CFP: Chinese Ecocinema (8/31/06; collection)

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Call for Essays

ECOCINEMA: Nature, Humanity, Ecology in New Chinese Cinema

We are seeking submissions for an edited volume on New Chinese Ecocinema.
With rapid economic development, China now faces unprecedented
environmental crises and eco-catastrophes—including epidemics of SARS and
bird flu; periodic sandstorms; air, water and soil pollution;
desertification, flooding and drought; the loss of farmland to urban
sprawl; and an increase in frequency and scale of coal mine accidents.
This volume aims to explore how new Chinese cinema engages with such
ecological issues in a transnational context of capital flow and image
consumption. Participants are encouraged to interpret ecocinema broadly
and innovatively in terms of genres (e.g., film, video, television,
documentary, educational film, and other media), themes (beyond the
connotations of "huanbao"/environmental protection and "shengtai
yishi"/ecological consciousness), and regions (including Mainland China,
Hong Kong, Taiwan and the overseas). We invite participants to critically
re-read post-Mao Chinese film from an environmentally conscious
perspective and investigate how the changing environment (natural and
constructed) shapes post-socialist cultural and political identity in
contemporary China.

While this volume particularly deals with new Chinese ecocinema, we also
welcome comparative perspectives on transnational ecocinema and
interdisciplinary approaches to the interaction between ecocinema and
environmental literature.

Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:

• State policy and environmental discourses since 1949
• Environment, nation-state and globalization
• Ecology, ideology, bio-power and identity politics
• The representation of landscapes, wildlife, ecosystems and natural features
• Animals in zoos, domesticated, and wild
• Environmental justice, land use and environmental activism/groups
• Global imagining of China as an exotic spectacle
• Harmony/balance vs. change/flux
• Ecocinema and ecoliterature (cross-generic approach)
• Transnational ecocinema (comparative approach)
• Green pedagogies and ecocinema curriculum
• Educational eco-documentary
• Disease, epidemic and environment
• Urban development and spatial reconfiguration
• "World factory," labor and manufacturing environment
• Poverty and the environment
• Land reclamation and the cultivation of swamps for farmland
• Farming culture (crops, animals, and fish) and farming habitats
• Construction of hydroelectric power projects
• Creation of wetlands and natural preservation parks
• Construction of railroads and highways, and their impact
• Tourism, ecotourism, and spectacularization of national scenic spots
• Theme parks, globalization and post-natural simulacrum
• Ecofeminism and gender politics
• Urban demolition and the new cityscape
• Relocation, migration and ecological dislocation/exile
• Ecocinema and ethnocultures
• Ecocinema as political allegory
• Diaspora, imperialism and post-colonial ecology
• Films of the rural, the countryside and the agricultural
• Eco-cinematography and the aesthetics of landscape painting
• Ecotopia/ecodystopia/ecocide, waste, toxic dumps and disasters
• Ecocentrism and technocentrism
• Disappearance of species, craftsmanship and minority cultures
• Biodiversity, bio-regionalism and bio-communitarianism
• Nostalgia, homescape, and the native place
• Ecocinema and spirituality (Buddhism, Taoism and Shamanism)

Please email a one-page abstract of each proposed paper, with complete
contact information (name, institutional affiliation, and email address)
to both Sheldon Lu ( and Jiayan Mi ( by
August 31, 2006.

Sheldon H. Lu
Professor of Comparative Literature and Film Studies
University of California at Davis
Davis, CA 95616

Jiayan Mi
Assistant Professor of English and Modern Languages and Literatures
The College of New Jersey
Ewing, NJ 08628

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Received on Sat Jul 01 2006 - 07:15:13 EDT