Dr. Laura Jo-Han Wen is Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies in the Department of Asian Studies at Randolph-Macon College. Received her Ph.D. in Asian Languages and Cultures with a focus on Trans-Asian Studies and Visual Culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016. She served as President of the North American Taiwan Studies Association (NATSA) in 2013 and is currently a faculty member on NATSA’s Board of Directors. Her most recent publication is seen in the book anthology, Early Film Culture in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Republican China: Kaleidoscopic Histories (2018).
Early Cinema in Colonial Taiwan
What was the role of cinema during the expansion of empires in East Asia? This talk introduces early film culture in colonial Taiwan and sheds light on the intermediality between cinema and other popular media during the first half of the twentieth century. Inspired by media archaeology to investigate “where was cinema” in the colonial context during Sino-Japanese encounters, Professor Laura Jo-Han Wen explores the techno-historical significance of cinema and examines the role of early film culture in modern discourses propagated by the Japanese empire. Rare images and archival materials concerning magic lantern shows, talkies, and eight-millimeter films will be revisited in this talk in the discussion of transnational modernism, colonial propaganda, and the practice of amateur cinema.