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					                     Women’s Studies 249
           Asian American Women in Film and Video
                      Fall Semester 2006
               Tuesday & Friday 9:50-11:00am

Professor: Elena Tajima Creef
422 Founders, x2199
ecreef@wellesley.edu
Office Hours: Tues/Fri. 11am-12nn

This course will serve as an introduction to Asian American
film and video and begin with     the premise that there is a
distinctly American style of Asian “Orientalist” representation
by tracing its development in Hollywood film over the last
eighty-five years. We examine the politics of interracial
romance, the phenomenon of “yellow face,” the relationship
between literature and film, and the different constructions of
Asian American femininity, masculinity, and sexuality. We also
look at contemporary trends in Asian American and trans-global
Asian/American cinema where our focus is on both documentary,
short feature, experimental films and videos that deal
centrally with the politics of race, class, and gender
representation in American history and culture.
Required Books
Darrell Y. Hamamoto & Sandra Liu, eds. Countervisions: Asian American Film
  Criticism (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2000)
Gina Marchetti. Romance & the “Yellow Peril”: Race, Sex, and Discursive
  Practices in Hollywood Fiction (Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of
  California Press, 1993)
Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club (New York: Putnam, 1989)
A PDF Course Reader (pdf)—available electronically on class conference

Course Requirements
Mandatory participation in weekly
meetings/screenings/discussion.
Two short papers (5-7 pages).
Final paper (12-15 pages plus bibliography)
Film journal: 2 (typed) pages per week on the films to be
collected three times during semester.
In-class presentations (including a final presentation at the
end of the semester).
Note: no late papers or journals accepted.
Films to be Screened:
W. D. Griffith. “Broken Blossoms”        Wayne Wang. “The Joy Luck Club”
(1919)                                   (1993)
E.A. Dupont. “Piccadilly” (1929 )        Mira Nair. “Mississippi Masala”
Joseph Von Sternberg. “Shanghai          (1992)
Express” (1932)                          Kayo Hatta. “Picture Bride” (1995)
Joshua Logan. “Sayonara.” (1957)         Asian American Television: Margaret
Jack Cardiff. “My Geisha” (1962)           Cho in “All-         American
Richard Quine. “The World of Suzie         Girl” (1994)
Wong” (1960)                             Hiroko Yamazaki. “Juxta” (1989)
                                                                              2


Pam Tom. “Two Lies” (1989)               Deborah Gee. “Slaying the Dragon”
Helen Lee. “Sally’s Beauty Spot”         (1988)
(1990)                                   Valerie Soe: “Picturing Oriental
                                         Girls” (1992)
Rea Tajiri. “History and Memory: For Akiko
   and Takashige” (1991)
Rea Tajiri: “Strawberry Fields” (1997)


Class Meetings, Readings, & Films to be Screened

Week 1             Introduction to Asian/American Women in Film
Sept. 5/8    Introductions
             Film: Valerie Soe. “Picturing Oriental Girls: A (Re)Educational
             Videotape” (1992) &
             Deborah Gee: “Slaying the Dragon” (1988)
             Readings: Gina Marchetti: Chapter 1: “Introduction”; Renee
             Tajima: “Lotus Blossoms Don’t Bleed” (pdf)

Week 2            Hollywood’s Imagined “Orient”
Sept. 12/15 Film: Joseph Von Sternberg: “Shanghai Express” (1932)
            Readings: Cynthia W. Liu: “’When Dragon Ladies Die, Do They Come
Back as                 Butterflies?’ Re-Imagining Anna May Wong” (H &L);
Gina Marchetti: Chap. 3: “The                   Threat of Captivity.”

Week 3            The Desiring of Asian Women in Postwar America
Sept. 19/22 Film: Joshua Logan: “Sayonara” (1957)
            Readings: Gina Marchetti: Chap. 7: “Tragic and Transcendent
Love”; William Worden and           Janet Wentworth Smith: “They’re Bringing
Home War Brides” (pdf)

Week 4            “Yellow Face” Fantasies and the Romance of Japan
Sept. 26/29 Film: Jack Cardiff: “My Geisha” (1962) & Madonna: “Nothing
            Really Matters” (1999)
            Readings: Gina Marchetti: Chap. 9: “The Return of the
            Butterfly”; Richard B. Ito: “A Certain Slant: A Brief History of
            Hollywood Yellowface” available on-line at:
            http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/18/18_yellow.html

Week 5            Recuperating a (Problematic) Classic Film for Asian American
Women’s Studies
Oct. 3/6`   Film: Richard Quine: “The World of Suzy Wong” (1960)
            Readings: Peter X. Feng: “Recuperating Suzie Wong: A Fan’s
            Nancy Kwan Diary” (H&L); Gina Marchetti: Chap. 6: “White
            Knights in Hong Kong.”

Week 6            Historical Memory & Women in the Internment Camps
Oct. 10           Fall Break: No Class

Oct. 13           Film (screened in class): Rea Tajiri: “History and Memory”
(1991)

Week 7            Historical Memory and Women in the Internment Camps
Oct. 17/20  Film: Rea Tajiri: “Strawberry Fields” (1997)
            Readings: Glen Masato Mimura: “Antidote for Collective Amnesia?
Rea Tajiri’s Germinal         Image” (in H & L); Martia Sturken: “History
and Memory” (pdf)

Week 8            Asian/American Masculinity: Revisiting Classics from the
Silent Era
Oct. 24      Tanner Conference—no classes.
                                                                               3



Oct. 27     Film: D.W. Griffith: “Broken Blossoms” (1919)
            Special guest lecturer: Professor Alison L. McKee. D.W.
Griffith’s “Broken Blossoms” (1919)
            Readings: Gina Marchetti: Chapter 2: “The Rape Fantasy: The Cheat
            and Broken Blossoms”; Richard Oehling: “The Yellow Menace” (pdf)

Week 9             Between Yellow and Black: Cross-Racial Romance and Desire

Oct. 31/Nov. 3    Film: Mira Nair: “Mississippi Masala” (1992)
            Readings: Purnima Bose and Linta Varghese: “‘Mississippi Masala,’
            South Asian Activism, and Agency” (pdf); Adeleke Adeeko:
            “Mississippi Masala: Crossing Desire and Interest” (pdf); Binita
            Mehta: “Emigrants Twice Displaced: Race, Color, and Identity in Mira
            Nair’s ‘Mississippi Masala’” pdf).


Week 10     East to America: Representing Japanese Picture Brides in
Independent Film
Nov. 7/10   Film: Kayo Hatta: “Picture Bride” (1995)
            Readings: Mitsuye Yamada: “I Learned to Sew” (pdf); Alice Chai:
“’Picture Brides: Feminist                Analysis of Life Histories of
Hawaii’s Early Immigrant Women from Japan, Okinawa, and                  Korea”
(pdf); Gail Miyasaki. “Hole Hole Bushi: The Only Song of the Japanese in
Hawaii” (pdf).

Week 11       Asian American Feminist Short Films
Nov. 14/17    Films (screened in class): Pam Tom: “Two Lies” (1989); Hiroko
              Yamazaki: “Juxta” (1989);
              Readings: Jun Xing: “Hybrid Cinema by Asian American Women” (H&L);
Marina                          Heung: “Representing Ourselves, Films and Videos
by Asian American/Canadian                        Women” (pdf); Valerie Soe:
“Fighting Fire With Fire: Detournement, Activism, and Video Art”
       (H&L).

Week 12      Asian American Feminist Short Films
Nov. 21      Film (screened in class): Helen Lee: “Sally’s Beauty Spot” (1990)
             (pdf)
             Readings: Helen Lee: “A Peculiar Sensation: A Personal Genealogy
of Korean                American Women’s Cinema” (pdf);

Nov. 24            Thanksgiving Recess: No class

Week 13     From Literature to Film: Representing Asian/American Mothers &
Daughters
Nov. 28/Dec. 1    Film: Wayne Wang: “The Joy Luck Club” (1993)
            Readings: Amy Tan: The Joy Luck Club (1989)

Week 14      Examining Margaret Cho’s “All American Girl” (1994) Television
Series
Dec. 5/8           Student presentations

Week 15      Recuperating Anna May Wong’s Place in Asian American Film
History
Dec. 12            Film: E.A. Dupont: “Piccadilly (1929)
             Readings: TBA



  Final Papers due December 21 at 4:30pm in my box in Women’s
                         Studies Lounge
4

				
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