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July 2014, Week 4


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Gina Marchetti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:37:22 +0800
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*Handbook on Asian Cinema*

Aaron Magnan-Park (University of Hong Kong), Gina Marchetti (University of
Hong Kong),

and Tan See-Kam (University of Macau), editors


Designed for Palgrave’s “handbook” series that brings together cutting-edge
scholarship on key topics in film and media studies, we plan for this
volume to make an intervention in ongoing debates surrounding the nature
and direction of the study of Asian film.  From Bollywood to Hallyu, from
the rising cinemas of West and Central Asia to the Chinese “new waves,”
Asia provides world screens with some of its most dynamic, innovative, and
provocative fiction, documentary, animated, experimental, and hybrid films.
 However, the concept of “Asian cinema” too often conjures up visions of
staid Hollywood imitations, turgid propaganda, and exercises in national
chauvinism.  The definition of “Asian cinema,” in fact, lags behind what is
actually happening on set and on location, in the cinema as well as on the
computer screen.  Not only have regional flows intensified in recent years,
but global currents have swept Asia in heretofore unimagined ways.
co-productions seem to be the norm rather than the exception and diasporic
filmmaking has found a voice that may be “Asian” to a degree but located in
Europe, America, Australia, or elsewhere.  New technologies enable the
dissemination of films far outside the established art house and festival
circuits of the past.  New institutions (archives, museums), alternative
funding sources (NGOs, festivals), and cutting-edge motion picture media
(Web 2.0, cell phone videos) come together to make established notions of
“Asian cinema” passé.   There is clearly a pressing need for a reassessment
of the utility of the term to regional studies of Asia as well as to the
disciplines of film, media, and cultural studies.

It may be important, though, to go a step further, and make a case for what
are, in our opinion, some of the most productive places for the invocation
of “Asian cinema” as a conceptual framework.  These include studies of the
depiction of the region in world cinema (Hollywood, Europe); comparisons of
common histories (colonial legacies); exploration of Asian aesthetic
traditions (linked to cultural flows along the Silk Road, for example).  Asian
cinema studies also welcomes comparative analyses of modernity,
postmodernity, globalization, and geopolitical phenomena (Cold War) and
transnational iterations of genres (noir, gangsters, etc.) as well as
examinations of Asian stars and fandom.   Asian “global” cities and urban
cinemas (slums in Mumbai, Manila) can be considered alongside the creation
of counter-publics (importance of transnational links in queer film, third
cinema, and women’s filmmaking, for instance) as well as the depiction of
global issues within the region (eco-cinema, anti-capitalist critique,
other political movements).

Rather than focusing on Asian cinema as the sum of the national cinemas of
Asia, then, we argue that Asian film scholarship needs to do more in order
to continue to find a place within serious academic inquiry.  It must be
comparative and global with an eye to the ongoing importance of the
regional to filmmakers, distributors, programmers, audiences, as well as
scholars.  If this is not kept in mind, Asian cinema will dissolve into
thin air leaving the local, national, and global in its wake.

Planned sections include:

Section I:  Theorizing Asian Film

Section II:  Space and Place

Section III:  Questioning Asian Bodies

Section IV:  Contested Asian Values

Section V:  Art and Industry

Conclusion:  The Future of Asian Cinema

Palgrave Macmillan has expressed interest in this project, and we are
currently putting together a table of contents for the volume.  We envision
3-4 chapters per section with each chapter averaging 8000 words.  If you
are currently conducting research in this area and would like to be
considered for this volume, please send us an abstract of your chapter
(250-300 words) and a brief biography (100 words) by *September 30, 2014*.  We
plan to put together the table of contents and submit the project for
review by October 2014.  We will begin to edit draft chapters as soon as
the contract is finalized and expect to have the book completed by June

*Submit your proposals to Ms. Kasey Man Man Wong at [log in to unmask]
<[log in to unmask]> by September 30, 2014.*

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite