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International Seminar Series: “Representing Minorities in Chinese Cinema: Ethnic Identity, Tradition, and New Movements”

Wednesday, October 16th 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Event Description

The minorities film has been a popular film genre in the People’s Republic of China since the 1950s. This type of films tells stories about traditions and lives of the ethnic minorities (the Chinese government has identified and recognized 55 minority groups, along with the Han majority). How do mainstream films portray minority groups? Have cinematic representations of minorities changed? How do minority filmmakers respond to mainstream media? This presentation will discuss productions of minorities films in different phrases from the 1950s to the present, focusing on films in the last two decades. It particularly highlights how contemporary filmmaking from minorities groups negotiates and (re)constructs ethnic identity.

Dr. Li Zeng is an Associate Professor of Film Studies at Illinois State University. She received her doctoral degree in Radio/Television/Film from Northwestern University in 2008. She has published book chapters, film reviews, and articles on Chinese television and cinema, film genres, and screen adaptations in peer-reviewed journals including Asian Cinema, Visual Anthropology, Critical Arts, Adaptation, and Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media. Her research interests include Asian cinema and television, film history, feminist film theory, genre studies, and adaptation.

Series Overview: The International Seminar Series offers the Illinois State campus and Bloomington-Normal communities weekly opportunities to learn about a wide range of international topics. Guest speakers are usually experts in their fields across a range of disciplines who cover a wide array of cultural, historical, political and social topics.

Series events have become one of the most popular internationally focused events on campus and continue to draw ever-growing crowds of students, faculty and community members. Audience members are given time at each event to raise questions to enable a two-way participation and learning.

International Seminar Series events are free and open to the public and occur every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bone Student Center. The Fall 2019 series will focus on understanding contemporary China.

If you will need special accommodations, please contact the event organizer.


Office of International Studies and Programs
(309) 438-5276


Bowling and Billiards Center
209 N. School Street
Normal, IL
Activity Room
(309) 438-2555