Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Migration, Transnational Theory, and Film

One of the best, or at least favorite, books that I read over the summer on the topic of transnational studies was Thomas Faist, Margit Fauser, and Eveline Reisenauer's 2013 text Transnational Migration (Polity Press). The topic itself is essential and fascinating within transnational theory, alongside issues of mobility, displacement, and the nature of cultural flow.

The introduction to Transnational Migration provides succinct, clear descriptions of its key terms, namely "three transnationals" that I hope to consider further and use within the classroom. These three terms include: "transnationalization" -- the site of transaction/s; "transnational social spaces" -- spaces created and formed in the contact zone/s of transnational exchange; and "transnationality" -- the various forms of connection between transnational participants (2).

When reading this text I kept reflecting on transnational film industries, and the ways in which festivals, films, capital, production crews, the news media, etc., cross and intersect various borders physical, cultural, technological, and ideological. For example, (among other possibilities) what are the sites of transaction in the film industry (investment capital, film production and distribution, even purchasing a ticket at the theater), the social spaces created due to film exchange (festivals, university courses and conferences, award ceremonies), and the ways in which participants remain connected and communicate?

And in terms of formalist film analysis, what techniques are used within specific films to represent these sites of exchange via image, sound, noise, editing, music? Keeping transnational representations in mind throughout the reading was not difficult since the book draws attention to such connections by beginning with a commentary on The Edge of Heaven (Akin, 2007).

So I found that the contribution of the text, which uses the transnational as a lens, might further theories of the transnational in media studies -- just as the text contributes to sociology -- in interesting ways that I continue to reflect on. Especially considering, as the text observes, the challenge of integrating the exchange of so many participants at multiple levels.

A link to this text on the Polity website is: here.

No comments:

Post a Comment