Ordinary Voices, Extraordinary Stories: History and Memory in Documentaries and Biographies (1949-Present) | 香港中文大學歷史系
香港中文大學 歴史系 歴史系
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HIST4180RH Ordinary Voices, Extraordinary Stories: History and Memory in Documentaries and Biographies (1949-Present)

時間星期三 2:30pm - 4:15pm

地點人文館 11

語言英語

課程講師 何曉清 ((852) 3943 7128 / rowenahe@cuhk.edu.hk)

助教 Ho Siu Ping, Sammantha (ho_siu_ping@link.cuhk.edu.hk)

課程簡介

Those who control the past control the future; those who control the present control the past.

 ― George Orwell, 1984

Lin Zhao, a Beijing University student, and a Christian, condemned as counterrevolutionary “Rightist,” executed in 1968

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Memories of shared historical experiences serve as lessons for societies to learn from the past and inform the present. However, individual memories of ordinary people often become obscured behind the grand narratives of the official accounts of history. This is especially true in societies where history is not just an academic discipline, or a search for historical truth, but a powerful political weapon manipulated by state power to promote historical amnesia, and to impede critical examination of historical tragedies and injustice.

Citizens understand their responsibilities for the future by debating the moral meaning of history. While those in power can erase history or distort memories of past glories, traumas, and humiliation, the hijacking of history is followed by distortions of all kinds in politics, society, and identity. Public opinion pertaining to democracy and nationalism is inseparable from a collective memory of the nation’s past, be it truthful, selective, or manipulated.

This course will be an intellectual exploration of individual stories and voices, through the lenses of independent documentaries, memoires, biographies, and oral histories, in major historical events throughout the PRC period of modern Chinese history.  In parallel to the discussions of the narratives, we would also have the opportunity to speak to writers and documentary film makers who decided to document those stories that would otherwise be invisible and unheard. Milan Kundera describes the struggle of man against power as the struggle of memory against forgetting. An important element of this course will be the critical examination of the contemporary relevance of China’s past, the challenges of the ongoing contest between state-imposed interpretations of history and the independent pursuit of historical knowledge, and its implications on China’s future and its relationship with rest of the world.

COURSE OUTCOME

This course aims to help students to develop skills to think, write, and speak critically and analytically about the past. In particular, we will examine the state-sponsored version of history presented by the Chinese Communist party with our own critical minds based on evidence. We will work together as historians to evaluate historical evidence in primary and secondary sources, to think within historical contexts, to recognize the historical forces at work, to identify continuities and changes, and to understand the ethical dimension of historical interpretations as world citizens. One of the highlights of this course would be the opportunity to have conversations about the readings and documentaries with their authors/directors.

課程大綱

Week 1

September 4 Introduction

No Readings for the first class. Just come with an open mind and open heart!

Week 2

 September 11 History, Memory and Power

John Pomfret (August 2017). China’s Odious Manipulation of History is infecting the West. Washington Post.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2017/08/23/chinas-odious-manipulation-of-history-is-infecting-the-west/?utm_term=.1e8a8da4f809

Chin Josh (August 2016). Court Orders Writer to Apologize over Langya Mt. Story. China Real Time, WSJ.

http://u.osu.edu/mclc/2016/08/16/court-orders-writer-to-apologize-over-langya-mt-story/

Didi, Tang, Why Chinese Youth are Ignorant of Tiananmen Square Protests. Associated Press,

June 2, 2014.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2014/0602/Why-Chinese-youth-are-ignorant-of-Tiananmen-Square-protest

Buckley, Chris (August 2016). Revamped Chinese History Journal Welcomes Hard-Line Writers, Sinosphere, New York Times, August 17, 2016.

In Class:

Historical Thinking Framework

Political Socialization Framework

Week 3

September 18 The 1989 Tiananmen Movement and its aftermath

He, Rowena (2014). Tiananmen Exiles: Voices of the Struggle for Democracy in China. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 3-11; 61-87 (on course blackboard)

Schwarcz, Vera. “The Lonely Few: Human Rights and the Dreams of the Tiananmen Generation,” Human Rights Quarterly 38, 2 (May 2016): 516-519 (on course blackboard).

He, Rowena. “The Fight for Democracy is not just a Challenge for People in Hong Kong.” Guardian, September 29 2014.

Supplementary Reading:

He. Rowena. “The 1989 Tiananmen Movement and its Aftermath.” In The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History. Ed. David Ludden. New York: Oxford University Press. December 2017.

He, Rowena. “Never Forget, Never Give up: The Tiananmen Movement, 30 years later.” The Globe and Mail, April 19, 2019.

He, Rowena. “China continues to deny Tiananmen, but we won’t let the world forget.” Guardian, June 4, 2019.

He, Rowena. “Surviving Tiananmen: The Price of Dissent in China.” The Nation, June 4, 2019. 

He, Rowena. “False Identity? Forced Identity?: Taiwan in China’s Post-Tiananmen Nationalism.” Taiwan Insight, University of Nottingham, June issue, 2019.

In Class:

Primary Source and Secondary Sources

Academic Housekeeping: Complete sign up for presentations and discussion groups

Week 4

September 25 Hong Kong’s 1967 Leftist Riots

Vanished Archives (2018, about Hong Kong’s 1967 Leftist Riots), Lo Yan-wai, 119 minutes.

MacMillan, Margaret (2010). Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History (New York: A Modern Library Chronicles Book) (Selected chapters will be available on course Blackboard).

Guest Speaker: Director Lo Yan-wai

Week 5

October 2 The Anti-Rightist Campaign I

The Spark (2013, about a group of Lanzhou University students who started a publication after being sent to rural areas as Rightists in Gansu Province and witnessed the mass starvation and deaths of the Great Famine, and who eventually were all arrested and given long prison sentences). Hu Jie, 100 minutes.

MacMillan, Margaret (2010). Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History (New York: A Modern Library Chronicles Book) (Selected chapters will be available on course Blackboard).

Week 6

October 9 The Anti-Rightist Campaign II

Lian, Xi (2018). Blood Letters: The Untold Story of Lin Zhao, a Martyr in Mao’s China. New York: Basic Books (selected chapters will be available on course blackboard)

Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul (2005, about a Beijing University student turned Rightist who was eventually executed during the Cultural Revolution after being kept in prison for eight years), Hu Jie, 125 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQIGjzj1-vc

Guest Speaker: Professor Lian Xi.

Supplementary Readings:

Pan, Phillip, Out of Mao’s Shadow, pp. 3 – 81. (Part I “Remembering”)

Week 7

October 16 The Anti-Rightist Campaign III

Jianbiangou Elegy: Life and Death of the Rightists (2017, about a labor camp in Jiabiangou, Gansu province where many Rightists were forced to work and “reform through labor”), Ai Xiaoming, a five-part documentary. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0NN1F_HegY

MacMillan, Margaret (2010). Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History (New York: A Modern Library Chronicles Book) (Selected chapters will be available on course Blackboard).

Week 8

October 23 The Cultural Revolution I

Cheng, Nien. Life and Death in Shanghai (Selected chapters will be available on course Blackboard).

Week 9

October 30 The Cultural Revolution II

Though I Am Gone (2006, about Bian Zhongyun, a vice principal of a high school in Beijing who was beaten to death by students in August 1966 at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution), Hu Jie, 75 minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBfGc3-InrA

Chang, Jung (1991). Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (Selected chapters will be available on course Blackboard).

Week 10

November 6 The Reform Era of 1980s

Fang, Lizhi (2017). The Most Wanted Man in China: My Journey from Scientist to Enemy of the State. China (Selected chapters will be available on course Blackboard).

Week 11

November 13 Memory and Justice

MacMillan, Margaret (2010). Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History (New York: A Modern Library Chronicles Book) (Selected chapters will be available on course Blackboard).

Karamay (2009, about the great fire of Karamay), Xu Xin.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aJQimJfpYI

Our Children (2009, about the experiences of parents whose children were killed when their schools collapsed during 2008 earthquake), Ai Xiaoming, 73 minutes.

Week 12

November 20 The Rights-defense Movement

Xu, Youyu, Hua, Ze (2013). In the Shadow of the Rising Dragon: Stories of Repression in the New China (Selected chapters will be available on course Blackboard).

Week 13

November 27 Review

課程評核及作業

CLASS PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITIES

This is a student-centered class. Students are expected to be actively engaged in class and to work with other students. Class activities include group discussions, news presentations, lectures, documentary screenings, and reenactment of historical scenes. I will continue my nine-year tradition of having class lunches/dinners with students who are interested in joining. Please come to class on time and turn off your lap top and cell phone.

We will work together to create an environment for intellectual dialogues and to cultivate informed, responsible, and engaged citizens. Being empathetic and inclusive does not mean that we avoid core issues; it does not absolve us from our responsibility to engage in critical thinking and honest intellectual debates. I also recognize that each of us has our own individual differences and preferences in learning styles and strategies. I will keep that in mind and will work with each of you to bring the best out of your potential and talent.  

 

Discussion Teams and Team Leaders

At the beginning of the semester, the class will be divided into discussion teams and team members will take turns to be leaders of their team during the semester. Each student learns to take responsibility as a leader as well as work as a team member under the leadership of another student. We all learn both as individuals and as members of groups to which we belong.

Group Discussions

Each class will start with warm-up group discussions. We will divide into small groups to discuss major issues relating to the required materials of the day. In order to participate in group discussions, you will have to finish reading or watching the required materials before coming to class, know the basic facts, and establish their relations to the larger context. Students will have the chance to work with their own discussion team members as well as other students in the class. By the end of the semester, you will have worked with other classmates in your teamwork.

News Presentation on Current Affairs

Students are expected to keep abreast of news reporting on current developments in China. The present is shaped by the past. The present also continually shapes and reshapes our understanding of the past. Past and present are not separate, but co-exist, sometimes in harmony, sometimes in tension. News articles will be forwarded through the class mailing list. Students will form a group with other students who are interested in the same piece of news to present to the class the background (historical, social, political, and/or cultural) of the news you are presenting, the core facts of the issue (who/what/how/when), the implications, and your critical response. The main challenge is to try to understand the current developments in light of the broader picture, and to discover the historical undercurrents that continue to shape the present. You are encouraged to conduct more research on the issues you are presenting. Imagine that you were the professor and you were to teach your students what you have learned from the materials. After the presentation, students are encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback to the presenters. 

 

EVALUATION

  • Class Performance (Including Tutor Session) (30%)
  • News Presentation (10%)
  • Final Project (60%)
參考書目

Each week’s materials will focus on one theme/topic. The documentaries and biographies aim to facilitate students’ understanding of history through human experiences, and to cultivate students’ personal moral engagement as well as historical consciousness and intellectual understanding of the world. After all, the history that we are exploring is not just about dates, names, and numbers, but timeless questions such as values and choices, conflict and love, loyalty and betrayal. In addition to the films and biographies, we will also read a core text  on the uses and abuses of history at different periods of history throughout the world to develop comparative perspectives in time and space.

Books and documentaries required for the course are placed on reserve in the library, and will be available on the course Blackboard as well.

Books

MacMillan, Margaret (2010). Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History (New York: A Modern Library Chronicles Book).

Chang, Jung (1991). Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China

Lian, Xi (2018). Blood Letters: The Untold Story of Lin Zhao, a Martyr in Mao’s China. New York: Basic Books.

Cheng, Nien. Life and Death in Shanghai

Fang, Lizhi (2017). The Most Wanted Man in China: My Journey from Scientist to Enemy of the State.

He, Rowena (2014). Tiananmen Exiles: Voices of the Struggle for Democracy in China

Xu, Youyu, Hua, Ze (2013). In the Shadow of the Rising Dragon: Stories of Repression in the New China.

Independent documentaries:

The Hurricane (2005, about the Land Reform of the late 1940s and early 1950s), Jiang Yue and Duan Jinchuan, 89 minutes.

https://china.usc.edu/calendar/chinese-independent-documentary-series-hurricane

Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul (2005, about a Beijing University student turned Rightist who was eventually executed during the Cultural Revolution after being kept in prison for eight years), Hu Jie, 125 minutes.

The Spark (2013, about a group of Lanzhou University students who started a publication after being sent to rural areas as Rightists in Gansu Province and witnessed the mass starvation and deaths of the Great Famine, and who eventually were all arrested and given long prison sentences). Hu Jie, 100 minutes.

Though I Am Gone (2006, about Bian Zhongyun, a vice principal of a high school in Beijing who was beaten to death by students in August 1966 at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution), Hu Jie, 75 minutes.

Vanished Archives (2018, about Hong Kong’s 1967 Riots), Lo Yan-wai, 119 minutes.

Buried (2009, about the forecast of the Tangshan earthquake of 1976), Wang Libo, 100 minutes.

Karamay (2009, about the great fire of Karamay), Xu Xin.

Our Children (2009, about the experiences of parents whose children were killed when their schools collapsed during 2008 earthquake), Ai Xiaoming, 73 minutes.

Sanlidong (2007, about the lives of more than 300 youths from Shanghai going to Sanlidong Coal Mine for their dreams to contributing to the Construction of the Great Northwest in 1955), Lin Xin, 172 minutes.

學術著作誠信

請注意大學有關學術著作誠信的政策和規則,及適用於犯規事例的紀律指引和程序。詳情可瀏覽網址:http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/policy/academichonesty/

學生遞交作業時,必須連同已簽署的聲明一併提交,表示他們知道有關政策、規則、指引及程序。

  • 如屬小組習作,則所有組員均須簽署聲明;所有組員(不論有否簽署聲明及不論有否直接或間接撰寫有問題的內容)均須負上集體責任及受到懲處。
  • 如作業以電腦製作、內容以文字為主,並經由大學「維誠」系統 (VeriGuide) 提交者,學生將作業的電子檔案上載到系統後,便會獲得收據,收據上已列明有關聲明。

未有夾附簽署妥當的聲明的作業,老師將不予批閱。

學生只須提交作業的最終版本。

學生將作業或作業的一部份用於超過一個用途(例如:同時符合兩科的要求)而沒有作出聲明會被視為未有聲明重覆使用作業。學生重覆使用其著作的措辭或某一、二句句子很常見,並可以接受,惟重覆使用全部內容則構成問題。在任何情況下,須先獲得相關老師同意方可提交作業。

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