Friday, March 6, 3:00-5:00PM in CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)
Ling Zhang (PhD Candidate in Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago)
An Operatic and Poetic Atmosphere (kongqi): Female Voice-over and
Transmediality in Fei Mu’s Spring in a Small Town

On Friday, March 6, the Art and Politics of East Asia Workshop will meet for a presentation by Ling Zhang, PhD candidate in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, on a draft of a chapter from her dissertation. The chapter examines the idiosyncratic omniscient female voice-over and audiovisual aesthetic of Fei Mu’s film Spring in a Small Town (1948) in the context of the transmedial milieu of 1940s China, arguing that the voice-over and perspective not only draw inspirations from traditional Chinese opera (xiqu) and folk storytelling conventions, but also coincide with the prevailing trend of voice-over narration in 1940s American film noir and melodrama. The paper further argues that such transmedial and transcultural connections enrich and refresh our understanding of not only the audiovisual aesthetic of Spring in a Small Town, but also broader questions of female subjectivity and gender discourse and the intricate interplay between traditional and modernist art.

A draft of the paper will be available later today at this link. If you have not received the password for the post, please feel free to contact Nicholas Lambrecht at lambrecht at Light refreshments will be served at the workshop. We look forward to seeing you on Friday.