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New SUPRA at NIAS

Jiyu Zhang, PhD, Department of Film and Literary Studies at Leiden University, the Netherlands. 

Sinoscope: Reimagining Chinese Cinema in the Global Age

Jiyu's fields of interest include film and media studies, comparative and world literature, modern and contemporary China. His research project attends to the ways in which language, culture, and geography map onto identity politics in Chinese-speaking communities.  He studies the representation of ethnic minorities in contemporary Chinese cinema. Premised on specific historical conditions, he contend that the construction of minority communities renders a site of ambivalence that invites both convergence and divergence to China's nationalist project. On the one hand, modern China was erected on an ideal of egalitarian multinational state in the face of Western influence, a pursuit to integrate Han and non-Han peoples into a holistic regime. On the other hand, the rise of Han ethnocentrism has been compromising the unity of the Chinese nation at the cost of ethnic diversity and equality. While during Mao’s era ethnic minority films served to cultivate a collective identification, narrative patterns of this untenable genre have disintegrated in aspects of language, aesthetics, and structure since the post-Mao era.