Course schedule:

Part 1: (Kuei-fen Chiu)

Issues for Chinese ecocinema studies

  1. Please pick one of the required readings and upload 1 question to I-learning
  2. Watch the “film for discussion” in the library and upload 1 question for discussion to I-learning.
  3. The 2 questions should be uploaded by 2PM on Friday
  4. Mid-term report of 2500 words on an eco-film of your choice. Report due on April 30.


Week 1  3/2  Topic: Introduction: issues for Chinese ecocinema studies

Introduction: Revisiting the field of Chinese ecocinema,” in Sheldon H. Lu and Haomin Gong ds., Ecology and Chinese-Language Cinema (Routledge, 2019)

Watch Beyond Beauty: Taiwan from above


Week 2  3/9  Topic: “Definition and Theory: What is Ecocinema?”


(1) Scott MacDonald , “The Ecocinema Experience,” in Stephen Rust, Salma Monani, and Sean Cubit teds., Ecocinema Theory and Practice, New York and London: Routledge, 2013, 17-42.

(2) David Ingram, “The Aesthetics and Ethics of Eco-film Criticism,” in Ecocinema Theory and Practice, 43-62.

(3) Christopher Hitt, “Toward an Ecological Sublime.” New Literary History  30.3: 603-620.

Film for discussion: Beyond Beauty: Taiwan from above  (Chi Po-lin)


Week 3  3/16 Topic: “Ecodocumentary Making in Taiwan”


(1)   Kuei-fen Chiu, “Mapping Taiwanese Ecodocumentary Landscape: Politics of Aesthetics and Environmental Ethics in Taiwanese Ecodocumentaries ”

(2)   Michael Hsiao, “Environmental Movements in Taiwan,” in Asia’s Environmental Movements: Comparative Perspectives.   1999, 31-54

(3)   Robert Weller, “Discovering Nature,” in Discovering Nature: Globalization and Environmental Culture in China and Taiwan, 2006.

Film for discussion: Nimbus


Week 4  3/23 Topic: “Indigenous culture and Taiwanese ecodumentaries”


(1)   Rachel Stein,  “Disposable Bodies: Biocolonialism in the Constant Gardener and Dirty Pretty Things,” in Framing the World: Exploration in Ecocriticism and Film, 2010, 101-115.

(2)   Caskey Russell, “Wild Madness: The Makah Whale Hunt and Its Aftermath,” in Postcolonial Green: Environmental Politics and World Narratives, 2010, 157-176.

     Film for discussion: Mayaw Biho, “Children in Heaven.”


Week 5  3/30  no class



Week 6  4/6  Topic: “transnational ecocinema” (Kuei-fen Chiu)


(1). Pietari Kaapa, “Transnational Approaches to Ecocinema: Charting an Expansive Field,”     Tomy Gustafsson and Pietary Kaapa eds, Transnational Ecocinema: Film Culture in an Era of Ecological Transformation,  21-43.

Film for discussion:  “Dolphons Etude: Taiwan’s Choice (dir. Chien Yu-chun,2013) Reef case.


Part II: (Huei-chu Chu)

Text Book: Eva Horn, Hannes Bergthaller. 2020. The Anthropocene: Key Issues for the Humanities. Routledge.

Class Structure

Students have to submit a question sheet with five questions about the pre-class readings when they come to the class. The class begins with an oral presentation by a student and then open to discussions.


Week 7  4/13  Ch.1 Introduction, Ch.12 Conclusion



Week 8  4/20  Ch.2 Definitions, Ch.3 Genealogies


Week 9  4/27  Ch.4 Nature and culture




Week 10  5/4  environmental ethics (Kuei-fen Chiu)

(1)  “environmental ethics”:  Holmes Rolston III, “Feeding People versus Saving Nature?”   in Environmental Ethics: an Anthology, 451-462.

(2) “environmental ethics” Holmes Rolston III “Value in Nature and the Nature of Value,

In Environmental Ethics: an Anthology, 143-153.


Week 11 5/11  Ch.5 The Anthropos

Watch: Kanakanavu 的守候


Week 12 5/18 Ch.6 Politics



Week 13 5/25 Ch.7 Aesthetics


Week 14  6/1 Ch.8 Biopolitics, Ch.9 Energy



Week 15  6/8 Ch.10 Scales I: The planetary


Week 16  6/15 Ch.11 Scales II: Deep time

Watch: 刪海經


Week 17  6/22  Transnational Ecocinema on Nuclear Issues (Hui-Chu Chu)

Lynch, Lisa. “’We Don’t Wanna be Radiated’: Documentary Film and the Evolving Rhetoric of Nuclear Energy Activism.” American Literature 86.3 (September 2014).



Week 18  6/29 End-Term paper discussion.

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