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C LIT 240 E: Writing In Comparative Literature

Meeting Time: 
TTh 3:30pm - 5:20pm
MGH 074
Qian He

Syllabus Description:

in the mood for love.jpg

This is a course about cine-love, namely, various films of love and the love of cinema in East Asian entities: South Korea, Japan, Mainland China (PRC), Hong Kong, and Taiwan

How does cinema "look" at and, or rather, invent love? Is film history also a history of love? How can we dissect the cinematic language of love in order to undertsand love and develop an anatomy of love in everyday life? What kind of readings of love might enable multiple inqurities into and deeper understandings of hatred that is pervasive and, dynamically, holds a diverse collection of people together and drives them apart?

What is "East Asia"? Can the coupling of “cine-love” and “East Asia” generate new strategies to work against existing disciplinary frameworks, including those drawn along national boundaries, historical periodization, and medium-specific approach to cinema and media?

Considering cinema as a parameter and as method, this course is designed to help you become a strong writer who can construct critically and deliver effectively in particular writing contexts by approaching and exploring such questions.

In this course, we will learn to explore, execute, utilize, and also reflect on the interrelated power of both written and visual language through the medium of film analysis. This course covers a multitude of both historical and contemporary cultural artifacts including fiction films such as In the Mood for Love (2000)Goodbye Dragon Inn (2003), The Handmaiden (2016) and Farewell My Concubine (1993); documentaries, the avant-garde and the experimental, such as Yunbogi’s Diary (1965); animated films such as Millennium Actress (2001); mockumentaries and shorts such as Movie Night (2007). We will also take a critical look at our cinematic experiences in relation to a kaleidoscope of film stills, paratexts, iconic images, or collages that fleetingly cross people’s perception and memory in the everyday life. These different “texts” around cinema and moviegoing will serve as an immersive setting for your writing adventure as well as function as a toolbox of living archives with which your writing will deal and interact.




Cinema of Love

Farewell My Concubine 1993 by Chen Kaige (PRC, 171 min)

Love Letter 1995 by Shunji Iwai (Japan, 118 min)

In the Mood for Love 2000 by Wong Kar-wai (Hong Kong, 98 min)

The Handmaiden 2016 by Chan-wook Park (South Korea, 145 min)

The Fourth Portrait 2010 by Chung Mong-hong (Taiwan, 102 min)


Love of Cinema

Millennium Actress 2001 by Satoshi Kon (Japan, 87 min)

Goodbye Dragon Inn 2003 by Ming-liang Tsai (Taiwan, 82 min)


Chacun Son Cinema (To Each His Own Cinema) 2007 by 35 directors (all the world)




Kuhn, Annette. “The Little Girl Wants to be heard” in Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination. New ed. London; New York: Verso, 2002, 25-46.

Gocsik, Karen M., Barsam, Richard Meran, and Monahan, Dave. Writing about Movies. Fourth ed. New York; London: W. W. Norton &, 2016.



Corrigan, Timothy. A Short Guide to Writing about Film. Ninth ed. Boston: Pearson, 2015.

Spadoni, Robert. A Pocket Guide to Analyzing Films. Oakland: University of California Press, 2014.


Catalog Description: 
Comparative approach to literature and a workshop in writing comparative papers in English. Emphasis on cross-cultural comparison of literary works. Readings in English with an option to read selected texts in the original languages Offered: AWSp.
GE Requirements Met: 
English Composition (C)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
February 13, 2018 - 9:12pm