In recent years, the humanities and social sciences have witnessed a fast-growing presence of pedagogical practices with moving images across a wide range of fields. Along with the ever-changing film studies curriculum, films have been used in diverse ways to, among other purposes, increase learning motivation and engagement; provide cognitive facilities for theoretical concepts; present complex and subtle information as analytical materials; and simulate an experience with unfamiliar, underrepresented, or difficult-to-reach subjects. At the same time, there are scholars and instructors who caution against using film for teaching, especially when the subject is projected as an “other” on screen, because they are concerned about its potential to create negative emotional tension; blur the boundary between reality and representation; and generate false, distorted, or simplistic understanding of real-world complexity.
As part of the MLA series Options for Teaching, this edited volume situates the discussion of pedagogical uses of films in one particular context: teaching Chinese film-centered courses or China-related humanities and social science courses with films produced in Republican China or the People’s Republic of China. In the existing literature on the advantages and pitfalls of teaching with films, relatively little delves adequately into a specific cultural, societal, and cinematic context. Such contexts often vary vastly from one class to another and fundamentally alter the dynamics that determine the appropriate pedagogical uses of film. We welcome essays combining filmic analyses with pedagogical evaluations of or teaching guides for the films in a specific disciplinary or interdisciplinary context. Subjects of teaching are open to such diverse fields as Chinese language, society, history, culture, politics, gender, communication, geography, and economy. To avoid duplicate topics, interested scholars are encouraged to contact the editors before submitting their abstracts.
Please send 500-word abstracts to Zhuoyi Wang (firstname.lastname@example.org), Emily Wilcox (email@example.com), and Hongmei Yu (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 1 May 2020; once accepted, full papers of 4,000–8,000 words are expected by 15 October 2020.