United Kingdom, London

Queer Cinema in Asia

when 1 July 2019 - 19 July 2019
language English
duration 3 weeks
fee GBP 1600

This course examines the rapid developments in cinematic content in Asia in the representation of diverse sexualities and genders. The course will draw on mainstream film, independent film, mixed media and webseries to investigate the complex issues at stake in discussing the notion of queer cinema in Asia. Film examples watched during the course will all come from across Asia, while secondary sources, both theoretical and examples of film analysis, will draw on Asian and Western contexts. While knoweldge of one or more Asian languages is of course useful it is by no means essential, and all key films will be subtitled. Any unsubtitled clips screened during lectures will be accompanied by detailed viewing notes.

The course is divided into three parts. The first week will focus on the impact of discourses of globalisation on represenations of sexual and gender alterity in Asian cinema. These will include examples of screen media from different parts of Asia to explore key theoretical ideas related to the understanding of non-normative sexualities and genders. Key topics for exploration will include thinking about terminology in the Asian context; sensitivity to specifically local manifestations of sexualities and genders in the region will be encouraged, while at the same time screen images will be contaxtualised in terms of transnational circuits of queer knoweldge and related arguments for and against the notion of global queering. Specific topics for investigation will include the notion of 'positive' and 'negative' images of LGBT and queer identities, and the relevance of homonormativity and notions of the queer unwanted to the study of films from Asia and how queer sexualities offer possibilities of resistance to categorisation. The course will also explore LGBT and queer film festivals in relation to the globalisation of queer identities.

The second week focuses on forms of queer cinema in Asia examining the success of certain LGBT/queer films in Western film festivals; alternative images in independent film, webseries and NGO produced screen media, and documentaries. The third week examines problems of censorship, class and race in the circulation and consumption of queer cinema in Asia and beyond.

These classes will give students the opportunity to explore the applicability of theory introduced earlier on in the course to specific films and cinemas. It will also equip students with skills pretaining to reviewing films through mixed media methods. In this regard it will include workshops on film production, interactive sessions with film makers, and conceptual knowledge on producing podcasts. Students will be encourages to apply key theoretical ideas explored during the course to a film or selection of films from beyond those watched over the course in their final assessment.

Course leader

Dr. Ben Murtagh

Target group

You will have completed one year of undergraduate study at the time of joining the Academic Summer School. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.

Course aim

-Reflect on some of the key theoretical ideas related to notions of queer identity in Asia
-Use primary sources from cinema and media to discuss key ideas related to gender and sexuality across Asia
-Theorise correspondences between films and extra-textual historical, political and cultural phenomena
-Show awareness of the wide range of thinking about and uses of conceptions of queer as a strategy as well as an identity
-Write and speak on queer cinema from Asia using a variety of different media including podcast, film review and essay

Credits info

Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and typically our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to claim credits from your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you enrol. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.

Fee info

GBP 1600: There is a 10% early bird discount for applications received by 31st March 2019


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