27 February 2020 from 13:00 to 14:30

Media Industries, Global Perspectives: East Asia

A City of Sadness (1989) Trailer

On 27 February the second meeting in the Media Industries, Global Perspectives series takes place. This meeting focuses on East Asia. Media Industries, This series is an initiative of the Media Research Group. All students from BA- and (R)MA-programmes, scholars in media, communication, and arts, and media professionals are cordially invited to attend.


Globalization has transformed the operation of media industries worldwide. Significant scholarly attention has been given to the complex mechanisms of an increasingly connected world in which the flows of content circulation are dynamic but uneven. Despite acknowledgement of multiple sites and means of content and knowledge production, research continues to be dominated by perspectives from the Global North. In this series we turn the spotlight on different territories and explore topical trends in researching media industries from global perspectives.


Li-An Ko and Shuangli Guo, both PhD candidates at the Media and Culture Studies department of Utrecht University, and Jiyu Zhang, PhD candidate at the Centre for the Arts in Society, Leiden University will discuss their research on Taiwanese and mainland Chinese historical and contemporary cinema. Associate professor and visiting scholar Cynthia Qijun Han (Nanjing University of Science and Technology) will serve as discussant.

Shuangli Guo

Beyond Storytelling: Early Chinese Film History between Attraction and Narration before the 1920s

In the past 35 years, there has been a new trend of “Archaeology of the Cinema” or “Media Archaeology” in the study of Western early film history. Cinema Archaeology mainly focuses on the "initial period of cinema", that is, films between the 1890s and 1906. However, by focusing on optical toy history, such as magic mirror, telescope, camera obscura, and magic lantern, pre-narrative-cinema “film-like” visual experiences emerge.

Li-An Ko

Beyond Sadness: Historical Films in the Post-Martial Law Period of Taiwan (1987-2017)

Following the end of the martial law period in Taiwan in 1987, a number of films were produced to represent Taiwan's past with previously suppressed viewpoints. Focusing on A City of Sadness (Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 1989), Flat Tyre (Huang Ming-Chuan, 1998), and Seediq Bale (Wei Te-Sheng, 2011), Ko will discuss how these films may serve as a kind of historical writing that provides interesting reflections while taking into account postcolonial conditions, such as historical amnesia, as well as their production context.

Jiyu Zhang

Central Frontiers. The Paradox of Modern Nation in Chinese Cinema

In his research, Zhang investigates modern China’s national formation through the prism of cinema, for which he considers Chinese cinema from historical, national, and geopolitical perspectives. Primarily, Zhang proposes that cinema, which arrived in China as a Western invention, has engaged in and impacted on China’s sociopolitical transition ever since the country shifted from a dynastic empire to a modern nation-state. Focusing on the chronic tension between ideological indoctrination and personal articulation, the research fleshes out how the idea of nation has been disseminated and propagated by Chinese cinema.

Start date and time
27 February 2020 13:00
End date and time
27 February 2020 14:30
Entrance fee
Free entrance