Saturday, March 25, 2017

SCMS Conference Notes, Friday March 24th, 2017

On Friday the innovative and lively "Transforming Citizens from the Margins to the Digital Mainstream" panel described new media representations of Asian American identity, interestingly noting the ways current YouTubers use, but do not necessarily directly cite, the visual narratives their work builds on (Dr. Lori Lopez & Dr. Peter Feng).

The third presentation in the panel by Dr. Brian Hu, “Asian American Film Festivals, Post-raciality, and the Narrative Feature” worked in synchronicity with Dr. Po-Chen Tsai's presentation yesterday, “A Cinema of Hopelessness: Rethinking Queerness and Globalization through Three Recent Taiwan Films.” In the former, Brian Hu discussed recent Asian American films that do not address issues of race, while Po-Chen Tsai's work described three recent films with queer characters that do not necessarily advocate for gay identity.

This reminds me of another connection among the panels this year; namely, the way intersections of ideas (cultural, representational, political) are presented without resorting to considering them exclusively within a binary relationship of power/marginalization--the best presentations seem to do so while also avoiding the general abstraction of the term "intersectionality."

I also attended the "Femininity, Disability, and Trauma" panel which covered responses to representations of violence against women on the silver screen in Israel (Dr. Raz Yosef), definitions of trauma and it's cinematic iterations (Dr. Karin Badt), the authenticity of filmic characters across the autism spectrum, and the engagement that occurs between witness/investigator and event in terms of the gaze and the stare (Dr. Kathleen McHugh).

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