Department of Comparative Literature and Language
University of California Riverside, United States
Session Abstract: Japanese cinema has always been vital to film studies as an academic discipline. Through the 1970s, postwar feature films by canonical directors shown at festivals, art houses, film circles, and campuses shaped early discourse (grounded in auteur theory) that characterized Japanese cinema as a major non-Western national cinema. This approach dominated teaching and scholarship even after the advent of new consumer formats. However, a number of developments subsequently generated new audiences and innovative pedagogy and research. These include expanded access to archives, new technologies like streaming platforms, shifting geopolitics, and a swelling multidisciplinary research community across several continents. Today, numerous recent discipline-specific anthologies pushing Japanese cinema studies beyond an “East-West” paradigm or strictly national framework attest to the field’s maturation. This session aims to foster discussion of the pedagogical uses and research implications of such cutting-edge scholarship. The twenty-one chapters in The Routledge Handbook of Japanese Cinema (August 2020) recast questions of authorship, genre, and industry in broad conceptual frameworks (gender, media theory, archive work, intermediality) that reflect the hybrid approaches now reshaping the field. During the session's first part, four contributors (including a co-editor) will present and expand on their pre-circulated chapters in the handbook’s sections, “Decentering Classical Cinema,” “Intermedia as an Approach,” and “The Object Life of Film.” This will be followed by an interactive discussion of the book’s range and use-value--how it can further expand research and teaching in the field while redefining Japanese cinema within the shifting contours of today’s broader disciplinary environment.
Paper Presenter: Joel Neville Anderson – Purchase College, SUNY
Paper Presenter: Joanne Bernardi – University of Rochester
Paper Presenter: Anne McKnight – University of California Riverside
Paper Presenter: Kyoko Omori – Hamilton College