visual studies network




Forum: "Diplomatic East Asian Cinemas"

Time: 4:45 p.m. -7:00 p.m. on 15th June, 2015
Venue: Rm 131, Graduate School of Letters, Nagoya University

Recent years have seen the growth of scholarship examining cinema as a transnational medium. Drawing on this trend while further advancing the critical investigation of geopolitics in East Asian cinema, this forum presents three new research projects that each scrutinize cinema as a historical intersection of negotiations and mediations in national, regional, and global politico-economic interests. Developing these case studies, we will discuss how cinema has--literally, metonymically, and metaphorically--played a diplomatic role in the colonial, postcolonial, and neocolonial situations of East Asia.

Woojeong Joo
"Assimilating the Peripheral: Japan's Early Talkie Documentary in the 1930s"
This presentation discusses two documentaries - Umi no seimeisen/Lifeline of the Sea (1933) and Hokushin Nippon/Japan Advancing to the North (1934) - to examine Imperial Japan's view towards her frontier areas (Micronesia, Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands) in the pre-World War II period. Through historical background research, and textual and discourse analysis, I will investigate how the early documentary films, with their sound as well as visual form, served to characterise the nation's concerns to assimilate the exotic peripheral territories into the interior and readjust the idea of boundary for national interest at the time of growing international conflict.

Woojeong JOO is a JSPS postdoctoral research fellow at Nagoya University, Japan. He graduated from University of Warwick, UK, with his thesis on the films of Ozu Yasujiro. As a postdoctoral research associate at University of East Anglia, he also studied on Japanese media industry and transmedia franchising. His current research is on the history of discourse on the early sound cinema in Japan and Chosen in the 1920s and 30s.

Ma Ran
"Flight of the Magic Kite: Internationalist Collaboration and Sino-Foreign Coproduced Films in the 1950s"
This project engages the genealogy of sino-foreign coproductions by shedding light upon People's Republic of China's early adventures into cinematic collaborations with the Soviet as well as France in the 1950s. By paying particular attention to the first sinofrench coproduced feature titled "the Magic of the Kite" (Cerf-volant du bout du monde, 1958), this study reconsiders Chinese cinema's international linkages within and beyond the socialist bloc in the Cold War polarization. In doing so, it also seeks to re-examine the contemporary globalist discourse of sino-foreign coproductions and transnational cinema.

MA​ Ran is now teaching at the Global-30 "Japan-in-Asia Cultural Studies" program, Nagoya University. Her current research projects are, 1) the exhibition and circulation network of Asian independent cinemas; 2) Film culture of the People's Republic of China during the Maoist era (1949-197​6​).

Hiroshi Kitamura
"Frontiers of Nostalgia: The Japanese Western and the Making of the Postwar Era"
This presentation will explore the Japanese Western (wasei uesutan) in relation to Japan's long postwar (sengo) era. While influenced by the Hollywood Western, the popular Japanese genre, I argue, grew and expanded as a 'nostalgia text' that responded to the nation's industrial and economic growth particularly after World War II. The Japanese Western genre also exemplifies the paradoxical formation of a 'national' imaginary through transnational negotiation and interchange. The longing for a disappearing 'national' past, then, illustrates Japan's postwar emergence in the shadow of U.S. geopolitical influence in an era that many refer to as the 'American century.'

Hiroshi KITAMURA is Associate Professor of History at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He is the author of Screening Enlightenment: Hollywood and the Cultural Reconstruction of Defeated Japan (Cornell, 2010), which has appeared in Japanese as Haisen to Hariuddo: Senryoka Nihon no bunka saiken (Nagoya, 2014). He is currently at work on a book about Japanese cinema in the post-World War II era.


4:45 p.m. -7:00 p.m. on 15th June, 2015


Rm 131, Graduate School of Letters, Nagoya University              http://en.nagoya-u.ac.jp/map/higashiyama/school_of_letters_graduate_school_of_letters.html


presentations (English)/ discussion (English and Japanese)

Organized and sponsored by the Japan-in-Asia Cultural Research Center, Graduate School of Letters, Nagoya University

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