Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Seattle, 2014
During SCMS this year I was interested primarily in three topics circulating in film studies today: the transnational, Chinese cinema, and Cold War cinema. Below I have captured a few of the panel presentation titles and representative discussions that I attended on Friday and Saturday during the conference, thanks to the incredible work organized and presented.
K18 "Revisiting Kurosawa"
Chair: Olga Solovieva - University of Chicago
Olga Solovieva - University of Chicago “War Photography and Avant-garde Performance in
Dolores Martinez - University of Oxford “Revisiting Kurosawa’s Women”
Michael Bourdaghs - University of Chicago “Hearing the Cold War: Kurosawa Akira’s Soundtracks and Soviet Film Theory”
Respondent: Victor Fan - King's College London
Michael Bourdaghs' presentation historicizes the work of Kurosawa within a Cold War framework rather than a post-war framework, leading to an interesting question, among others: do we see a leftwing/ left-leaning Kurosawa when using a Cold War lens? The presentation analyzed the film One Wonderful Sunday (1947).
L16 "A Queered China: Making Sense of Gender and Sexuality in Chinese Popular Culture"
Chair: Jing (Jamie) Zhao - Chinese University of Hong Kong
Charlie Zhang - South Dakota State University: “Queering the National Body of Neoliberal China”
Erika Junhui Yi - University of Kansas: “An Insider’s Reflection on Chinese Boys’ Love Fan Girls: Friendship, Romance, and Public Image”
Jing (Jamie) Zhao - Chinese University of Hong Kong: “Something Unfathomable to Others: Fantasies of BDSM, Rape, and Incest"
Shuzhen Huang - Arizona State University: “Fanning the Queer: Transnational Slash Flows and Gender Politics in Contemporary China”
Respondent: Xiqing Zheng - University of Washington
Charlie Zhang's presentation, using the queer as methodology, interestingly discussed gendered representations of China in media presentations in parades, dances, and public performances that perform the nation, noting that gender is the hinge in the relationship between gender, class, and state in the transition from Maoism to neo-liberalization.
N12 Workshop "Melodrama through a Transnational Lens: Questions of Methodology"
Chaired by Christine Gledhill - New York University, this panel included a fascinating and informative presentation by Jason McGrath - University of Minnesota, which looked at melodramatic films made in China after 1949, including socialist realism films in their various permutations. (Since this panel is listed as a workshop in the program, I don't have all of the presentation titles listed here).