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The institutionalization of Chinese cinema as an academic discipline

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There is a recent academic trend in the studies of Chinese cinema of reiterating the problematic definition of Chinese cinema itself. Much recent scholarship challenges the very notion of Chinese as a cultural and (trans)national identity, and they resist taking the term Chinese for granted, but the definition and the problematization of such only persist. There are three main approaches to the problem detected in recent scholarship: the assertion and the problematization of the specific model of Chinese national cinema; Chinese cinema as a category composed of different regional cinemas; and the global and transnational dimensions of Chinese cinema. Through a survey of these scholarly trends, this article demonstrates the strong academic drive to institutionalize Chinese cinema as a coherent and legitimate academic discipline, but this institutionalization is achieved through the negation of the very name of Chinese cinema itself.

Keywords: Chinese cinema; Identity; diasporas; discipline; national cinema; transnational movements

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jcc.1.1.55_7

Affiliations: The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Publication date: December 12, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Chinese Cinemas is a major refereed academic publication devoted to the study of Chinese film, drawing on the recent world-wide growth of interest in Chinese cinemas. An incredibly diverse range of films has emerged from all parts of the Chinese-speaking world over the last few years, with an ever increasing number of border-crossing collaborative efforts prominent among them. These exciting developments provide abundant ground for academic research.
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