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Chinese Visual Ethnography Conference This Weekend at USC

Cultural Dimensions of Visual Ethnography: U.S.- China Dialogues University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089 Conference locations (various locations, please see program listed below); Film screenings (Leavey Auditorium) April 8-10, 2010 Time: 12:00PM – 7:30PM Please RSVP to Jia Tan at

How has visual ethnography shifted from becoming a discipline of “first world” filmmakers traveling to film “third world” people to a more complex and dialogical series of exchanges? Moving away from this bi-polar perspective to see the world in more complex and subtle terms, how have the audience for ethnographic documentaries shifted in recent years? How are ethnographic documentaries influenced by controversies about minority nationalities and ethnicity? What is the relationship between visual ethnography and the commercial videos produced for tourism promotion? What is the role of autobiographical or first person documentaries in defining a cultural perspective? What role do videos play in maintaining transnational connections among dispersed families and communities in China and the US? How do websites and web-based blogs serve to maintain transnational ties?

Full schedule after the break.

Thursday, April 8

12:00 pm Welcome and Reception at the University Club

1:00 pm Opening Remarks: Janet Hoskins, Gary Seaman, Nancy Lutkehaus

1:30-2:30 pm Opening lecture: “Ethnography, Ethnographic Film, & Religious Revival in Contemporary China” Mayfair Yang, UCSB Discussion

3:15-3:30 pm Coffee break

3:30- 5:00 pm Student panel: Body, Self and Identity Jia Tan, USC Cinema JP Sniadecki Harvard Anthropology Fei-Mei Heberer USC, Cinema

Leavey Screenings (at Leavey Auditorium):

5:30 pm “Broken Pots, Broken Dreams” by Maris Boyd Gillette (30 minutes)

6:20 pm “The Secret of the Stone” by Zhifang Song, Gary Seaman & Steven Schindler (39 minutes) Q and A with the filmmakers

Friday, April 9

8:30 am Coffee and breakfast served at the Anthropology lounge Morning Panels: Grace Ford Salvatori Auditorium 106

9:15 am First Panel: Ethnic Minorities and Cinematic Representation Papers presented by Professor Dru Gladney of Pomona College and the Pacific Bassin Institute and Professor Yang Hui of Yunnan University Discussants: Stan Rosen, USC and Kenneth Dean, McGill University

10:30 am Coffee break (Anthropology Lounge)

10:45 am Second Panel: Community-Based Documentary and Participatory Cinema Papers presented by Wu Wenguang of Beijing and Kenneth Dean of McGill Discussants: Eugene Cooper, USC Anthropology and Louisa Schein, Rutgers

12:00 noon Lunch Break Lunch will be served in Gabilan Courtyard

Leavey Afternoon Screenings:

1:00 pm “Tiger Day” by Zhuang Kongshao (20 minutes) Warning: There are some graphic scenes depicting the slaying of animals in this film that viewers may find offensive or disturbing. It is not a film suitable for children.

1:30 pm “Priests of the Buyei People” by Deng Qiyao (38 minutes) Q and A with the filmmakers

2:30 pm “Through Chinese Women’s Eyes” by Mayfair Yang (52 minutes) Q and A with the filmmaker

3:40- 4:00 pm Coffee Break, Gabilan Courtyard

4:00 pm Wu Wenguang and Deng Qiyao “My Village: The Villagers Documentary Project” (60 minutes) Q and A with Wu Wenguang and Deng Qiyao

5:30 pm Keynote Speaker: Louisa Schein of Rutgers University “Genres Unbound: Transnational and Grass Roots Media Perforating the Chinese Ethnographic”

Saturday April 10

9:00 am Coffee and breakfast served at Gabilan Courtyard

Morning Panels: Leavey Auditorium

9:15 am Third Panel: Using Film in Teaching Anthropology Papers by Zhuang Kongshao and Scott Wilson/Zhifang Song Discussants: Gary Seaman of USC and Stephen Schindler of CSULB

10:30 am Coffee break at Gabilan Courtyard

10:45 am Fourth Panel: Visual Ethnography and Folklore in the Digital Age Papers by Deng Qiyao of Beijing and Maris Boyd Gillette of Haverford College Discussants: Michael Renov of USC Cinema and Meiling Cheng of USC School of Theater

12:00 noon Lunch Break Lunch will be served at Gabilan Courtyard

Leavey Afternoon Screenings:

1:00 pm “Bored in Heaven” by Kenneth Dean (70 minutes) Q and A with Kenneth Dean, McGill University

2:15 pm “Bing Ai” by Feng Yan (120 minutes)

4:45 pm “A Dai Village’s New Year” by Yang Hui (44 minutes)

5:30 pm SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL: “Han Xin’s Revenge: A Daoist Mystery”. (90 minutes) A film by Patrice Fava with the participation of Zhuang Kongshao Discussants: Kenneth Dean, McGill University, Mayfair Yang, UCSB

Sunday, April 11

Morning Business Meeting: The Bohannon Anthropology Seminar Room, AHF B108, Hancock Building, Basement) 9:00 am Coffee and breakfast

9:15 am Discussion of plans for publishing an edited volume on “Digital Media, Cultural Lenses: Visual Ethnography Dialogues with China”

Sponsor(s): USC U.S.-China Institute, Center for Visual Anthropology


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