Welcome to the “EAST 1270: China Through the Lens” course blog. The subject of this course is, for lack of a better term, “the cinematic China,” which is, on the one hand, heavily embedded in modern China’s political, social, economic, and technological transformations, and on the other hand also open to alternative visions and imaginations, constructing particular aesthetic styles and generating transnational impact. “China Through the Lens” focuses on three interrelated dimensions of cinematic practice: local and global contexts of film productions, the specific visual and narrative style of each film, and critical and transnational receptions of Chinese films. Historical and cinematic topics, such as modernity, nation, globalization, revolution, gender, class, hybridity, melodrama, socialist realism, operatic mode of cinema, and commercialism, will be studied across the three dimensions. This year, EAST 1270 is also tied to Brown’s Year of China Film Series, featuring three major film screenings and lectures that center on early Chinese cinema, Chinese film music, and contemporary Chinese independent filmmaking.