Sinophone as Method

umelb_logoContemporary China Seminar Series, University of Melbourne

Sinophone as Method: Australia’s screen co-productions with China and the Chinese diaspora
Professor Audrey Yue, University of Melbourne

5.30-7.00pm Thursday 20 October, 2016
Evan Williams Theatre (Room G03), Richard Berry Building, Monash Road, University of Melbourne
Admission is free, but places are limited so registration is essential

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In recent years, the rise of the Chinese film industry has seen it become a formidable global force, with its increase in foreign film quota, accelerated expansion in film production and strong market growth (with 25,000 screens). Where film co-productions arose as a strategy to address the decline of national cinema and challenge the dominance of global Hollywood, film co-productions now need to deal with both the hegemonies of Hollywood and China, either by partnering with them or forging new alliances.

This paper examines Australia’s co-productions with China and the Chinese diaspora. Australia’s film engagement with China and the Chinese diaspora is characterised by minor transnationalism. Unlike the major transnational film partnerships between China and the West (Hollywood or European art house cinema), Australia’s partnership with China is minor. By using the concept of the Sinophone to compare and contrast these two case studies, I critically elaborate the practices of its junior partnership and new alliances. The concept of the ‘Sinophone’ (Shih) has received critical traction in recent years as a robust theoretical tool to consider a range of Chinese language cultural productions that have emerged on the margins of China and the global Chinese diasporas. Through these comparisons, I will show how the Sinophone contests China-centrism, stresses multi-accents and intertextual articulations, and reveals the process of minoritisation in the formations of identity, subjecthood and citizenry.

Audrey Yue is Director of the Research Unit in Public Cultures and Associate Professor in Cultural Studies at The University of Melbourne. Her recent publications include Promoting Sustainable Living (2015, with J. Karakiewicz & A. Paladino); Sinophone Cinemas (2014, ed. with O. Khoo); Transnational Australian Cinema (2013, with O. Khoo & B. Smaill); Queer Singapore (2012, ed. with J. Zubillaga-Pow) and Ann Hui’s Song of the Exile (2010). She is Chief Investigator in 3 current ARC projects on multicultural arts (LP110100039); young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (LP150100291) and East Asian media flows in Australia (DP160100304).