Hong Kong Women in Diaspora

Speaker: Gina Marchetti
Venue: Hosted via Zoom
Date & Time:
2021-3-16 | 19:00-20:30 (Shanghai)
2021-3-16 | 7:00-8:30 (New York)
2021-3-16 | 15:00-16:30 (Abu Dhabi)

Throughout its history, Hong Kong has been a transit hub serving as a point of arrival and departure for people as well as goods from around the world. These global flows hold a particular significance for women as they face unique challenges related to intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality within the Chinese diaspora. Hong Kong’s women filmmakers tell a range of stories about migration focusing on female protagonists as they navigate the various transnational networks that connect Mainland China, Hong Kong, and the rest of the world. This presentation focuses on films made by Hong Kong’s New Wave women directors, including Ann Hui, Mabel Cheung, and Clara Law, as they portray female characters located in and moving through Hong Kong from the 1980s into the twenty-first century. These prominent women directors chart the impact of Hong Kong’s change in status from a British colony to a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China on women by drawing on various genres including the youth drama, family melodrama, and the romantic comedy.

The presentation concludes with a look at more recent developments related to women and Hong Kong history by examining Bo Wang and (Iris) Pan Lu’s Many Undulating Things (2019) in relation to COVID-19. This essay film devotes a substantial section to Hong Kong’s history of disease with specific references to the territory’s women by citing the Hollywood film Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (Henry King, 1955). Returning to Hong Kong’s colonial past via this cinematic relationship between disease and desire, women filmmakers’ perspectives on Hong Kong, diaspora, and gender take on new meaning in our pandemic present.

Gina Marchetti teaches courses in film, gender and sexuality, critical theory and cultural studies. Her books include “Yellow Peril”: Race, Sex and Discursive Strategies in Hollywood Fiction (Berkeley: University of California, 1993), From Tian’anmen to Times Square: Transnational China and the Chinese Diaspora on Global Screens (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006), Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s INFERNAL AFFAIRS—The Trilogy (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2007), The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens: Race, Sex, and Cinema (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2012), and Citing China: Politics, Postmodernism, and World Cinema (Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi, 2018)

She has co-edited several anthologies, including Hong Kong Film, Hollywood and the New Global Cinema, with Tan See-Kam (London: Routledge, 2007); Chinese Connections: Critical Perspectives on Film, Identity and Diaspora, with Peter X Feng and Tan See-Kam (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2009); Hong Kong Screenscapes: From the New Wave to the Digital Frontier, with Esther M. K. Cheung and Tan See-Kam (HKUP, 2011); and The Palgrave Handbook of Asian Cinema, with See Kam Tan and Aaron Magnan-Park (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

Her current research interests include women filmmakers in the HKSAR, China and world cinema, and contemporary trends in Asian and Asian American film culture.

Suggested readings:

Marchetti, Gina. “Clara Law, Asia, and World Cinema,” in Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park, Gina Marchetti, and Tan See-Kam, eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Asian Cinema (Palgrave-Macmillan Publishers, 2018), pp.689-707.

Marchetti, Gina. “Handover Women: Hong Kong Women Filmmakers and the Intergenerational Melodrama of Infidelity,” Feminist Media Studies 16:4 (June 2016), pp. 590-609. DOI:10.1080/14680777.2016.1193292. Special Issue: “Intergenerational Feminist Media Studies: Conflicts and Connectivities”

Marchetti, Gina. “Feminism, Postfeminism, and Hong Kong Women Filmmakers,” in Esther M.K. Cheung, Gina Marchetti, and Esther C.M. Yau, eds. A Companion to Hong Kong Cinema (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell Press, 2015), pp. 237-264.

Marchetti, Gina. “The Gender of GenerAsian X in Clara Law’s Migration Trilogy,” Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls: Gender in Film at the End of the Twentieth Century, ed. Murray Pomerance (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001), pp. 71-87.

Introduction by Celina Hung, Assistant Professor of Literature, Interim Director of the Center for Global Asia, NYU Shanghai.

Discussant: Weixian Pan, Assistant Professor of Interactive Media Arts, Global Network Assistant Professor, NYU.

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