A little more on project ideas

January 27th, 2009

Project Possibilities Spring 09 PRC Seminar

  1. I am interested in censorship in Chinese literature. I would really like to study a few specific female authors. One that has come up a lot in my searches is Can Xue. I was thinking I could use a few of her writings and also investigate censorship as a whole in the modern PRC.
    1. Central Questions: What specific qualifications are there for a book to be banned in the PRC? Are there any perks to this system for obedient writers that follow the rules? How easy is it to get a hold of these banned books in China (merely an inconvenience like the internet or harder?) Do authors face political/physical danger for their banned productions?
    2. Research Leads:

i. Interview with Xue about her writing and censorship,

ii. her writings (Yellow Mud Street, Old Floating Cloud, Hut on a Mountain),

iii. Stubborn Weeds: Popular and Controversial Chinese Literature after the Cultural Revolution. Ed. Perry Link. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1983.,

iv. Between Discourse and Reality, review by Barbara Mittler

v. Perry Link – Roses and thorns : the second blooming of the Hundred Flowers in Chinese fiction, 1979-1980.

vi. In the Red – Geremie Barme

  1. I also would be interested in looking into censorship of Chinese film. I have been less successful with this topic as of yet, but did find a few things on MCLC.
    1. I am thinking along the contemporary lines and would really like to find a few films and see the governmental reaction/censorship (if in fact there is any). Central Questions might be: What type of films or directors or actors are acceptable to the Chinese culture? How are US movies viewed? Are there any laws or restrictions as to what can be produced in film?
    2. Research:

i. http://www.dianying.com/en/

ii. http://newton.uor.edu/Departments&Programs/AsianStudiesDept/china-film.html

iii. http://www.china.org.cn/english/features/film/84528.htm

iv. So far I have found little scholarly works on this, but I have scheduled an appointment with my film professor to see if he has any leads.


Potential Topics – rambling to hopefully make sense

January 22nd, 2009

This research project is actually somewhat daunting to me – I really feel like the open ended nature of this assignment is somewhat crippling to me. While YES I like to have flexibility as to being able to choose what I find the most interesting, OFTEN (and by that I mean always) I find myself choosing obscure topics that have NO primary sources and very limited information on them. Example 1: Heifer Project (what is this? yeah…that’s what everyone in my 299 said and no wonder – there is no information anywhere about it) Example 2: James Dean’s romantic life (senior thesis which turned into a secondary source literature review compilation due to the lack of sufficient relevant info – mainly caused by the taboo nature of his bi-sexual experiences, but bad news none the less). So seriously – pick a good topic Elle.

Option number 1: I am really interested in looking into governmental censorship – particularly literature or cinema in modern (ish) china. I was thinking that this way I have some primary sources in the books or films themselves, but the problem there is are there english translations? How do I go about finding the books that China wants to disappear? Tough stuff.

Option 2: Not too sure – I, like Zane, am really interested in sports. I equate China’s gynastics team to that of a Russian polevaulter trained from birth (or insert other insane country hand-picking young ones for national glory in the sports arena). I don’t want to step on any toes though, so I’m trying to veer in a different direction… more to come for sure. Maybe an entirely different idea.


History 471 PRC China Self Introduction

January 14th, 2009

I’m Elle, Pisces senior graduating a year early. I’m pretty involved on campus – I mentor weekly with the program I founded -Young Women Leaders Program, I’m co-captain of Women’s Club Soccer, I’m a Washington Guide, & the Mortar Board Publicity Chair. I enjoy being busy and I tend to be pretty opinionated.

Academically, I am a history major. I wrote my senior thesis last semester on James Dean and the history of sexuality of the 1930s-50s. I really enjoy that pop culture look at history, so this was a good fit for me. I am really uncertain as to what I will want to study for this class. Possibly education. I watched a video from the Global Voices website that was a film of a dozen or so school children reciting a anti-all countries that are not China poem, which I found to be scary and surprising. I don’t know much of anything about the Chinese culture but I think it would be interesting to investigate what Chinese children are learning in their schools. If not that, I would be more than happy to look into some popular icons or music or something fun like that. I need to do a bunch more research before I decide.


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