Media Fields 5

Media Fields 5

Bliss Lim (Film and Media Studies, UC Irvine)
Thursday, April 2, 2015 / 4:30 PM

“Queer Aswang Transmedia: Camp Temporality and Philippine Folklore”

In recent years, the aswang – a supernatural creature of Philippine folklore that is often associated with female monstrosity  and patriarchal misogyny – is being flamboyantly queered across a range of media. In the handful of texts that comprise queer aswang transmedia – a Filipino novel (Ricky Lee’s Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata [Amapola in 65 Chapters]), mainstream film (Mga Bata ng Lagim [Children of Terror], dir. Mar S. Torres, 1964), and amateur digital video (Amabilis 2, 2011) – the aswang, an iconic female monster, is being destabilized and re-imagined. Gay men (or more accurately, bakla subjects) are occupying the place formerly reserved for monstrous women. This queering of aswang transmedia is a forceful, funny, yet undeniably risky reapproriation lodged in language (“swardspeak”) and a kind of pinoy camp style. This talk attempts to theorize a distinctly Filipino camp sensibility in relation to queer time. It wrestles with queer aswang transmedia’s implications for both temporality (since anachronism underpins the cultural figures of both bakla and aswang) and visibility (queer scholars argue that the bakla, stigmatized as effeminate and lower class, is increasingly the object of forcible bourgeois erasure in the face of the urban gay scene’s aspirations toward global gay norms.)

Bliss Lim is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies, School of Humanities at UC Irvine. Her research interests include Philippine Cinema, cinematic temporality, Queer temporality, moving image archives, postcolonial and feminist film theory and transnational Asian cinemas. Her book “Translating Time: Cinema, the Fantastic and Temporal Critique” was published by Duke University Press in 2009. Her writing has appeared in Asian Cinema Studies Society, Indiewire, Camera Obscura, Spectator, Flow and Discourse. She is on the Editorial Advisory Board for Camera Obscura: A Journal of Feminism, Culture and Media and Plaridel: A Philippine Journal of Communication, Media and Society.


Daniel Reynolds (Film and Media Studies, Emory University)
Friday, April 3, 2015 / 4:30 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

“Media in Mind: ‘A Transactional Encounter'”

How can we think ecologically about media?  To do so would be to think of media use as a system of organisms and objects in persistent dynamic relation to one another.  In order to understand how we perceive, interact with, and make meaning from media such as films and videogames, we ought to see them as embedded features of a physical environment in which we ourselves are also embedded.  Thinking about media in this way will necessarily emphasize continuity between media content and the world at large, between media experience and experience in general, and between media and their users.

A truly ecological conception of experience will see it as embodied, embedded, and extended into the environment, so that the mind, and the “self,” are not confined to our brains or our bodies but are rather qualities of our engagement with the world around us.   Thus, our encounters with the world participate in the making of our minds.  We need to think not just about the relationship between media and the mind, but rather about the roles that media play in our minds.

Dan Reynolds is Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies at Emory University, where his research and teaching focus on the relationships between technology, media, and the mind.  His writing has appeared in Film Quarterly, FibrecultureRefractory, and Applied Semiotics/Sémiotique appliquée.

Sponsored by the Dept. of Film and Media Studies, UCSB Graduate Division, the Carsey-Wolf Center, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, the Graduate Student Association, the Dept. of English, the Dept. of History of Art and Architecture, the Graduate Center for Literary Research, Chicana/o Studies Institute, American Cultures and Global Contexts Center.