Lecture 15 of The Stanford University-J. F. Oberlin University Commemorative Lecture Series to Be Held on January 18

Dec 21, 2017

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The Film Theory Complex and the Problems of Studying Japanese Intellectual History

Japan has witnessed a long history of deep and rich thinking about the modern medium of film, pursued by a wide range of thinkers from Tanizaki Junichiro to Tosaka Jun, from Nakai Masakazu to Hasumi Shigehiko. Not only has this history been largely ignored within the canon of film theory, however, which remains Euro- and American centric, it has mostly been forgotten within Japan itself. What does it mean when many have thought about cinema in Japan, but most today refuse to acknowledge that there has been film theory in that nation? This contradictory phenomenon is what I call the “theory complex” and says much about not only the status of theory in the film world, but also the place of cinema in Japanese modernity and the place of Japan within transnational intellectual flows. It also, I argue, offers a self-reflexive counter to canonical histories of film theory, questioning the definition of theory precisely at a time when the existence of cinema itself is in question.

Date and timeThursday, January 18, 2018, from 4:10 to 5:40 p.m.
PlaceRoom H, Suteikan 6th Floor, Machida Campus
LecturerAaron Gerow, Professor of East Asian Cinema and Culture, Yale University
LanguageEnglish (Q&A may be in Japanese)
CosponsorsJ. F. Oberlin University College of Global Communication and Graduate School of International Studies

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