CFP: [Collections] Southeast Asian Horror Cinema

full name / name of organization: 
Andrew Hock Soon Ng

Abstracts are sought for a collection of essays on Southeast Asian Horror
Cinema. Although relatively modest in terms of production and aesthetics
if compared to the horror cinemas of Japan and Korea for example, it is
undeniable that the horror genre contributes greatly to the cinematic
histories and cultures of Southeast Asia although for various reasons
(political, market, religion, etc.) it has, for a period, suffered a
lackluster existence. For example, although Malayan cinema basically
debuted in the guise of the pontianak (loosely translated as female
vampires) films, which continued to spawn successful sequels, since the
1970s, Malaysia has more or less “banned” horror from its sociocultural
landscape due to politico-religious reasons. And despite longstanding
histories of horror in Indonesian and Thai cinema, they have until
relatively recently been merely low-budget affairs.
        In the last 10 years however, there has been a radical shift in
the way Southeast Asian cinema views its horror offerings, possibly
influenced by the amazing achievements, on both critical and popular
levels, of the horror cinema of Japan and Korea. Technically, narratively
and aesthetically more sophisticated, horror films in Southeast Asia have
either made a comeback, or have undergone a significant facelift, drawing
considerable attention not only from local audiences, but audiences in
the West as well. Yet, despite this newfound “success”, critical
appreciation of the region’s horror cinema remains scarce. While
scholarship on Korean and especially Japanese horror cinema abounds, work
on Southeast Asian horror has garnered almost no academic attention.
        The main aim of this collection is to redress this vacuum. It
seeks to be as comprehensive as possible, and would serve primarily as a
critical introduction to Southeast Asian horror cinema. Suggested topics
would include but are not limited to:

- The history of horror cinema in Southeast Asia
- Horror cinema and the socio-political climate
- Gender and sexuality in Southeast Asian horror cinema
- Religion and the horror genre
- Horror, nationalism and ideology
- The philosophical dimension of Southeast Asian horror films
- Symbols and metaphors in Southeast Asian horror films
- Theoretical interpretations of Southeast Asian horror films

Abstracts could either emphasize the horror cinema of a particular
Southeast Asian nation, or be executed as a comparative study
(historically, thematically, representations, etc.).

Please send abstracts of 500 words maximum before 31 October 2008 to
Andrew Ng at or

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Received on Thu Jun 05 2008 - 10:43:21 EDT