Arts of Modern and Contemporary China (since 1800)

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level

Module overview

The course explores the multipolarity of the field of Chinese art history today by investigating the historical methodologies, canons, practices and other forces by which it has been shaped. The course is primarily focussed on the various arts of modern and contemporary China, including but not limited to painting, calligraphy, woodblock prints, illustrated newspapers, pictorials, fashion, photography, film, animation, video art and installation. The course follows a loosely chronological structure with flexibility to explore diachronic themes. We’ll explore how media technologies have shaped art practices, cultural productions and social aesthetics from the early modern/later imperial period to the present. We’ll investigate how one medium remediates another at moments of rupture in art history and/or in times of political turbulence. We’ll also discuss the roles of city life, travel and modern women. There is emphasis throughout on current events and initiatives in the field, including the ways art is displayed, accessed and communicated through exhibitions, websites, and cinematic means. Readings will include one film or video per week.


  • This Module is capped at 25 places
  • Students enrol via the on-line Module Sign-Up system. Students are advised of the timing of this process via email by the Faculty Office.


  • Two-hour Seminar

Method of assessment

  • One 2,000-word essay (worth 60%)
  • One presentation (worth 30%)
  • Participation in and contribution to the module seminars (worth 10%)



Dr Panpan Yang


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules