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East Asian War Films

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Organizer: (Aaron) Feng Lan

Co-Organizer: Lily Li

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The most unforgettable events marking the modern histories of East Asian countries such as China, Korea, and Japan are perhaps the series of military conflicts, ranging from civil wars to regional and world wars. These wars have profoundly affected these countries in each of their own nation-building struggles, their relations with one another, and their positions in the world. Memories of such wars, which are deeply and disturbingly entrenched in the national consciousness of these countries, have been invoked over and over again in their cultural articulations, especially films in recent decades. This seminar invites paper proposals that explore any aspects of war films produced in China, South Korea, Japan, and other East Asian regions. The term "war film" here can be construed in its broad sense: war drama, war anime, and war documentary. We particularly encourage analyses and evaluation of cinematic representations of war in transnational and comparative contexts. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:
  • War films and history

  • War films and nationalism

  • War, memory, and trauma

  • War films and gender politics

  • War blockbusters and capital

  • War films and East Asian ethics of war

  • Aesthetics/cinematics of violence

  • Teaching East Asian war films

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