Research Thursdays - “Postcolonial Hangups in Southeast Asian Cinema: Poetics of Space, Sound, and Stability” by Gerald Sim

“Postcolonial Hangups in Southeast Asian Cinema: Poetics of Space, Sound, and Stability” by Gerald Sim


Thursday, Sep 10, 2020

Gerald Sim, associate professor of film and media studies in the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, recently published his book “Postcolonial Hangups in Southeast Asian Cinema: Poetics of Space, Sound, and Stability” with Amsterdam University Press. The monograph, Sim’s second, inaugurates the Critical Asian Cinemas series at AUP. The book reveals how the region’s unique postcoloniality manifests stylistically in films, including the way that Singapore’s spatial preoccupations fashion a cartographic cinema, the import of Malay aural culture in the films of Yasmin Ahmad, and the persistence of stability discourse in the Indonesian investment in genre.

The research was supported by Visiting Senior Research Fellowships at the Asia Research Institute partially funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Lee Kong Chian NUS-Stanford Distinguished Fellowship on Contemporary Southeast Asia. 

Sim’s research and teaching is grounded in theoretically informed film and media studies. He is currently interested in how data epistemologies determine political agency. His work-in-progress examines the relationship between film culture and public imaginings of datafication. It includes studies of how iconic films have come to function within the cultural infrastructures of technological literacy. 

“An absolutely fascinating and illuminating read, ‘Postcolonial Hangups in Southeast Asian Cinema’ is a most welcome addition to the vital body of work on world cinemas. ….. The findings of this remarkable book are of pertinence for scholars looking to decolonise thinking around the globe. As such its resonance will undoubtedly be felt for many years to come.” - David Martin- Jones, author of Cinema Against Doublethink (2018), Deleuze and World Cinemas (2011), Deleuze, Cinema and National Identity (2006) 

“Postcolonial Hangups in Southeast Asian Cinema: Poetics of Space, Sound, and Stability” by Gerald Sim is available for purchase at: amazon.com/Postcolonial-Hangups-Southeast- Asian-Cinema/dp/9463721932 

Sim’s writing appears in Convergence, positions, Discourse, Rethinking Marxism, Projections, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Asian Cinema, and Film Quarterly. They include essays about data Platonism in “Moneyball,” Netflix’s data operations and its place in media history, CNBC personality Jim Cramer’s Marxist investment advice, Edward Said’s influence on film studies, film music theory, and cinema’s transition to digital cinematography. Sim published “The Subject of Film and Race: Retheorizing Politics, Ideology, and Cinema” (Bloomsbury) in 2014.

(Print Version) 

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