Taiwan Lecture Series - Summer Term 2023

Sinophone Filmmaking: Identity and Environment

Dr. Winnie L. M. Yee 余麗文This year’s Taiwan Lecture series will engage Professor Winnie Yee from the University of Hong Kong in a discussion on Sinophone Filmmaking. In the course, we will focus on how documentary films popularize the concept of the Anthropocene and its emphasis on the planetary conditions circumscribing human societies and systems in Taiwan in the contemporary era. The course will examine the intersections between films and ecology and will apply tools of ecocritical media studies to investigate representations of the relationships between humans and the natural world. We will cover mainly documentaries in this course and contextualize the topics within the evolving history of environmental and sociopolitical movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Students can expect to gain a broader understanding of and appreciation for the cinematic depictions of nature and non-human worlds in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Students will also be familiarized with how moving images mediate our relationship to environment in rhetorical, aesthetical and perceptual ways.

Winnie L. M. Yee is a Senior Lecturer of Comparative Literature and program coordinator of the MA Program in Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests are ecocriticism, contemporary Chinese literature and film, Hong Kong culture, and independent cinema. She has been a fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich and the Worldmaking Center—A Dialogue with China.

Further information on moodle: https://moodle.uni-heidelberg.de/course/view.php?id=16890


This course will take place as follows:

  • Biweekly DIGITAL Class Sessions (with Winnie Yee) Wednesdays 11.15 -12.45, beginning on April 26th
    • Digital classroom: For access, please refer to the moodle course
  • Biweekly Screening Sessions (ON SITE, CATS Auditorium):
    • Wednesdays 18.00 (s.t., sometimes 17.00), beginning on April 19th: For streaming information, please refer to the moodle course


4/19 | 18.00 - | FIRST SCREENING — Beyond Beauty (CATS Auditorium):

  • Chi Po-lin 齊柏林, Beyond Beauty, Taiwan from above 看見台灣, 2013. 93 mins.

Required Readings

  • Macdonald, Scott. “Toward an Eco-Cinema”, pp. 107-132
  • Chiu, Kuei-Fen. “Mapping Taiwanese Ecodocumentary Landscape: Politics of Aesthetics and Environmental Ethics in Taiwanese Ecodocumentaries”, Journal of Chinese Cinemas Volume 11, 2017 - Issue 1: Special issue: Chinese-language ecocinema. Guest editor: Sheldon H. Lu pp. 13-29.

4/26 | 11.15 - 12.45 | Session 1 with Winnie Yee (in digital classroom)

Introduction: Sinophone Filmmaking: Identity and Environment

Required Readings

  • Shih, Shu-Mei. “The Concept of the Sinophone”, pp. 709-718
  • Chi, Robert. “The New Taiwanese Documentary”, pp. 149-196
  • Aitken, Ian & Ingham, Michael. “Aesthetics and Radicalism: An Overview of Independent Documentary Film in Hong Kong, 1973-2013”, pp. 172-196.

5/3 | 18.00 - | SECOND SCREENING — Seediq Bale (CATS Auditorium)

  • Wei Te-sheng魏德聖, Seediq Bale賽德克·巴萊, 2011. 160 mins.

Required Readings

  • Lee, Yu-lin. “In Search of a People: Wei Te-sheng’s Seediq Bale and Taiwan’s Postcolonial Condition”, pp. 182-196.

5/10 | 11.15 - 12.45 | Session 2 with Winnie Yee (in digital classroom)

Reimagining Land and Indigeneity

Required Readings

  • Blanc, Guillaume. The Invention of Green Colonialism. (Introduction & Chapter 1)

5/17 | 18.00 - | THIRD SCREENING — Twelve nights (CATS Auditorium)

  • Raye, Twelve Nights 十二夜, 2013. 99 mins.

Required Readings

  • Law, Fiona. “Pet-Animals in the Concrete Jungle: Tales of Abandonment, Failures, and Sentimentality in San Hua and Twelve Nights”, pp. 149-167.

5/24 | 11.15 - 12.45 | Session 3 with Winnie Yee (in digital classroom)

In Love with Animals

Required Readings

  • Haraway, Donna. “When Species Meet”, pp. 3-42.

5/31 | 18.00 - | FOURTH SCREENING — Nimbus and Taivalu (CATS Auditorium)

  • Huang, Hsin-yao 黃信堯, Nimbus 帶水雲, 2009. 36 mins
  • Huang, Hsin-yao 黃信堯, Taivalu 沈沒之島, 2010. 78 mins

Required Readings

  • Chang, Chia-ju. “Documenting Life in the Era of Climate Change: Huang Hsin-yao’s Nimbus and Taivalu”, pp. 235-254.

6/7 | 11.15 - 12.45 | Session 4 with Winnie Yee (in digital classroom)

Thinking with/in Water

Required Readings

  • Willoquet-Maricondi, Paula. “Introduction: From Literary to Cinematic Ecocriticism”, pp. 1-22.

6/14 | 18.00 - | FIFTH SCREENING — Formosa vs. Formosa (CATS Auditorium)

  • Ke Chin-yuan 柯金源, Formosa vs. Formosa 福爾摩沙對福爾摩沙, 2010. 60 mins.

Required Readings

  • Chang, Chia-ju. “Frankenstein’s Migratory Subject: Under the Dome and Formosa vs. Formosa

6/21 | 11.15 - 12.45 | Session 5 with Winnie Yee (in digital classroom)

Becoming Matter

Required Readings

  • Bennett, Jane. “The Agency of Assemblages”, pp. 20-38.

6/28 | 17.00 - | SIXTH SCREENING — Moving to Hong Kong (CATS Auditorium)

  • Ma, Chi-Hang 馬智恆, Ballad on the Shore 岸上漁歌, 2017. 98 mins.
  • Chan, Ho-Lun Fredie. 陳浩倫, Rhymes of Shui Hau 水口婆婆的山歌, 2017. 50 mins.

Required Readings

  • Nixon, Rob. “Slow Violence, Gender, and the Environmentalism of the Poor”, pp. 128-149.

7/5 | 11.15 - 12.45 | Session 6 with Winnie Yee (in digital classroom)

Documenting Culture and Identity

Required Readings

  • Derrida, Jacques. “Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression”, pp. 9-63.

7/12 | 18.00 - | SEVENTH SCREENING — Open Road after Harvest (CATS Auditorium)

  • Chan Ho-Lun, Fredie 陳浩倫, Open Road after Harvest 收割, 開路! , 2015. 100 mins

Required Readings

  • Yee, Winnie L. M. “Of Activism and the Land: Ecological and Utopian Visions of Post-Handover Hong Kong Documentaries”, pp. 119-137

7/19 | 11.15 - 12.45 | Session 7 with Winne YEE and Director Fredie Ho-Lun Chan (in digital classroom)

A Conversation with Freide Ho-lun Chan and Summary: Preserving Environment, Remaking Identities

Required Readings

  • Heise, Ursula. “Introduction: Sense of Place and Sense of Planet”, 3-14.

7/26 | 18.00 - | EIGHTH SCREENING (CATS Auditorium)

  • Daphne Wong 黃遂心, Breathing Room 白海豚失樂園, 2018. 30 mins.
  • Chris Michael Owen, Wild about Hong Kong (YouTube Channel), since 2017 35 mins.
  • "Pink Water" (9 mins), "Quick Lesson in HK Wildlife" (2:41 mins), "What Animals Live Here?" (12:16), "Making a Record, HK Wildlife in 2017" (6:26 mins), "After the Fire" (7:57 mins). around 35 mins.

Required Readings

  • Choy, Tim. “Endangerment”, pp. 23-52.
Zuletzt bearbeitet von: SV
Letzte Änderung: 24.05.2023
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