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Monsoon Marketplace: Capitalism, Media, and Modernity in Manila and Singapore

Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Rockefeller Hall, 374
Central Campus

Join Media Studies and the Southeast Asia Program for a talk by Elmo Gonzaga, Associate Professor in the Division of Cultural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). 

About the Talk

This talk discusses how the book Monsoon Marketplace applies an archipelagic method to trace the changing vernacular cultures of capitalist modernity, mass consumption, and media spectatorship in two Southeast Asian cities Manila and Singapore by looking at print, film, and audiovisual representations of commercial and leisure spaces including night markets, amusement parks, department stores, movie theaters, and shopping malls that captivated their populations at three important historical moments of colonial occupation in the 1930s, national development in the 1960s, and neoliberal globalization in the 2000s. Juxtaposing seemingly unrelated urban environments that have become unrecognizably and irretrievably transformed such as Calle Escolta and Raffles Place, the talk will examine lost spaces like Crystal Arcade and Change Alley, which had offered contrasting experiences of consumerism and sociality in times of upheaval.

About the Speaker

Elmo Gonzaga is Associate Professor in the Division of Cultural Studies and Director of the MA in Intercultural Studies Programme at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He obtained his PhD in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley. A native of Manila, he is a former Permanent Resident of Singapore. His work on Southeast Asian film and urban cultures has appeared in Cinema Journal, Cultural Studies, South East Asia Research, Verge: Studies in Global Asias, and the Journal of Asian Studies. He is the project leader of the Doing Theory in Southeast Asia online database, which was funded by a highly competitive Hong Kong Research Grants Council General Research Fund grant. 

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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies, Southeast Asia Program, Media Studies, East Asia Program


CALScomm, mediastudiescal, asianstudiescal

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Contact Name

Ava White


Elmo Gonzaga

Speaker Affiliation

Chinese University of Hong Kong

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