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Jinying Li – Walled Media, Mediating Walls

September 28, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Speaker: Jinying Li, Brown University

As the global digital network promises boundless access to limitless information, we are facing increasing layers of mounting walls in digital media: the Great Firewall (GFW), the Facebook Walls, the virtual walls in virtual realities…. The existence of the walls shatters the myth of an infinitely open, borderless digital space, and highlights the significant functions of certain types of digital apparatus in managing, controlling, and mediating information, knowledge, and experience. A wall, in its graphic signification and structural function, is not only a boundary for demarcation but also a surface for expression. It is an object of both blockage and revelation. Drawing upon the “window” metaphor, I argue that it is the wall rather than the window that fundamentally structures and defines digital media. Shifting the metaphor from “window” to ”wall” is a theoretical reconsideration of modern media not simply as systems of visual representation but as spatial organization.

Jinying Li is Assistant Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, where she teaches media theory, animation, and digital culture in East Asia. Her essays have been published in Film International, Mechademia, the International Journal of Communication, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Asiascape, Asian Cinema, and Camera Obscura. She co-edited two special issues on Chinese animation for the Journal of Chinese Cinemas, and a special issue on regional platforms for Asiascape: Digital Asia. She recently completed her first book, Geek Pleasures: Anime, Otaku, and Cybernetic Affect and began her second book project, Walled Media and Mediating Walls. Jinying is also a filmmaker and has worked on animations, feature films, and documentaries. Two documentary TV series that she produced were broadcasted nationwide in China through Shanghai Media Group (SMG). She is one of the co-writers of animated feature film Big Fish and Begonia (Dayu Haitang, 2016)

The talk is part of the ongoing East Asian Media Ecologies lecture series. Following a ten-minute presentation by Professor Li are an extended conversation and Q&A with the moderators and attendees.
Made possible by the generous support of the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.

Presented via Zoom.
Log on at: https://harvard.zoom.us/j/91095850811?pwd=TlBHM3hDL1kwSkJaQmhFdi9hVG1Ndz09
Meeting password: 254290


September 28, 2020
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Department of East Asian Language and Civilizations
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