How to Translate a Genre (with Michelle Cho)

In this week’s episode, guest Michelle Cho discusses her article “Genre, Translation, and Transnational Cinema” which analyzes Kim Jee-woon’s Korean western film The Good, the Bad, the Weird as emblematic of both the transnational adaptation of popular genres and the international rise of South Korean cinema in the early 21st century. Cho proposes a theory of genre translation that does not require audiences to know all textual references in a film and that accounts for the embodied pleasures and therapeutic sensations of globally popular genres, such as westerns.

“The appeal of genre films for a lot of viewers is that familiarity offers the space and opportunity to re-experience sensations and feelings that are pleasurable or, you could even say, therapeutic. Genre films give audiences an opportunity to go through a range of very intense sensations and emotions in a safe container or a safe space.”

Episode Transcript (opens as PDF)

Show Notes

03:54 The Good, the Bad, the Weird by Kim Jee-woon

09:20 about the myth surrounding the Lumières’ film Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat

11:17 a timeline of the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98

16:15 New York Times profile on Bong Joon-ho, from his early films to winning the Oscar for Parasite

18:40 more on the Manchurian western genre

35:30 A brief history of different colonizations of Manchuria

41:30 K-pop stans political interventions during summer 2020

43:05 Michelle Cho’s chapter on K-pop video culture

About the Guest

Michelle Cho is Assistant Professor of East Asian Popular Cultures and Graduate Faculty in Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. She has published on Asian cinemas and Korean wave television, video, and pop music in such venues as Cinema Journal, the International Journal of CommunicationThe Korean Popular Culture Reader, and Asian Video Cultures. Her first monograph is about 21st century South Korean genre cinemas and she’s currently at work on a project focused on gender, media, and fandom in Korean-wave media.

Indigenous Cinema in North America (with Karrmen Crey)

In this week’s episode, guest Karrmen Crey discusses her article “Screen Text and Institutional Context: Indigenous Film Production and Academic Research Institutions” which analyzes post-secondary institutions and the intellectual traditions that shape how Indigenous filmmakers engage the politics and ethics of representation. By comparing two documentaries by Indigenous women, Navajo Talking Picture (Arlene Bowman 1986) and Cry Rock (Banchi Hanuse 2010), Crey argues that we must consider how Indigenous artists contend with sources of funding and formal tropes enmeshed in Western traditions when attempting to tell Indigenous stories in visual media.

“…chances are you might dismiss it for being what seems like uncomfortable, and that to me was the point. Because this is a very complicated text, if we look at the institutional context as a part of the production, we can see exactly what the filmmaker is trying to intervene in and transform.”

Episode Transcript (opens as PDF)

Show Notes

01:20 Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance by Alanis Obomsawin

07:30 Navajo Talking Picture by Arlene Bowman

09:00 Cry Rock by Banchi Hanuse

18:20 the First Nations program at the University of British Columbia

19:40 NFB profile on Cree/Métis filmmaker Loretta Todd

23:00 oral traditions as a particular mode of learning and understanding

37:00 Michelle Stewart explains “native nationalism” in her dissertation

40:30 News report about 72% of films at the 2017 imagineNATIVE festival made by Indigenous female directors

About the Guest

Karrmen Crey (Stó:lō) is a member of Cheam First Nation, and is Assistant Professor of Aboriginal Communication and Media Studies in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. Her research examines the rise of Indigenous media in Canada since the early 1990s, and the institutions of media culture undergirding this phenomenon. 

The Weather after Fukushima (with Laura Beltz Imaoka)

In this week’s episode, guest Laura Beltz Imaoka discusses her chapter “Rain with a Chance of Radiation: Forecasting Local and Global Risk after Fukushima,” which traces the news coverage of the fallout of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Imaoka analyzes how the distinct organizations of the Japanese and U.S. news industries contributed to vastly different public perceptions of local risk and global atmospheric interconnections. She also notes an early moment when, in the absence of reliable data from official institutions, civilians turned to social media to obtain their information, often with disastrous effects.

“It really serves as a reminder to de-localize yourself from your space of information gathering…especially when unpacking a global event, you have to see that event through different lenses. And for students or researchers, it reflects on your own biases, it gives a fuller picture of that event and its repercussions.”

Episode Transcript (opens as PDF)

Show Notes

02:30 Esri, the largest global GIS company.

06:40 About the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe

14:20 RadNet system of the Environmental Protection Agency

15:30 Japan’s Press Clubs overview

17:00 Speedi scandal in Japan

21:15 Premediation by Richard Grusin

26:00 misleading maps of the 2020 Australian bush fires

30:05 The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser

33:15 Risk Society by Ulrich Beck

36:20 the Japan Disasters Digital Archive at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies

About the Guest

Imaoka headshot

Laura Beltz Imaoka is an assistant professor of instruction and assistant dean of academic affairs for the School of the Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at the University of Texas at Dallas. She received her Ph.D. in Visual Studies from the University of California, Irvine, and her M.A. in Anthropology from California State University, Northridge. Her work has been published in the journals Communication, Culture and Critique; The Canadian Geographer; Environment and Planning A; and Media Fields Journal. Her research interests engage the areas of visual studies, film and media studies, and critical geography with a particular interest in the political economy of geospatial technology and the (geo)spatial imagination of disasters.

Digital Cartography and the Promise of Interactivity (with Jason Farman)

In this week’s episode, guest Jason Farman discusses his article “Mapping the Digital Empire: Google Earth and the Process of Postmodern Cartography” which analyzes how the political and social implications of cartography take on new significance in the digital age, with the proliferation of interactive maps and geographic information systems (GIS). Farman argues that, by incorporating a social network that engages users as embodied interactors rather than disembodied voyeurs, Google Earth is able to present user-generated content spatially within the very object that such content critiques.

…often the things that seem to be common sense are the most dangerous. When you find those moments where people say, “Well, this is just how it is,” then I think you can begin to see power being exercised in really profound ways. Maps are a part of this.

Episode Transcript (opens as PDF)

Show Notes

00:52 Delayed Response: The Art of Waiting from the Ancient to the Instant World by Jason Farman

00:54 Mobile Interface Theory by Jason Farman

09:37 the world’s first operational GIS: Canada Geographic Information System

12:11 Empire by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri

17:50 “Situated Knowledges” by Donna Haraway

24:41 creating overlays in Google Earth

27:52 Animal Crossing suddenly allows swimming

29:31 Joseph DeLappe creatively misusing the game America’s Army

32:10 Tactical Media by Rita Raley

About the Guest

Jason Farman is a Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park where he is the Director of the Design Cultures & Creativity Program and a faculty member with the Human-Computer Interaction Lab. He is author of the books Delayed Response: The Art of Waiting from the Ancient to the Instant World and Mobile Interface Theory. He has also edited two books: The Mobile Story and Foundations of Mobile Media Studies. His work has been featured in The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, NPR, 99% Invisible, Atlas Obscura, ELLE Magazine, Brain Pickings, and others.

Welcome to the Global Media Cultures podcast!

In this short episode, I recount the origins of the series and explain what I hope listeners take away from these conversations over the next three months.

This is a public humanities project in that it aims to connect scholars of global media studies, particularly those early in their careers, to an audience beyond the academy. The podcast series is intended as a teaching resource for those in higher education and as an introduction to these topics for anyone interested in how media shapes our understanding of the world.

Episode Transcript (opens as PDF)

Show Notes

00:50 The article on luxury movie theaters in India: “A Global Cinematic Experience: Cinépolis, Film Exhibition, and Luxury Branding”

00:53 The article on digital technologies used at airports: “The Datalogical Drug Mule”

00:57 The article on Netflix original series in Mexico: Luis Miguel: La serie, Class-Based Collective Memory, and Streaming Television in Mexico”