” for the course and will be reported to the office of Student Judicial Services, where further disciplinary action may be taken. Please refer to the following website for information on how to avoid plagiarism in your work and/or discuss this with the instructor: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs/acint_student.php
• University Electronic Notification Mail Policy: In this course, e-mail will be used as a means of communication with students. You will be responsible for checking your e-mail regularly for class announcements and assignments. As per the University Electronic Notification Policy (please see http://www.utexas.edu/its/policies/emailnotify.html), it is your responsibility to update your email address and to check your e-mail regularly.
• Accommodations for Students with Documented Disabilities: Students who require special accommodations need to get a letter that documents the disability from the Services for Students with Disabilities area of the Office of the Dean of Students (471-6529 voice or 471-4641 TTY). This letter should be presented to the instructor at the beginning of the semester so that appropriate accommodations can be made at that time. For more information, please see: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/ssd/
• Use of Blackboard in Class: Most of our readings are available on blackboard. You should print out and bring your readings to class. Please allow yourself enough time before an assignment is due. As with all computer systems, there are occasional scheduled downtimes as well as unanticipated disruptions. Blackboard is available at http://courses.utexas.edu. Support is provided by the ITS Help Desk at 475-9400 during business hours on weekdays.
• Religious Holidays: If you will need to miss class, tests, or other assignments due to the observance of a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the work you have missed provided you notify me at least one week prior to the absence.

Publications

2013 “At the Crossroads: Orphan of Asia, Postloyalism, and Sinophone Studies,” Sun Yat-Sen Journal of Humanities 35.2

2012 “The Heterotopic Agent in Chu T’ien-hsin’s ‘The Old Capital,’” Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies 38.2

2011 "In Sickness of in Health: Yan Lianke and the Writing of Autoimmunity." Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, vol. 23, no. 1 (Spring 2011), pp. 77-104

2011 "The Museum of Innoence: The Great Leap Forward and Famine, Yan Lianke, and Four Books" http://mclc.osu.edu/rc/pubs/tsai2.htm

 

 

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