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Friday, April 10, 2015

Philippe Mather talk on Orientalism

I brought William to a talk by my friend and colleague Philippe Mather at Campion collage. He was speaking about his current (new) research in the field of "Orientalism", which is the depictions by westerners of Asia. In particular, he is concentrating on Singapore and has about 100 films which are set, or supposedly set, there. Popcorn was a nice touch for a Friday afternoon. William asked a question about Chinese art, old and new, which at first Philippe couldn't answer but then entered into an interesting discussion about the use of generic representations which are used instead of seeking real content; that one piece of art would represent all art of the nation and the idea of what is real is never addressed.

Email on talk read:
"Shanghaied In Singapore: Orientalist Representations of a Southeast-Asian City-State."
        Abstract:  The goal of this talk is to assess the heuristic value of Edward Saïd's four dogmas of orientalism for the analysis of film. Are the dogmas helpful in identifying patterns within filmic representations of the East, and also to gauge the extent to which films conform to or depart from the dogmas for specific reasons?

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