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Call for Papers: Imagining Chinese Cinemas at University of Exeter UK

Call for Papers Imagining Chinese Cinemas in the 21st Century 9th-11th July 2012 (Mon-Wed), University of Exeter, UK

Funded by a Leverhulme Trust International Network grant, the research project Chinese Cinemas in the 21st Century: Production, Consumption, Imagination would like to invite scholars and PhD students to the launch event and workshop to be held at the University of Exeter from 9th to 11th July, 2012. This project is led by Dr Song Hwee Lim (University of Exeter), and the keynote speaker for the launch event is Professor Rey Chow (Duke University).

The twenty-first century has been hailed as the Chinese century. This project seeks to examine the role of art and culture (in particular, film) as a form of “soft power” capable of shaping both the region’s self-image and others’ perception of Chinese culture, which has varying impacts on local, national, regional and global levels. The phenomenal success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000) is a clear example of how a quintessential Chinese film genre of wuxia (knight-errant swordplay) can transcend national boundaries to become a global imaginary. This project will pay particular attention to aspects of production, consumption and imagination that have facilitated the transnational travel of Chinese films.

The Exeter workshop will focus on the role of imagination in the production and consumption of Chinese cinemas in the 21st century. It seeks to address the following topics:

– What and how does imagination signify in Chinese film culture? What kinds of hopes, dreams, alliances or futures can it inspire? What kinds of conflicts, tensions, dialectics or catastrophes can it incite? – Is imagination necessarily a liberating force or could it be potentially dangerous? Where and how might imagination be policed and censured? – How can issues of gender, class, sexuality and ethnicity be imagined in Chinese cinemas? – Does imagination have a material basis? What does it cost to imagine Chinese cinemas in a century likely to be dominated globally by a new superpower that is China? – Who and what are the new imagined communities in the production and consumption of Chinese cinemas? What is the role of imagination in the production and consumption of film styles, stars and genres?

This Call for Papers is aimed at two groups of participants:

(a) We invite academics to send a 250-word abstract for a fifteen-minute paper and a 50-word biographical note. Topics are open, though preference will be given to those exploring Chinese cinemas of the 21st century and the notion of ≥imagination≤. Selected papers will be considered for a special issue in the Journal of Chinese Cinemas to be published in 2013-2014.

(b) We also invite PhD students working on any area of Chinese cinemas to present their dissertation outline or a chapter summary (250-word abstract and institutional affiliation to be sent in the first instance) at a day of workshop where the project’s network partners will serve as discussants to provide feedback. There will also be a roundtable session on “Studying Chinese Cinemas in the 21st Century” with Professor Chris Berry (Goldsmiths College, London) and Professor Rey Chow (Duke University). Up to ten sponsorships, which include two nights’ accommodation and travel expenses, are available to UK-based PhD students.

Please send your abstract to Song Hwee Lim at by 16th April 2012. Selected participants will be informed by the Network Facilitator by 30th April 2012. Please feel free to circulate this Call for Papers to your contacts. We look forward to welcoming you to Exeter in July 2012.


– Exeter (“IMAGINATION”, July 2012) – Amsterdam (“CONSUMPTION”, January 2013) – Singapore (“PRODUCTION”, July 2013) – Taiwan (Symposium, December 2013)


– Song Hwee Lim (University of Exeter, principal investigator) – Michelle Bloom (University of California, Riverside) – Brenda Chan (Nanyang Technological University) – Kenneth Chan (University of Northern Colorado) – Jeroen de Kloet (University of Amsterdam) – Gaik Cheng Khoo (Australian National University) – Kien Ket Lim (National Chiao-Tung University)

More information about the workshop will be available in the coming months at:

Song Hwee LIM (Dr.) Senior Lecturer in Film Studies College of Humanities University of Exeter Queen’s Building, The Queen’s Drive Exeter EX4 4QH United Kingdom


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