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Arts Week: Japanese Transnational Cinema

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square

This event is part of Birkbeck Arts Week 2019 - see the full programme.

Japanese transnational cinema runs from 10am to 5pm on 23rd and 24th May.

Since the postwar discovery of Japanese cinema in the West, there has been a tendency to draw on essentialist visions of this filmography, understating its uniqueness as a consequence of its isolation from the rest of the World and the correlation to its aesthetic and philosophical tradition. In other words, Japanese cinema has been often regarded as an unequivocal result of Japanese culture.

This two day seminar on ‘Japanese Transnational Cinema’ proposes a new methodology, attempting to challenge this old paradigm by highlighting the limitations of studying Japanese film as a cinematic phenomenon confined to its national borders. Is Japanese cinema a national cinema? To what extent is Japanese cinema Japanese? On the one hand, filmmakers have always been exposed to the international flow of images, stories, iconographies, and film theories. Are external influences and Japanese film uniqueness incompatible? On the other hand, Japanese cinema has also involved the representation of other cultures. What are the contradictions in the Japanese representation of the "other"? In addition, the Japanese film industry cannot be completely understood without taking into account its huge transnational character from a production-distribution-and-consumption point of view.

Papers in this seminar seek innovative analytical approaches aimed at interrogating the cultural complexities of Japanese film production, illustrating to what extent Japanese cinema should also be assessed through its transnational dimension.

Birkbeck event organised in partnership with SOAS, Daiwa Foundation, Sasakawa Foundation and Waseda

Speakers: Hideaki Fujiki (Nagoya University), Kinoshita Chika (Kyoto University), Nori Morita (Waseda), Lola Martinez (SOAS), Marcos Centeno (Birkbeck), Jinhee Choi (King’s College London), Adam Bingham (SOAS), Hyunseon Lee (SOAS), Kerstin Fooken (Birkbeck), Kenta Kato (Waseda), Laurence Green (SOAS), Alice Theodoresku (independent researcher), Alejandra Armendariz (The Japan Society), Syada Dastagir (Birkbeck), Livvy Hinkin (Birkbeck), Lois Barnet (SOAS).

Organising committee: Marcos Centeno (chair), Kerstin Fooken, Griseldis Kirsch, Norimasa Morita, Alejandra Armendariz, Syada Dastagir, Livvy Hinkin, Lois Barnet, Laurence Green.

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