On July 6th and July 8th, the Center for Chinese Studies of National Central Library (Taiwan, R.O.C.) will hold the fourth and fifth “Taiwan Lectures on Chinese Studies” that have taken place this year, in collaboration with the SOAS Taiwan Studies Summer School 2016. Invited to give two lectures is Professor Christopher Lupke (陸敬思), who will focus on the topics “Decoding Cui Suxin’s Gongliao, How Are You?: Post-verité Documentary and Environmental Activism” on July 6th, and “The Illusion of Teleology in the Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien” on July 8th.
Christopher Lupke is Professor of Chinese and Cinema Studies at Washington State University, USA. He was trained in classical and modern Chinese as well as cultural theory and film at Cornell University, obtaining his Ph. D. in 1993. Much of his early scholarship was dedicated to literary studies of Taiwanese authors. He continues to have a strong interest in the culture and society of Taiwan and Sinophone Studies in general. His most recent publication is the book The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien: Culture, Style, Voice and Motion.
The first lecture is looking at a documentary presentation of the resistance to Taiwan’s highly controversial Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, built in the northern fishing village of Gongliao. Filmmaker Cui Suxin uses a “second-person” voiceover to narrate her work. Prof. Lupke will examine this unusual form of narrative structure and speculates on the dramatic effect it has for the viewers.
The second lecture is focusing on Taiwanese auteur filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien. In this presentation, Prof. Lupke will discuss a range of Hou’s films from throughout his career, suggesting that despite a wide variety of subject matter, settings and themes, one constant in his film is the illusion of teleology. His films often posit a desire early on to get somewhere but seldom accomplish it.
The National Central Library followed the establishment of the Taiwan Academy and Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies by planning and conducting the Taiwan Lectures on Chinese Studies. By holding such kinds of academic events overseas, it is hoped that Taiwan and Chinese Studies research will be invigorated and international research exchange boosted. The Taiwan Lectures on Chinese Studies kicked off in 2011 at the three Taiwan Academy locations. From 2012, the initiative entered U.S. and European university campuses and public libraries and extended its cultural influence, becoming a weapon of Taiwanese culture’s soft power.
Details of lectures are provided below:
Speaker: Professor Christopher Lupke (Washington State University, USA)
Date: July 6th 2016 (Wed.), 11:30-13:00
Topic: Cui Suxin’s Gongliao, How Are You? : Post-verité Documentary and Environmental Activism from Taiwan.
Date: July 8th 2016 (Fri.), 14:00-16:00
Topic: The Illusion of Teleology in the Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien.
Venue: College Buildings, (SOAS, University of London)
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG, U.K.
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