Innovative Media: Representations of Race and Culture Across Asia (Panel)


Cultural Studies and Media Studies

Zhengyan Cai (Georgetown University)

This session welcomes papers addressing any aspect of global cultural studies—including (but not limited to) literary and digital representations of cultural, artistic, racial, and linguistic diversity.

In the context of globalization, ethnic issues are never far from us: this is especially true in both cultural and political contexts throughout Asia. For instance, Neo-Orientalism exists not only in the tension between the West and the East, but also within Asia itself. In particular, the tension between mainstream ethnicities—and racial minorities—has become a fraught issue, as expressed in multiple media platforms.

The diverse academic public at NeMLA offers us an opportunity to make such global minorities (and related scholarly research) more visible to university communities. Such cultural and racial minorities exist throughout Asia—including, for example, the Mongolian, Uyghur, Tibetan, and Mi in China; the Ainu and Ryukyuan in Japan; and the many multi-ethnic immigrants in Thailand. Such widespread, global diversity accordingly carries crucial implications for both Cultural Studies and Media Studies today. Papers for this session might accordingly ask, for instance, how Chinese celebrities associated with a minority ethnicity are represented in various media (the example of the Inner-Mongolian singer Ayanga comes to mind). Similarly, how do such celebrities construct their public personas –on screen, on stage, in music videos, on social media, in chat rooms—and through other platforms of fan culture? And how do governments influence the representation of such minorities?

All approaches to cultural and racial diversity are welcome, including critical race theory, discourse analysis, cross-linguistic comparisons, and so on.

This session welcomes papers addressing any aspect of non-Western cultural expression and minority culture representation—including (but not limited to) literary and digital representations of cultural, artistic, racial, and linguistic diversity. Possible examples include minority cultures such as the Mongolian, Uyghur, Tibetan, and Mi in China; the Ainu and Ryukyuan in Japan; and the many multi-ethnic immigrants in Thailand. All approaches to cultural and racial diversity are welcome, including critical race theory, discourse analysis, cross-linguistic comparisons, and so on.