Inter-Asia Intermediality: A Two-Part International Workshop CFP

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Inter-Asia Intermediality: A Two-Part International Workshop

Conveners: Brian Bernards (USC) and Elmo Gonzaga (CUHK)

Part 1: University of Southern California (Los Angeles), May 20-21, 2022

Part 2: Chinese University of Hong Kong, June 10-11, 2022

 

Call for Papers

Over the past two decades, intermediality and inter-Asia have emerged as key buzzwords in the humanities whose increasing presence as the theme and focus of scholarly conferences, journals, and monographs has followed a remarkably similar timeline and trajectory.

Discussions of intermediality grew at the turn of the millennium in response to technological innovations to the platforms and networks for media circulation and consumption. Almost concurrently with the rise of intermediality, inter-Asia emerged as a subfield of—as well as a challenge and response to the inadequacies of—the field of Asian area studies with the aim of connecting scholars at different institutions across the region while encouraging scholarship that would avoid the trap of East-West bilateralism by instead interrogating processes of regionalization in Asia in all their unevenness and variation.

“Inter-Asia Intermediality: A Two-Part International Workshop” intends to highlight the intersections between these two emergent fields by bringing them into a productive scholarly conversation. Beyond the continuity and smoothness of encounter and passage within and between different forms of media (as well as between Asian subregions), we are interested in intermediality’s contradictions and frictions amid the tenuous relationships within Asia. Neves and Sarkar’s pioneering edited volume Asian Video Cultures (2017) highlights how video acts as a mediator for the social and historical contradictions of a diverse region such as Asia. Similarly, we seek to explore in this conference how intermediality can intervene in similar, multiple ways in the dynamic and elusive cross-cultural, intraregional, and trans-border exchanges between East, Southeast, and South Asia.

The impact of the rise of digital media (and digital media’s refashioning—or remediation—of older media forms) as a catalyst of processes of inter-Asian regionalization—as well as its exposure of tensions and challenges in those processes—has not been sufficiently interrogated.  To this end, our workshop will foreground two reciprocal and mutually reflexive questions for further inquiry:

  • How do processes of intermediality (including the frictions, contradictions, connections, and divergences between different platforms of media convergence) break up homogeneous or regionally bounded conceptions of Asia?
  • By modifying platform-specific media content for distribution and exhibition on unintended platforms or for unanticipated audiences, how do regionalized inter-Asian productions and circulations of media content challenge homogeneous or disciplinary-bounded understandings of specific media platforms?

Subjects for submission may include:

  • The integration or cross-pollination of media platforms from East, Southeast, and South Asia, including but not limited to cinema, multimedia art, street art, televisual media, microblogging, live-streaming, video-sharing, video games, and music videos.
  • Inter-Asian media convergence through regional co-production, celebrity culture, cross-border migration and tourism, transnational racial and religious identities, feminist and LGBTQ+ activism, multilingual code-mixing, and shared environmental concerns (e.g., haze, typhoons, tsunamis, flooding).

Please note:

  • We are currently planning to hold the two-part workshop in a hybrid format (using Zoom-enabled conference rooms at both USC and CUHK), with both in-person and remote (via Zoom) participation options available to presenters.
  • As this workshop aims to curate a published volume, only previously unpublished papers or those not already committed elsewhere are preferred.  As cinema and media studies scholars will comprise majority of the contributors, we hope to draw in some contributions from other areas, including art, literature, and photography.
  • The workshop will give special consideration to scholars working on South Asia and Southeast Asia as well as underrepresented languages and cultures (especially Indigenous ones) in the fields of Asian studies and media studies.

Submission instructions:

  • Please send a paper title, 250-400-word abstract, short bio (including institutional affiliation), location preference (Los Angeles in May 2022 or Hong Kong in June 2022), and modality preference (in-person or online) to Brian Bernards (bernards@usc.edu) and Elmo Gonzaga (egonzaga@cuhk.edu.hk) by December 6, 2021.

Confirmed presenters include:

  • Bliss Cua Lim, Nadine Chan, Palita Chunsaengchan, Lan Duong, Olivia Khoo, Adil Johan, Dorothy Wai Sim Lau, Joanne Leow, Shaoling Ma, Alden Sajor Marte-Wood, Sheela Jane Menon, Wikanda Promkhuntong, Phoebe Pua, Supawan Supaneedis, Jasmine Nadua Trice, Noah Viernes, Elizabeth Wijaya, Ka Lee Wong, Dag Yngvesson, Ling Zhang

Recommended texts:

  • Weihong Bao, Fiery Cinema: The Emergence of an Affective Medium in China, 1915-1945 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015)
  • Joshua Neves and Bhaskar Sarkar (eds.), Asian Video Cultures: In the Penumbra of the Global (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017)
  • Jihoon Kim, “Between Auditorium and Gallery: Perception in Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Films and Installations,” in Global Art Cinema: New Theories and Histories, eds. Rosalind Galt and Karl Schoonover (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 125-141
  • Kuan-hsing Chen and Chua Beng Huat (eds.), The Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Reader (London: Routledge, 2007)
  • Jeroen de Kloet, Yiu Fai Chow, and Gladys Pak Lei Chong (eds.), Trans-Asia as Method: Theory and Practices (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2020)
  • Prasenjit Duara (ed.), Asia Redux: Conceptualising a Region for Our Times (Singapore: ISEAS Publishing / New Delhi: Manohar, 2013)
  • Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Other Asias (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2008)