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CCCI: Urban horror: post-socialist Hong Kong cinema

Monday, October 29, 2018 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Goldwin Smith Hall, G64
232 East Ave, Central Campus

The Cornell Contemporary China Initiative (CCCI) welcomes Erin Huang, Assistant Professor in East Asian Studies and Comparative Literature at Princeton University.

Abstract: This talk examines the global condition of “post-socialism” in Hong Kong—a city without a “socialist” legacy—as a way of addressing the trans-territorial history of spatial violence in the era of the “post.”

Proposing “zone urbanism” as a critical lens—a phenomenon of zoning that renders space into a programmable and reproducible spatial software—this talk traces Hong Kong’s infrastructural revolution, which since the early 1980s has intimately connected the city to special economic zones in the People’s Republic of China. From the controversial construction of the new Hong Kong International Airport to expressways, tunnels, and bridges designed to speed up movement in south China’s economic circles, post-socialist Hong Kong has been transformed into southeast Asia’s transport super city and logistics hub.

While recent scholarship highlights the Umbrella Revolution in 2014 as Hong Kong’s protest against its loss of political sovereignty, this talk probes a longer history of zone urbanism and traces the emergent aesthetics of urban horror in Hong Kong cinema after the handover.

More about Professor Huang: She is the co-founder of Asia Theory Visuality—an intellectual platform that harbors collaborative thinking on experimental and theoretical approaches to Asian studies. She is an interdisciplinary scholar and a comparatist working on modern China and Sinophone studies. Her research interests broadly include cinema & media studies, Marxist urban theory, gender & sexuality studies, comparative socialisms and post-socialisms, and phenomenology. Her first book, Urban Horror: Global Post-Socialism, Chinese Cinemas, and the Limits of Visibility, is under contract with Duke University Press.

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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies, East Asia Program, Cornell China Center


isscal, chinacal




Cornell Contemporary China Initiative
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Amala Lane

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Erin Huang

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Princeton University

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wheelchair accessible, hearing assistance provided with advanced notice

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