East Asian Cinema (UG)

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 2
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Module overview

This module provides an introduction to East Asian Cinema. Through an examination of common themes including history and trauma, gender and power in Chinese, Japanese and Korean cinemas, it introduces major films and directors in the East Asian region. While paying close attention to the distinct cultural tradition and film aesthetics in the various national cinemas, the module attends to the connection and intersection of cinemas in East Asia.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Identify important directors, actors, as well as film works from East Asia.
  • Build analytical skills for film analysis and master the concepts and analytical frameworks such as genre, auteurism and gender.
  • Apply relational thinking skills to examine East Asian films across geographical boundaries.
  • Use visual materials for the critical interpretation of histories and cultures in the East Asian region.


Total taught hours : 20 hours. 1 hour lecture and 1 hour seminar per week for 10 weeks.

Independent study : 130 hours

Total hours for module : 150 hours

Scope and syllabus

The syllabus will include a focus on directors and actors active around East Asia and topics prevalent in the region. It will similarly introduce some of the core texts and films in relation to East Asian cinema.

Method of assessment

  • Reaction paper (800 words) 25%
  • Essay (2500 words) 75%

Suggested reading

Core Reading

  • Fung, Anthony YH. Asian Popular Culture, New York: Routledge, 2013

  • Iwabuchi, Koichi, Eva Tsai and Chris Berry. Routledge Handbook of East Asian Popular Culture, New York: Routledge, 2017

  • Lee, Vivian PY. East Asian Cinemas. Regional Flows and Global Transformations. Basingstoke; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules