Cultural and Heritage Studies: Chinese Perspectives

Cultural and Heritage Studies: Chinese Perspectives

Winter 2014
Zhejiang University


Prof. Wu Zongjie

School of International Studies
Research Area: Historical ethnography and heritage study

Course Description and General Goal

This course introduces practical and theoretical approaches to the key issues in the field of cultural and heritage studies in a local perspective. It is aimed at both those who wish to study culture and heritage as an academic subject, and those who might wish to develop professional outlook in the sector of cultural industry. The course caters for students from a wide range of
academic disciplines who wish to study the rapidly growing interdisciplinary field.

The main purpose of the course is to help students discover ‘culture,’ and ‘heritage , its meanings, practices, implications, and how we may go about studying them. Students will be trained through a progressive research project that involves reading academic papers, identifying research questions, fieldwork investigation, data analysis and cultural narration.
Students should be aware of participating in a broad range of interesting and exciting projects, field trips, cultural visits and guided tours.

The course brings together a variety of disciplinary theories: cultural anthropology, history,
communication, sociology, literature, archaeology, folklore, media theory, film/video studies,
museum studies and art criticism. Four key concepts (culture, heritage, history and discourse)
will be focused to develop a holistic perspective to see cultural phenomena focusing a on
everything from ancient temples to contemporary art galleries, films and museums. By the end of course, students should develop a cultural competence that enable you to ‘historize’ the present, and to see the world critically from a diversity of cultural situations.

Teaching Method


Much of the course will be taught using seminar style. Class sessions will consist of interactive discussion of readings, peer presentations, and spontaneous elaboration of your own interests. You should become familiar with these methods even if you don’t agree with the epistemic or ontological underpinnings of those methods. You should be able to express not only ideas but also your value and feelings. Students will be expected to engage in critical, creative and reflective thought. It will be assumed that you are able to organize, structure, and communicate thought effectively. This course is time consuming and requires the kind of intellectual maturity associated with advanced research work. Students are expected to:
(1) do the reading for each of the topics covered and find your own references through library and internet for your group investigation;
(2) prepare the sample analyses and do a classroom presentation in group;
(3) complete a larger piece of discourse (cultural) analysis by the end of the term. This final
paper should be primarily empirical, using appropriate theoretical frameworks to analyze a
transcript of naturally occurring conversation or a piece of written discourse found in the social world. The paper should also include a brief literature review and a discussion of why you chose the approach(es) you did.

Teaching Mode

- Lecture
- Student presentation
- Discussion
Course Requirements
Class attendance and discussion (10%)
Project presentation (groupwork) (10%)
Group discussion (10%)

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