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Study information

Chinoiserie and Europeenerie: Artistic and cultural exchanges between China and Europe

Module titleChinoiserie and Europeenerie: Artistic and cultural exchanges between China and Europe
Module codeMLM2003
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Yue Zhuang (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Living in the global world of the 21st century, we do not always recognise how exchanges between China and Europe have long been shaping the art and culture we enjoy today. This module on chinoiserie and européenerie will introduce you to the diverse hybrid forms of material culture and artefacts such as porcelain, interior décor, gardens, fashion and mapping both Europe and China since the 1600s. You will learn about the fascinating stories of how hybrid forms of material culture and artefacts evolved through the processes of Chinese-European exchange. You will understand the significance of these hybridity in both personal and social contexts. No pre-requisite modules needed.  

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will develop your critical tools for analysing the hybrid artefacts and diverse forms of material culture created during the processes of Chinese-European exchange since the seventeenth century. You will engage with a range of perspectives (e.g. multicultural and decolonial) about the significance of these hybrid artefacts and material culture – how they impacted identities of both individuals and societies in both China and Europe (Britain, in particular). You will understand that in both historical terms and in the contemporary world, any analysis of artefacts and material culture requires us to see beyond aesthetic values and national boundaries. You will engage with the interconnected art and cultural histories of China and Europe and achieve a deeper understanding of the history of their interactions, cultural encounters and entanglements.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Appreciate and explain some of the dominant concepts, methods and debates informing the study of art and cultural history of China and Europe
  • 2. Analyse coherently the form and content of particular artworks or material culture in different historical periods and transcultural contexts

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Research, present and evaluate relevant visual materials from contrasting contexts and cultures
  • 4. Interrogate objects, artworks, images and representations, and relate them to the cultural contexts in which they are produced and perceived

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Construct a coherent, substantiated, written argument in clear and cogent prose, demonstrating appropriate research and bibliographic skills
  • 6. Undertake defined learning activities with a measure of autonomy, asking for guidance where necessary

Syllabus plan

The module consists of a series of lectures and seminars, each week focusing on a distinctive topic. You will be introduced to a range of artefacts and material culture and the historical, cultural and transcultural contexts in which they were produced and perceived, as well as critical tools for assessing them in relation to both Chinese and European artistic and cultural traditions.

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Part 1 Chinoiserie: tea, porcelain, interior décor, architecture and gardens, fashion
  • Part 2 Européenerie: Qing court paintings, mapping, architecture and gardens, Chinese modernist art

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching11Lectures x 10 and 1 x conclusion (1 hour)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching5Seminars x 10 (0.5 hour)
Guided Independent Study134Additional research, reading and preparation for module assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Mini essay750 words1-6Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay 903000 words1-6Written
Participation & Engagement104 x 400-word response papers1-6Oral (seminar discussion)

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay (3000 words)Essay (3000 words)1-6Referral/Deferral period
Participation & Engagement (4 x 400-word response papers)Repeat study/mitigation1-6Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • David Porter, The Chinese Taste in Eighteenth-Century England. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013.
  • Petra ten-Doesschate Chu and Ning Ding, Qing encounters: artistic exchanges between China and the West. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2015. 
  • Yue Zhuang and Andrea Riemenschnitter (eds), Entangled Landscapes: Early modern China and Europe, Singapore, National University of Singapore Press, 2017

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE – Faculty to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Markman Ellis, Richard Coulton, Matthew Mauger, Empire of Tea: The Asian leaf that conquered the world. London, Reaktion Books, 2015.
  • Robert Finlay. The Pilgrim Art: Cultures of Porcelain in World History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. 
  • Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, Jennifer Milam (eds), Beyond chinoiserie: Artistic exchange between China and the West during the late Qing dynasty (1796-1911), Leiden, Brill, 2019.
  • Sullivan, Michael. The Meeting of Eastern and Western Art, from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day. London: Thames and Hudson, 1973.

Key words search

art, material culture, exchange, China, Europe, Britain

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date