Carnegie Mellon University

Animated Storytelling: Chinese Ghost Stories and Shadow Play

Course Number: 82-237

This course offers an interdisciplinary exploration of the interrelationships between literary and cultural productions, and the art of animation. It combines traditional humanities research in literature, history, and religion with contemporary digital humanities and visual storytelling techniques. Topics offered under this title include "Chinese Mythology and Animation Creation" and "Chinese Ghost Stories and Shadow Play". "Chinese Mythology and Animation Creation": In addition to close reading and critical examination of Chinese mythological tales, their social, historical and cultural origins and modern adaptations, this course also encourages students to create their own "mythological stories" through creative writing, animation, digital storytelling, and immersive media projects. "Chinese Ghost Stories and Shadow Play": Through reading and analysis of the 17th-century literary masterpiece, Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio, this course examines the mystical and often overlooked world of Chinese ghost literature and culture. Through practical studio work, students will explore techniques in traditional Chinese shadow play in relation to a broad cultural survey of world heritage shadow play traditions and contemporary media arts affordances. Students are encouraged to create their own ghost stories using various mediums.

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Units: 9