Guest Lecture Shiau Hong-Chi

Date: Wednesday, October 24

Time: 18:30-20:00

Location: SIN1, Department of East Asian Studies/Sinology

The Sensational, the Everyday-life and the Spectacular
Witnessing the Intersection of Documentary Filmmaking and Civic Movement in Taiwan

In 2013 Taiwan witnesses unprecedented documentary box-office receipts, thanks to Beyond Beauty Taiwan from Above, my speech attempts to first voice the skepticism regarding whether this type of box-office success can bring about sustainable societal changes. With the emergence of new technologies – particularly the popular uses of drone, smartphone gadgets and social media, critical voices have been aggregated. However, another concern shared by critics associates the new school of documentary filmmaking with sensational reality shows, having become increasingly sentimental. My speech will illustrate the technological and socio-political trajectory on how some documentary films in Taiwan likely offer their viewers a haven for individual heroism, reinforcing Taiwanese society’s incessant inward-looking tendencies, self-pity, and selfcontentment.

Hong-Chi Shiau 蕭宏祺 (PhD. 2003, Temple University,
Pennsylvania) is professor of gender studies and communications
management at Shih-Hsin University in Taiwan. His research explores
how global media flow impacts local communities and individuals. He
has a particular interest in how processes of globalization intersect with
various identity issues - such as gender, class, ethnicity, and sexual
orientation. Having taught a variety of courses at Central Connecticut
State University including Journalism and Globalization, Communication
Theory and Qualitative Research Methods, Professor Shiau went back
to Taiwan where he grew up.