This course examines the rapid developments in cinematic content in Asia in the representation of diverse sexualities and genders. The course will draw on mainstream film, independent film, mixed media and web series to investigate the complex issues at stake in discussing the notion of queer cinema in Asia. Film examples watched during the course will all come from across Asia, while secondary sources, both theoretical and examples of film analysis, will draw on Asian and Western contexts. While knowledge of one or more Asian languages is, of course, useful, it is by no means essential, and all key films will be subtitled. Any unsubtitled clips screened during lectures will be accompanied by detailed viewing notes.
The course is divided into three parts. The first week will focus on the impact of discourses of globalisation on representations of sexual and gender alterity in Asian cinema. These will include examples of screen media from different parts of Asia to explore key theoretical ideas related to the understanding of non-normative sexualities and genders. Key topics for exploration will include thinking about terminology in the Asian context; sensitivity to specific local manifestations of sexualities and genders in the region will be encouraged, while at the same time screen images will be contextualised in terms of transnational circuits of queer knowledge and related arguments for and against the notion of global queering. Specific topics for investigation will include the notion of 'positive' and 'negative' images of LGBT and queer identities, and the relevance of homonormativity and notions of the queer unwanted to the study of films from Asia and how queer sexualities offer possibilities of resistance to categorisation. The course will also explore LGBT and queer film festivals in relation to the globalisation of queer identities.
The second week focuses on forms of queer cinema in Asia examining the success of certain LGBT/queer films in Western film festivals; alternative images in independent film, web series and NGO produced screen media and documentaries. The third week examines problems of censorship, class and race in the circulation and consumption of queer cinema in Asia and beyond.
These classes will give students the opportunity to explore the applicability of theory introduced earlier on in the course to specific films and cinemas. It will also equip students with skills pertaining to reviewing films through mixed media methods. In this regard, it will include workshops on film production, interactive sessions with filmmakers, and conceptual knowledge on producing podcasts. Students will be encouraged to apply key theoretical ideas explored during the course to a film or selection of films from beyond those watched over the course in their final assessment.
On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:
- Reflect on some of the key theoretical ideas related to notions of queer identity in Asia.
- Use primary sources from cinema and media to discuss key ideas related to gender and sexuality across Asia.
- Theorise correspondences between films and extra-textual historical, political and cultural phenomena.
- Show awareness of the wide range of thinking about and uses of conceptions of queer as a strategy as well as an identity.
- Write and speak on queer cinema from Asia using a variety of different media including podcast, film review and essay.
- Film screenings, lectures, class discussions.
- Radio Production Training for Podcasts
- Interactive sessions with organisers of Film Festivals
- Practical session on writing reviewing for online media
In addition to film screenings, guest lectures and classes led by film practitioners and critics, the workshop would coincide with the Queer Asia film festival so there will be many opportunities to view extra films and engage with further discussions.
Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and typically our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to claim credits from your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you enrol. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however, please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.
Assessment will be optional and will vary for each course. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance and a Record of Study will be available on request.
Week 1: Globalisation and queerness in Asian Cinema
- Notions of Global Queering
- Cinema and Stereotypes of LGBT identities
- Resistant Queer Cinema in Asia
- The Film Festival Circuit (Reviews Workshop)
Week 2: Forms of Queer Cinema in Asia
- Documentaries for Positive Socio-legal change
- Neoliberal/ Homonormative LGBT Film
- Experimental Queer Cinema/ The Short Film
- Feel Good Films
- Podcasts and Film Reviews (Radio Workshop)
Week 3: Problems and Queer Cinema
- Censorship and State Repression
- Representation Matters – Class and Race
- Mixed Media and Queer Politics
- Making Queer Cinema (Practical Workshop)
Teaching & Learning
46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.
Monday - Friday 10am-3pm. In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course is composed of a range of activities relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc.).
Fees and Funding
A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.
- 10% discount if you apply by 31 March 2019
- 20% discount for our partner institutions
Accommodation is available to Summer School students at the SOAS halls of residence, Dinwiddy House.
In order to join our Summer School, you will need to meet the following entry requirements:
- A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age.
- Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
- A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
- IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all subscores.
- TOEFL Paper-based test we require a minimum of 583 with a minimum of 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with a minimum of 20 in all skills.
- Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B.
- If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses), you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university.
- Applicants with an alternative qualification should contact us for advice.
- Applicants whose English language level do not meet out requirements may be interested in our subject-based courses with English language support.
Enrolment of Summer School applicants who don’t meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us in detail about your application.
Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.
31 May 2019
Program taught in: