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Transnational Genders Onscreen: Critical Asian Studies Collaborative, October 17-18, 2014

Transnational Genders Onscreen:
Queer and Feminist Cinema in East and Southeast Asia

October 17-18, 2014
35 Nicholson Hall

A conference organized by the IAS Critical Asian Studies Collaborative

Transnational Genders on Screen: Queer and Feminist Cinema in East and Southeast Asia examines the representation of gender and identity in the films of East and Southeast Asia, bringing prominent filmmakers and film scholars from China, Korea, Indonesia, and the US to the University of Minnesota to present and discuss their work. A key focus is the travel, exchange, and alteration of gendered categories, naming practices, and theoretical approaches in film and film studies. Speakers and films will address the complex meanings of terms of Western origin such as gay, transsexual, or feminism as they are reflected on the screens of Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and mainland China. The symposium format is designed to allow for the screening of several longer clips or entire films in addition to a 30-40 minute talk, enabling a robust engagement with both relevant films and presenters’ analyses of them. Filmmakers presenting their work will also answer questions and join conversations with the attending scholars and audience members.

The symposium will feature prominent Chinese queer filmmaker Cui Zi’en and speakers Soyoung Kim (Korea National University of Arts), Intan Paramaditha (New York University), Indonesian filmmaker and scholar Koes Yuliadi (ISI Yogyakarta) and Guo-Juin Hong (Duke University).

Friday, October 17th

1:00-3:00pm Guo-Juin Hong, Duke University
“Theatrics of Cruising: Bath Houses and Movie Houses in Tsai Ming-liang’s Films”
3:30-5:50pm Cui Zi’en, Beijing Film Academy
Queer China (60mins), “The Kidnapped LGBT Movement and Self-tied Independent Cinema”

Saturday, October 18th

10:00am-12:00pm Intan Paramaditha, CUNY/University of Indonesia
Madame X (100min), “Post-Suharto Islamic Resurgence and the Secular Responses of Queer and Feminist Cultural Producers”
1:00-3:00pm Koes Yuliadi, ISI Yogyakarta
Liku (80min), deconstructs local discourses of gay and transgender identity by examining the expression of non-heteronormativity among rural, lower-class Balinese practitioners of the dance drama form Bali Aga.
3:30-5:45pm Soyoung Kim, Korean National University of Arts
Heart of Snow (International Preview) (80 min), “Heart of Snow: The Politics of Affect, Landscape, and Gender and Post-Soviet Koreans in Central Asia”

Issues of interest for discussion

How can we better understand the italicized English word gay generally employed in academic literature about Indonesia, or the local term waria, which has a centuries-long history but has just begun to be explained as “transvestism,” both locally and transnationally? By analyzing the secular responses to the contemporary re-emergence of political Islam in Indonesia through the lens of Madam X (2010) an Indonesian “transgender superhero movie,” Intan Paramaditha (NYU) will work to contextualize and historicize the queer and feminist discourses that, in parallel with more conservative strains of Islam in the general populace, have acquired a stronger currency among urban artists and intellectuals since the fall of dictator Suharto in 1998. Indonesian scholar and filmmaker Koes Yuliadi’s recent film Liku, a fictional work that draws on the lives of several of its actors – men who “play” women, both on and off the stage, in the traditional Balinese dance drama form Bali Aga – works to further deconstruct modern, local discourses of gay and transgender identity by examining the expression of non-heteronormativity among rural, lower-class Balinese artists.

This symposium is cosponsored by the IAS Critical Asian Studies Collaborative, the Steven J. Schochet Endowment, the Moving Image Studies Minor, and the Departments of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies.

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