82052 - Chinese Culture and Literature

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Serena Zuccheri

  • Credits 6

  • SSD L-OR/21

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The student - knows the core features (contents, methods and instruments) necessary for the in-depth analysis of Chinese culture and literature - is able to apply this knowledge when tackling a range of semiotically challenging texts - is able to acquire higher-level cultural and literary knowledge and competences independently, and to apply them to a wide range of novel texts

Course contents

Since its inception in 1958, China's television industry has played a key role in the dissemination and consolidation of the government policies of The People's Republic of China (PRC). Towards the end of the 1970's, with the launch of policies aimed at reforming the economic system, and promoting the gradual opening up to foreign countries, television and Chinese media in general, have experienced profound changes in line with the economic and market growth in the PRC.

This course will introduce the origin and development of the Chinese television industry, with a particular focus on the birth of Chinese TV series since the 1990's. Specifically, students will watch, discuss and analyze episodes from some of the most famous Chinese drama series, such as Beijingers in New York (1994), Chinese Style Divorce (2004) and Ode to Joy (2015).

Given the internationalization process that the Chinese television system seems to be moving towards, and the influence that British-American television series appear to exert on the global scale, this course will introduce another important topic, the origin and development of the 'fansubbing' phenomenon in China. Specific focus will be given to the non professional translation of the first season of Gomorra - La serie.


De Burgh H., Zeng Rong, Chen Siming, “Chinese television ‘internationalization’ and the search for creativity”, in Creative Industries Journal, 2012, 4, 2, pp. 137-154.

Rofel, L.B. "Yearnings: televisual love and melodramtic politics in contemporary China", in American Ethnologist, 1994, 21, 4, pp. 700-722.

Ying Zhu, C. Berry (a cura di), TV China, Indiana University Press, 2009, pp. 40-55; 150-179.

Yipeng Shen, Discourses of Contemporary China. The Narration of the Nation in Popular Literatures, Film and Television, palgrave macmillan, 2015, pp. 64-101.

Zhong Xueping, Mainstream Culture Refocused. Television Drama, Society, and the Production of Meaning in Reform-Era China, University of Hawai'i Press, 2010, pp. 1-27.

Teaching methods

Student participatory lectures with practical exercises in subtitling from some of the drama series analyzed during the course. 70% attendance is mandatory.

Assessment methods

An oral exam which will assess students' knowledge of the topics introduced during the course. In addition, twenty days before the oral exam, students will be required to submit a translation of one episode chosen from one of the drama series analyzed during the course.

Teaching tools

Computer with Internet connection, books, articles, dictionaries, subtitle transcripts, audio and video files, ppt files. The ppt files and the subtitle transcripts will be available on the Moodle e-learning platform (http://moodle.sslmit.unibo.it).

Office hours

See the website of Serena Zuccheri