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Sinophone Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Critical Reflections

Sinophone Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Critical Reflections

2019 UCLA-NTNU Taiwan Studies Initiative Conference

Friday, April 12, 2019 - Saturday, April 13, 2019

Friday, April 12, 9:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.: Royce Hall 314 and 306
Saturday, April 13, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.: Faculty Center California Room

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Image credit: Tang Chang (1934-1990, Thailand), “Untitled 5” (1960, oil on canvas)

Since the initial conceptualization of Sinophone studies over a decade ago as a field that examines Sinitic-language cultures and communities marked by difference and heterogeneity around the world, scholarly work in the field has become more and more interdisciplinary, involving not only literary and cinema studies, but also history, anthropology, musicology, linguistics, art history, dance, and others. Now we routinely see “Sinophone” as a specific marker with multiple implications that are no longer merely denotative, enabling, on the one hand, marginalized voices, sites, and practices to come into view, and, on the other hand, an expanded conversation with such fields as postcolonial studies, settler colonial studies, immigration studies, ethnic studies, queer studies, and area studies. There have been vibrant debates at the definitional and conceptual level about critical issues and standpoints, such as the pros and cons of the diasporic framework (diaspora as history versus diaspora as value), the difficulty of overcoming Chineseness, the strength and pitfalls of language-determined identities, imperial and anti-imperial politics, racialization and self-determination of minority peoples, place-based cultural practices, the dialectics between roots and routes, and many others, and presently, scholars in disciplines other than literary and cinema studies have begun to join these conversations. The increasingly interdisciplinary nature of Sinophone studies compels us to take stock, at this particular historical conjuncture, of where this inherently interdisciplinary field has been, where it is going, and where it might go in the future.

Organized by Shu-mei Shih, Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures, Comparative Literature, and Asian American Studies, UCLA; Honorary Chair Professor in the Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature, National Taiwan Normal University

Day 1: Friday, April 12, Royce Hall

8:30 am: Registration and Coffee & Tea

9:00-9:30 am: Welcome and Opening Remarks
Cindy Fan, Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement, UCLA
Nikky Lin, Professor of Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature, NTNU
David Schaberg, Dean of Humanities, UCLA
Min Zhou, Director of the Asia Pacific Center, UCLA
Shu-mei Shih, Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures, UCLA

9:30-11:00 am: Panel 1: Theoretical Considerations (1)
Moderator: Shu-mei Shih, UCLA
Henning Klöter, Humboldt University of Berlin,
Articulations of “Other” Chinese Languages: The Sociolinguistic Past as a Testing Ground for Present Concepts of the Sinophone
Yinde Zhang, Universite Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3
Geocritical Sinophone and Transgressive Community
E.K. Tan, Stony Brook University
The Parasite: An Unapologetic Posturing of a Sinophone Position
Howard Chiang, UC Davis
Stonewall Aside: Why Global Queer Theory Needs Sinophone Studies

11:15 am-12:45 pm: Panel 2: Theoretical Considerations (2)
Moderator: Tak Fujitani (University of Toronto/UCLA)
Chien-heng Wu, National Tsing Hua University
Enjoy Your Sinophone! The Current Debate and the Path Forward
Alvin K. Wong, University of Hong Kong
Queer Hong Kong as a Sinophone Method
Andrew D. Wong, CSU East Bay
Views from the Margins: Language Politics in the Sinophone
Mark McConaghy, National Sun Yat Sen University
Xie Xuehong and the Ambiguities of Taiwanese Revolutionary Practice: Sinophone Studies Beyond Binaries

12:45-1:45 pm: Lunch Break

1:45-3:15 pm: Panel 3: Sinophone Expressive Genres
Moderator: Michael Berry (UCLA)
Valentina Pedone, University of Florence
Codeswitching as an Identity Defining Strategy in the Italian Sinophone Play “Tong Men-g”
Brian Bernards, University of Southern California
Ann Hui’s Sinophone Intervention in Vietnam’s Transpacific Cinematic Legacy
Susan Jung Su, National Taiwan Normal University
Other London, Other Taipei: Inflected Other-worlds of Migrant Workers in “Dirty Pretty Things” and “Pinoy Sunday”
Rebecca Ehrenwirth, NYU Shanghai
Painting the Borders of the Sinophone Canvas: Intertextuality in Sinophone Art from Europe

3:20-5:30 pm: Concurrent Graduate Student Workshops

Royce 314: Media Studies  
Moderator: Junko Yamazaki, UCLA
  Ellen Chang, University of Washington
Cacophonous Symphony: Aurality, Temporality, and Transportability of the Sinophonescapes 
Yiyang Hou, UCLA
Translating the Dissonance: Problematizing the Audioscape of Sinophone Cinema through Two Case Studies
M. Antonio Lizada, University of Hong Kong
The Rise of the Queer Chinese-Filipino Son: “Mano Po 4” (I Am the Legal Wife) and the Political Economy of Queer Chinese-Filipino Liminality
Sam Mak, National Cheng Kung University
The Politics of "Borders": the Adaptation of King of Chess and the Pre-handover Hong Kong
Kun Xian Shen, UCLA
A Media Archaeology of Sinophonic Popular Music: Investigating the Curious Case of Taiwanese Disco Singers in the 1980s
Sabrina Yunzhu Tao, University of Oregon
Building a Utopian Space: Amoy-dialect Cinema and Diaspora Experience in Post-war Hong Kong (Late 1950s-60s)
Ka Lee Wong, USC
Alternative Space in State Mouthpiece: rethinking “ventriloquism” and politics of Singaporean “dialect” broadcasting in Royston Tan’s “Eat Already”?
Jiyu Zhang, Leiden University
Speaking of Us: Borderlands, Soundscapes, and Ethnic Minorities in Chinese Cinema

Royce 306: Interdisciplinary Studies (1)
Moderator: Brian Bernards (USC)
Tzu-chin Chen, UCLA
Landscaping Southeast Asian Immigrants in Sinophone Community: Cinematic Resistance in “Pinoy-Sunday”and “Ye Zai”
Wen-chi Li, University of Zurich
The Possibility of Shaping Sinophone Poetry
Yiqing Li, UC San Diego
Belatedness, Misunderstanding, and Manipulation: West European Abstract Painting in Post-Mao China
Shirley Lung, Johns Hopkins University
Intersectional Christianity: Sinophone American Church Organizations and the Making of Taiwaneseness
Ellie Tse, UCLA
Queering Resistance in Wu Tsang’s “Duilian”
Yukun Zeng, University of Chicago
Sinophonic Voice from the Chronotopic Point of View: A Linguistic Anthropological Analysis of Dujing in Sinophonic Societies
Liao Zhang, Michigan State University
Where Were the Chinese Gone? A Russian Border Town and Its Lost Chinese Community, 1930s- 1940s
Cui Zhou, UCLA
From Silence to Heteroglossia: Rewriting a Sinophone History in Center Stage

Day 2: Saturday, April 13, Faculty Center (California Room)
9:00-10:30 am: Panel 4: Sound and Stage
Moderator: Ari Heinrich, UC San Diego
Nancy Yunhwa Rao, Rutgers University
Cantonese Opera and Sinophone-Soundscapes
Emily Wilcox, University of Michigan
Written Out: Dance and the Sinophone
Nathanel Amar, University of Hong Kong
Beyond Musical, Political and Linguistic Boundaries: The Influence of the Hong Kong Rock Band Beyond in the PRC during the 1990s
Ho Chak Law, University of Michigan & Hong Kong Baptist University
Sinophone’s Suffix Being Musical: Jon Jang as a Case Study

10:45 am-12:30 pm: Panel 5: Historiography and Ethnography
Moderator: Henning Klöter, Humbolt University of Berlin
Jason Lim, University of Wollongong
The Singapore Chinese as a Sinophone Community, 1945-1990
Ngoc Tho Nguyen, Ho Chi Minh University
'Taking Root Wherever You Land': The Liturgical Transformation of Popular Cults among Ethnic Chinese in Contemporary Vietnam
Xiaojian Zhao, UC Santa Barbara
“Transnationalism” Revisited: A Historical Perspective on Chinese Language Newspapers in the United States
Yanshuo Zhang, Stanford University
Entrepreneurs of the National Past: Contemporary China’s Indigenous Cultural Writing and the Ethnicization of Zhonghua minzu (Chinese race)

12:30-1:30 pm: Lunch Break

1:30-3:00 pm: Panel 6: Literature and Translation
Moderator: Christopher Hanscom (UCLA)
Lily Wong, American University
Solidarities and Other Desires: Sinophonic Affects in Kyle Dargan’s “Anagnorisis”
Hyelim Koh, Pusan National University
Glocalism and Chinese Diasporas' Identity
Tzu-yun Sharon Lai, National Taiwan Normal University
Erasing the Translators: A History of Pirated Translation in Taiwan, 1949-1987
Shu-hui Lin, National Taiwan Normal University
Cultural Context of Sinophone Travelogues during Taiwan's Martial Law Period

3:15-5:15 pm: Graduate Student Workshops

Interdisciplinary Studies (2)
Moderator: E. K. Tan, Stonybrook University
Melissa Mei-Lin Chan, USC
Sinophone Futures: Technology, Language, and the Voice in Hong Kong Digital Media
Spencer Chen, UCLA
The Politics of Representation in and through the Making of Mandarin Dubbing in Postwar Taiwan
Chi-yu Lin, National Taiwan University
Relationing the Cold War Atmosphere: Notes toward a General Ecology of the Sinophone
Xuefei Ma, University of Arizona
Thinking about Aesthetic Sinophonicity: Engendered Forces, Trans(re)lational Bodies and “Women’s Writings”
Lin-chin Tsai, UCLA
Sinophone as a Geopolitical Marker: Conjunctive Approach of Cultural Geography and Settler Colonial Criticism in Taiwan Cinema
Marta Paolesse, Roma Tre University
Alteration of Memory in the Literature of the Chinese Diaspora: Sinophone Memory Studies?
Nicolas Testerman, UCLA
Life Ex-Stasis: A Brief Typology of Modern Sinophone Life Philosophies
Eloise Wright, UC Berkeley
Borderlands History and the Sinophone in the 16th and 17th Centuries

5:30-6:00pm: Concluding Reflections
Moderator: Shu-mei Shih

6:00pm: Reception 


The conference is part of the UCLA-National Taiwan Normal University Taiwan Initiative, and is supported by the UCLA Asia Pacific Center Taiwan Studies Lectureship with funding from NTNU, and from the Department of International and Cross-Strait Education, Ministry of Education, Taiwan, represented by the Education Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Los Angeles.

Sponsor(s): Asia Pacific Center, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles