MALS Course Schedule

Please note that course schedules may be amended due to low enrollment, faculty availability, and/or other factors.

Online Sync Sessions are an integral part of the online learning experience. Additional information about learning concepts and assignments may be discussed and sync sessions offer valuable opportunities for students to interact with their faculty and peers during the term. We encourage all students to attend live, but if they are unable to, sync sessions will be recorded and posted within Canvas to allow for an asynchronous model of success as well.

LIT 480-0 : Topics in Comparative Literature: Taiwanese New Wave Cinema


“New wave” is a ubiquitous but imprecise term that has been applied to various trends in cinema that emerged around the world beginning in the mid-1950s. As an historical term it is used to delineate shared styles, themes, and techniques that define certain national and international film movements. As a kind of descriptive shorthand, it has been applied more broadly to movements that abandoned conventional narrative techniques in favor of experimentation with the cinematic medium, while also confronting social and political problems specific to the context of production. Thus, the inaugural French New Wave has lent its title to film trends in Britain, Iran, Japan, Hong Kong, and many other locations around the world. This course offers a critical and historical introduction to one of these latter-day new waves, the “New Taiwan Cinema,” which emerged in the early 1980s as a reaction against contemporaneous commercial cinema. Through a careful investigation of the work of the three most important representatives of this “new” cinema—Hou Hsiao-hsien, Tsai Ming-Liang, and Edward Yang —this course will consider not only the experimental form and social consciousness of the Taiwanese New Wave but also the specific economic, social, and institutional structures—national and transnational—that shaped it. We will also study critical and theoretical writings on this cinema to better understand both the Taiwanese cultural milieu that produced it, and the broader global film culture of which it has become such an important part. Whenever possible, we will place individual Taiwanese films in dialogue with the Asian and European film cultures that influenced them as well as the films and filmmakers that they have influenced. There are no prerequisites for this class and no previous knowledge of Chinese or Taiwanese literature, culture, language, or history is assumed. All required readings are presented in English and all films are subtitled. (This course may count towards the Comparative and World Literature, Film, Literarture, and Visual Culture, or Interdisciplinary Studies specializations in the master of arts in literature program. This course may also count towards the Interdisciplinary Studies specialization in the master of arts in liberal studies program. It may also count as a literature course or elective in the creative writing program. Additionally, this course may count towards certificates of graduate studies.)

^ Back to top ^