Call for Paper: Spaces of Encounter
Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Special Issue 2021
This special issue seeks innovative research that explores the many spaces in which cinema (broadly defined) is exhibited and encountered in China and the Sinophone world from the late nineteenth century to the present.
Where do we encounter cinema? As digital technologies transform the ways in which moving images are produced and consumed, they also call attention to the extent to which cinema has previously been defined and theorized through a specific exhibition space, namely, the movie theater. American film historian William Paul, for example, asks “if movies are no longer inescapably an art of the theater, have we lost an understanding of the art form that seemed self-evident to past audiences?” But in China and the Sinophone world, cinema was never bound up with the movie theater. From its first appearance in luxurious hotels and tea gardens, cinema has been exhibited in many venues alongside the commercial movie theater, such as classrooms, village squares, workers’ clubs, video halls (luxiang ting), museums, long-distance buses, and the living room. In addition, theme parks and tourist sites offer entry into filmed worlds through characters and landscapes. Large urban screens and personal mobile devices turn sidewalks, malls, and public transit into potential screening spaces (or what Francesco Casetti calls hypertopias). New digital spaces of exhibition afford users novel ways of interaction and performance, such as danmaku/danmu commentaries and the ability to easily create gifs from the video browser. Continue reading