R5B 001: Urban China: Place Image Narrative

Instructor: Annie Malcolm

Term: Summer 2019 Session: D

Time: M, T, W, Th 12:00pm - 1:59pm

China’s urbanization is the largest migration in history. There are cities in China that did not exist thirty years ago. There are cities that are uninhabited- ghost towns resulting from unrealized speculations. There are places called cities that seem rural. There are millions of people from rural China living in cities. Increasingly, and this is not unique to China, people “do” urban things in non-urban places, and non-urban things in urban places. So what is the urban at all? In this course we will learn about the conditions, cultures and creative work of Chinese cities, learning to read and write critically about place, change and experience. We will read anthropological writing on China, as well as memoir and journalism. We will also watch film and view images to develop skills for writing about the visual. 

As one of anthropology’s tasks is to destabilize assumptions about categorical formations, we will not take the urban as a category for granted, but rather explore ways writers and artists have constructed the object “urban China” through their scholarship.

Service category