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“Legacies of Leftism in Film and Media Theory: East Asia and Beyond”

February 28, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

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International Symposium

“Legacies of Leftism in Film and Media Theory: East Asia and Beyond”

Roundtable Discussion 

Thursday, February 28

7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Faculty House



Friday, March 1 – Saturday, March 2, 2019

7:00AM – 6:00PM
Lenfest Center for the Arts, Katharina Otto Bernstein Screening Room


Evening Screenings: Treasures from Asian Film Archives
7:30 – 10:30 PM

No registration required



Moonim Baek, Professor of Korean Language & Literature, Director of Institute of Media Art at Yonsei University
Jaeho Kang, Associate Professor of Communication, Department of Communication, Seoul National University
Soyoung Kim, Professor of Cinema Studies, Korea National University of Arts; President of the Association of Korean Cultural Studies (2018-), Director of Trans Asia Screen Culture Institute, and Filmmaker
Travis Workman, Associate Professor, Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Weihong Bao, Associate Professor of Film and Media & East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of California-Berkeley
Laikwan Pang, Professor of Cultural Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Lingzhen Wang, Associate Professor, Department of East Asian Studies, Brown University
Ho Lok Victor Fan, Senior Lecturer of Film Studies, King’s College, London
Yomi Braester, Professor, Department of Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media, University  of Washington
Jason McGrath, Associate Professor, Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Daoxin Li, Professor of Film Studies, Peking University, Beijing, China

Aaron Gerow, Professor of Film Studies and East Asian Languages & Literatures, Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures, Yale University
Diane Wei Lewis, Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies, Washington University in St. Louis
Alexander Zhalten, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University
Yuriko Furuhata, Associate Professor, William Dawson Scholar of Cinema and Media History in the Department of East Asian Studies, Associate member of the Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University
Anastasia Fedorova, Associate Professor of Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies, Moscow Higher School of Economics

Co-sponsors : Center for Korean Research; Weatherhead East Asian Institute; Dragon Summit Fund, C.V. Starr Library, Donald Keene Center for Japanese Studies; Film and Media Studies, School of the Arts; Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought; Program in Chinese Literature and Culture, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures; Institute for Comparative Literature & Society; Permanent Seminar on Histories of Film Theories


How have Leftist traditions inspired film and media theories across the world, and what can we learn from these traditions today as we explore new methodologies in film and media studies and new political possibilities in the contemporary world?

Marxist theory has been considered a major influence on film and media theories in Europe and North America, from the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, the theories of Althusser, to the Birmingham School of Cultural Studies.  Moving away from these more familiar stories in Europe and North America, this conference takes East Asia as a focal point to investigate “Leftism” as changing, plural and contested positions in theory and politics that have tied emerging mass media forms to revolutionary upheavals and anti-imperial struggles in the region and beyond.

At the conference, we use “media” in the broadest sense of the term, including print, photography, film, animation, contemporary digital new media and more. We problematize “film and media theory” and its locations, excavating theory within the specific contexts of practice and criticism in East Asia.  Situating East Asia within broader transnational circuits of travel, translation, and transformation, we ask how Leftist ideas have entered into other discourses such as anti-imperialism, nationalism, populism, statism, and developmentalism, and how such imbrications have impacted aesthetic theories as well as political, economic and social formations in the region.


February 28, 2019
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
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