Transgressive Women in East Asian Screen Cultures–cfp

CFP Symposium: Transgressive Women in East Asian Screen Cultures
23 – 24 May 2024
Cardiff University School of Modern Languages
More information here

Call for Papers

Female transgression – the act of pushing or breaking the boundaries of social, moral and/or legal codes – has long fascinated producers and consumers of culture. Nowhere is this more the case than in East Asian societies – think of the many literary works, films and plays inspired by the notorious story of Japan’s Abe Sada, who killed and mutilated her lover; or the numerous Chinese films and television dramas about the myths of Wu Zetian, who allegedly assassinated her own son to become the first and only female emperor in Chinese history. Some of the most popular original Netflix Korean series this year, The Glory, Kill Boksoon, Mask Girl, have a common theme of vengeful women who struggle with their motherhood/family relationships. Such creative production often acts as a window into the anxieties and pain of a society undergoing political upheaval, particularly with regards to changing gender dynamics and the advancement of women’s rights. Historically, stories of transgression in a male-dominated cultural field have not only revealed underlying social tensions, they have also served as sites for (re)articulating norms with regards to gender and sexuality. As Christine Marran (2007, xvii) observes, “[t]hose marginalised within society are symbolically central to how a society describes itself”.

As the opportunities and forms by which women can participate in cultural production in a changing media landscape have increased, representations of transgression now also serve as outlets for affirmative expressions of female desire as well as dissatisfaction with existing social norms. In a world now dominated by screens, visual media and internet cultures play an integral role in articulating, interrogating, transgressing and reimagining womanhood and femininity. In the wake of the global #MeToo movement, which exposed the fractures in gender relations, and the COVID 19 pandemic, during which there was, in many places, a partial reversion to conventional gender roles, as well as ongoing debates regarding low fertility rates, the persistent gender gap and LGBTQI rights, issues of gender and sexuality are never far from the public consciousness. Examining the ways in which female transgression is articulated through East Asian screen media and cultures can provide insight into how such debates have and are evolving, illuminating the concerns, hopes and desires of the peoples in those societies. However, while there have been some opportunities for scholars working on gender and media in individual East Asian societies to share their research, cross-regional initiatives have been few and far between. Given the interconnected histories and extensive cultural exchange within the region, an event that brings scholars working on different parts of, or across, East Asia (as well as diaspora communities) is long overdue.

We invite scholars and media practitioners to submit abstracts for 20-minute papers, audiovisual essays or practice-based research, either individual or in pre-convened panels of up to four presentations, that expand our knowledge of female transgression in East Asian screen cultures. We especially welcome submissions from postgraduate/early career researchers.

Possible topics could include:

  • Transgressive women on television
  • Transgressive women on social media
  • Transgressive women in cinema
  • Transgressive women in video games
  • Transgressive women and creative production
  • Transgression and motherhood
  • Transgression and girlhood
  • Transgression and sisterhood
  • Transgression in the workplace
  • Transgressive women and fandom
  • Transgressive women and stardom/celebrity
  • Transgression and gender/sexuality
  • Transgressive women and the East Asian diaspora

Please send abstracts (250 words) and bios (100 words) to Forum Mithani( or Elaine Chung (

Deadline for submission: 15 December 2023

Notification of result: early February 2024

Posted by: Elaine Chung <>

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