*call for paper, Asia Pacific Cinemas

Kyung Hyun Kim kyunghk
Tue Jan 5 17:33:24 EST 1999

Please help to circulate the following announcement

Call for Paper
Contemporary Asia Pacific Cinemas: Spatiality, Desire, New Technologies

An increasing number of films from the Asia Pacific region have recently
enjoyed unprecedented success in the international film circuit.  Many of
them have transgressed national boundaries.  Though they still pursue
themes that are politically and historically laced, the works of Wong
Kar-wai, Kitano Takeshi and Jang Sun-woo, for example, do not always comply
with the scope of national allegories which was previously conceived to be
intractable and incontestable.  With transnational cultural flows and newly
re-figured cosmpolitanism permeating the youth cultures, and national
identities taking departures from codes of archaic orthodoxy, the cultural
signposts rendered by the cinemas from this region boldly resist the
(academic) desire to frame the films primarily through the discourse of the
nation.  Many of the film narratives no longer engage with the tension
between tradition and modernity and they reject nationhood that is being
conceived of and idealized by the state.  In addressing codes of history,
family, development, trauma and memory that are disposed with repression
and violence, the films visualize contemporary spaces of desire in which
imagination, new technologies, and global/local forces play significant

The special volume of _positions: east asia cultures critique_ (published
by Duke University Press) hopes to analyze and re-map the forms and
contours of the cinematic landscape of the Asia Pacific.  One primary
concern is how the cinemas negotiate with the materiality and subliminality
inscribed in the newly emergent technologies, identities, spaces and the
cityscapes.  Although many conferences and books have previously
investigated the processes of production and reception of visual culture in
one national context, this volume explores the spatial boundaries that
redefine the region of the Asia Pacific beyond the national axioms that
figured cultural movements of the 20th Century.  The volume will address
the following topics:

1) The significance of new technologies in reshaping the field of
relationships between image, body, space and time.  Increasing popularity
of "Japanimation" films in the region, as well as the use of video,
computers and digitization and what they mean regarding visuality,
representation and simulation. 
2) Visualization of sex and sexualities examined in the context of power
and discourse.  The elaboration of queer theories and criticism in relation
to cinemas of Asia Pacific. In other words, how are sexual desires and
pleasures as well as "alterior sexualities" eroticized and aestheticized in
the cinemas of Asia Pacific?  In this section, the proposers intend to
continue the discussion first initiated by films and academic forum in the
"Visualizing Eros" series staged at UCI in May 1998.
3) 	Urban visions and the cityscapes: new spatial boundaries and
spatialized desires with regard to the globalized and localized forces.  We
propose the question: what are the processes involved when ideologies
become monumentalized and mummified, fantasies and visions spatialized, and
panoramas and cityscapes flattened and digitized?

As recent works in film and cultural studies further engage in provocative
dialogues that address new ontological possibilities of opticality and
visuality through new technologies, more innovative and politicized
articulations and stimulations can be made in the relationship between the
studies of film and Asian studies.  The editors of the special issue of
_positions_ strongly believe in strengthening the relationship between film
studies and Asian studies as well as the one between area studies and
ethnic studies.  Coming at the moment of blurring disciplinary boundaries,
the conference will not only attempt to historicize cinemas, but also to
spatialize the new visual events that are taking increasingly more active
role in reshaping the cultures of the region as we move into the 21st

A conference, scheduled to be held at University of California, Irvine in
October 1999, will precede the publication of the volume.  Because a
substantial publication plan has already been made, the papers presented
and discussed during the conference will promptly be evaluated for
publication.  The conference will ensure that the papers are collectively
consulted, ideas exchanged, and discussions interarticulated, in order to
improve ultimately the publication quality of the special volume of

Esther Yau
Roland Tolentino
Kyung Hyun Kim
Guest editors of _positions_

Submit 4 copies of proposals for articles (between 700 and 800 words) by 1
February 1999 to: 

Kyung Hyun Kim
East Asian Languages and Literatures
University of California
Irvine, CA 92612-6000
email:kyunghk at uci.edu
(Final articles are due by October 1, 1999)

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