Call for papers

Nation, Gender and History: Asian Cinemas in Perspective

International conference

 Vilnius University, Centre of Oriental Studies, 7-9 September 2017

Call for Papers

Asian Arts Centre and The Centre of Oriental Studies of Vilnius University invite scholars, film professionals and enthusiasts to Nation, Gender and History, an international conference on the cinemas of Asia.

The idea of a national culture has played a fundamental role in the definition, historiography and evaluation of Asian cultural practices for at least two centuries, and cinema is no exception. In today’s world, however, ideas of the nation appear as increasingly problematic. The same can be said of gender, the pertinence of which in individuals’ understanding of themselves and their history has, over the last decades, been challenged from many fronts. And yet both ideas of nation and gender continue to mark discourses about identities and countries, including and perhaps especially in situations of conflict. 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the independence and partition of India and Pakistan. The conference takes this opportunity to raise the question: can we still argue for the centrality of national cinemas? What role do notions of gender play in our appreciation of a nation’s cinema? And how do the interconnections between gender and nation in cinema help us understand the present historical moment?

The first aim of this conference is to create a dialogic space in which to revisit the ways in which, today and in the past, nation, gender and history interact(ed) and shape(d) one another in the cinemas of Asia. The term ‘Asia’ is used here as a short-hand to point to the cinema made in wide range of very diverse countries, rather than as a fixed, singular or homogenous entity – an invitation to look beyond the globalised canon of much film theory. Our second aim is thus also to explore points of convergences and trans-cultural forms and practices across this region. Has cinema ever been ‘national’ in Asia? What role does it play today, or did it play in the past, in constructing pan-Asian subjectivities? How does gender – the staple of nationalist discourses – function in specific trans-national or regional cinemas?

While we are interested in papers on the cinema of every Asian country, we particularly welcome papers on the all too often overlooked and still poorly researched cinemas of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, as well as on regional language formations such as Pashto, Sindhi, or Bhojpuri cinemas. We especially welcome papers on popular, low-budget genres (exploitation, B-grade, horror, sci-fi, and erotic films).

Below is a list of themes the conference will endeavor to address. It is not an exhaustive list and is intended as a guide, not as a set of limitations. We welcome suggestions and proposals on related topics.

  • the representation of sexuality and/or its repression; cinematic images of a sexual nature, their censorship and their exploitation; the filmic displacement of representations of sexual desire;
  • gender and film genres. We are particularly interested in papers examining gender in exploitation, B-grade, horror, sci-fi, low budget film productions;
  • gendered allegories of the nation, including mythological representations;
  • technical and/or narrative aspects of gender representations; male and female gazes; cinematography, editing, sound and gender;
  • national and trans-national aspects of stardom, production and/or distribution; transnational connections; diaspora cinema;
  • gender and the film industry, including directors, distributors and exhibitors.

Abstracts / proposals should be in English and of no more than 350 words, including a 50 word author biography.  Time for each paper: 20 minutes.

The conference registration fee is EUR 40 and covers:

  • conference folder and badge
  • refreshments during scheduled breaks
  • reception

The deadline for abstracts is 10 May 2017.

Send your abstract / proposal to the conference organisers at nagehi2017@gmail.com

In your email, please specify academic or professional affiliation.

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