Asian Film and Media (Panel / In-Person)


Special Session
Asian / Film and Media Studies

Satoko Kakihara (California State University - Fullerton)
skak@****.com (Log-in to reveal)

For over a century, Asian film and media have offered sites ripe for cultural analyses. While resisting the essentializing label of "Asian", this session seeks to benefit from conversations that emerge when we recognize the heterogeneity of Asia as well as the commonalities that run through its various cultural products. This session will feature papers that look at Asian film and media produced in a variety of geopolitical settings, across a wide range of historical periods. Presenters are encouraged to bring forth their analyses of various works of film and television, live-action and animated, silent and with sound—or any other work that they feel fit into the conversation of "film and media studies". By looking at such texts separately from literature, this session hopes to foster more exchanges within the ongoing Asia studies conversation at the annual PAMLA conferences.

For over a century, Asian film and media have offered sites ripe for cultural analyses for both domestic and international audiences. From the efforts made by the Japanese film industry in the early 20th century to make their products legible to Western audiences, to the recent success of Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite on the film festival and awards circuit, the viability and profitability of Asian media on the international stage necessitates such attention. While East Asian works often receive more screen time internationally, the increased exportation of works from other regions such as Southeast Asia, and the continued popular and academic interest in Bollywood films, point to the wide range of issues that can be addressed under the label of Asian film and media. All this, of course, comes in addition to the success and reception of these texts in their own domestic markets.

While resisting the essentializing label of "Asian", this session seeks to benefit from the conversations that can emerge when we recognize both the heterogeneity of Asia as a geographical, political, and historical idea, as well as the commonalities that run through many of its cultural products. This session thus will feature papers that look at Asian film and media produced in a variety of geopolitical settings, across a wide range of historical periods. More specifically, presenters are encouraged to bring forth their analyses of various works of film and television, live-action and animated, silent and with sound--or any other work that they feel fit into the conversation of "film and media studies".

Cultural texts produced in and by Asia have dealt with such themes as the tension between rural and urban; minimalism and excess; religious tradition and sinful modernity; and belonging and Otherness. Yet the texts of interest to this session do, and must, engage with so much more. By looking at such visual texts as separate from, while being certainly related to, literary texts, this session hopes to foster more exchanges within the ongoing Asia studies conversation at the annual PAMLA conferences.

The session of course welcomes proposals for papers dealing directly with PAMLA 2020’s special theme ("City of God, City of Destruction") as well as those that examine Asian film and media through a broader theoretical lens.