Chinese Language and Literature Senior Integrated Projects

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This collection includes Senior Integrated Projects (SIPs, formerly known as Senior Individualized Projects) completed in the Chinese Department. Abstracts are generally available to the public, but PDF files are available only to current Kalamazoo College students, faculty, and staff. If you are not a current K College student, faculty, or staff member, email us at to request access to a SIP.


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    Perseverance in Zhang Yimou's To Live
    (2022) Tate, Saudia; Weng, Leihua
    To Live is a masterful piece of work by Zhang Yimou that reflects on the specific experiences of Fugui and his family – however, because of the film’s theme of perseverance, it is a story many people can learn from and relate to in their own personal reflections. Films have the potential to help people visualize the past in creative ways.34 People can challenge themselves to examine history through films like To Live that present thoughtful, retrospective narratives of the past. Zhang Yimou’s To Live adds a dimension to the study of modern Chinese history by creating a film that invites critical thinking and discussion on a complex and tumultuous period in Chinese history.
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    United Airlines On-Board Service Internship
    (1996) Roche, Mikayla Tuyet; Chu, Madeline, 1940-
    The author describes her internship with United Airlines in the Marketing Research Department helping to culturally interpret customer surveys directly from the People's Republic of China
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    Huang Tingjian (1045-1105) and the Formation of Literati Aesthetics
    (2012) Cai, Yin; Chu, Madeline, 1940-
    As a representative figure of the rising official-scholar class during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1126), poet and calligrapher Huang Tingjian (1045-1105) advocates an individualized and ingenious way of art creations that not only reflects profound knowledge about the traditional teachings, but transcends that boundary with fresh aesthetic considerations. This article studies Huang Tingjian’s time, his life as an official-scholar in the Northern Song, and artistic practice in various forms. It will first outline Huang's advocates about the poetic compositions as opposed to some of his contemporaries, and then take a closer look at his understanding on Chinese calligraphy and painting. It will focus on several of Huang's own writing about art works, together with a few critics of others especially those from his contemporaries, to analyze his contributions to the sophisticated literati aesthetics of the Northern Song period. For this purpose, this article includes a number of original Classical Chinese poems and essays. The author did the translations for these primary sources, if not otherwise indicated. By introducing several groups of artists and their artistic practice that might have been inspired by Huang's artistic ideology within China and in the greater East Asia stage, the conclusion emphasizes the deep and long-lasting influence his theories and practice have had on literati art far beyond the Northern Song China, and even centuries later in Japan as well.
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    Creation, Languages and Education of China's Minority People
    (2011) Lemien, Joseph; Chu, Madeline, 1940-
    With China's rapid rise as a cultural and economic power over the past thirty years, and with the claim that the 21st century will be China's century, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has become an important consideration in the policies of world governments, international businesses and academic research. China is often seen as a cultural powerhouse, with Confucianism, an extensive dynastic history and a writing system at its core. Although it is acknowledged that minority peoples make up nearly 10% of China's population, their small percentage of the population belies the impact that these peoples have on the government policy of the PRC. In order to understand the importance which China's minority population has for government policy, it is essential to understand the political origin of the labels which minority groups are given by the state. When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) undertook its minzu (literally: clan of people) identification project in the 1950s, it claimed to adhere to specific criteria. The reality is that China's minzu identification project was a haphazardly conducted and politically motivated categorization of China's waizu. Politics, pre-existing categories, and highly complex situations caused the minzu identification project to fail in its attempt to adhere to Stalin's criteria. Despite a failure to adhere to its alleged framework, the results of the minzu identification project, the current 56 minzu groups, have become a part of modern Chinese people's self-identity. The PRC wants to promote and protect its own national unity, and as it perceives many of the minzu groups as lacking a historical connection to China, the state promotes national unity in relation to the shaoshu minzu by integrating them into and assimilating them to the majority culture of the hanzu via the public state-run school system. However, the different worldviews, priorities, and economic situations between hanzu and minority peoples make implementation of this goal difficult for the PRC. Language differences between the various minzu is a factor that greatly hinders the spread of the state-promoted ideas to minority minzu peoples. At the same time, distinct geographic areas, cultures that are historically separated from han culture, hanzu-shaoshu minzu antagonism and extra-China similars also cause the minority people of China to be less susceptible to the government's attempts at sinicization.
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    Issues in International and East Asia Studies: Today's Chinese Cinema
    (1995) Markel, Stewart B.; Lee, Francis
    I offer here a compact history of the cinema in China in order to provide a basis for much of the political and social impact of today's cinema. Also included is an overview of the Beijing Film Academy, China's only film school and the largest in Asia. The students studying there today come from a variety of backgrounds and set numerous goals for themselves. While in Beijing I quickly found I could easily relate to them and spent a great deal of time at the academy. By looking at the history and current structure of the academy I was able to understand how China has traditionally trained its filmmakers. The attitudes and ideas expressed by students at the academy show what kind of filmmakers will comprise the future Chinese film industry. The last section on current issues in Chinese cinema outlines some of the debate surround the future of the art form in China. The majority of this material comes from interviews with filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival In Beijing '95, which was held during my stay in China. The questions about market forces and what audiences filmmakers should seek are fundamental to the future of Chinese cinema. Finally I offer a few short summaries of recent releases I was able to see while in Beijing. These I include to give the reader an idea of subject matter found in today's Chinese film. The very last section is a glossary of film terms with translations that I and Sophia Wong complied while attending a course at the Beijing Film Academy. This glossary was extremely helpful when talking with filmmakers and students about their craft. This project is presented as a research tool for the study of Chinese film. I offer few conclusions or opinions, rather I present the sum of my research on the subject. Chinese cinema, like any world cinema, is unique to its country of origin; the history, people, and culture of China make it one of a kind. Yet the industry is full of diversity with differing schools of thought and style, large and small studios, and well known established filmmakers as well as independent directors. All of this makes Chinese cinema difficult to categorize, rather than attempt the impossible what I give here is a description of film in China.
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