[csaa-forum] Call for Papers: Asian Culture Industries

Melissa Gregg mgregg at usyd.edu.au
Mon Aug 23 09:34:23 CST 2010

Apologies for cross-posting

International Conference on Asian Culture Industries: A Comparative Study of
India, Japan and South Korea

21st December 2010 ‹ 22nd December 2010, Bangalore

The Culture: Industries and Diversity in Asia (CIDASIA) research programme
of Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore invites proposals
for papers at the International Conference on Asian Culture Industries to be
held in Bangalore on 21st and 22nd December 2010. The conference is
supported by Japan Foundation, New Delhi.

We invite scholars working on cinema, television, pop music, animation,
gaming, in Asia in general and India, Japan and South Korea in particular to
send in their proposals. We also welcome proposals from researchers working
on the recent history of entertainment industries and government policy
towards in these industries.

The primary intention of the conference is to explore the possibility of
comparative studies of entertainment industries in Asia. We focus on India,
Japan and South Korea as a convenient starting point. The conference would
like to examine the two way movement of cultural commodities in and out of
these countries. Papers on the reception of cultural forms from these
countries in other Asian locations too are welcome. We are not interested in
papers devoted to detailed analyses of specific cultural texts.

The culture industries of the countries under consideration have been
largely inward looking for much of the post-colonial and post-imperial
period. In the second half of the twentieth century they developed on the
strength/weakness of their domestic markets, unlike Hong Kong which has a
long and unbroken history of producing films for export. The conference will
focus on the post-1990 period when for different reasons including
underground circulation of cultural commodities in international markets,
systematic efforts began to be made in these countries to export

The export of entertainment by Asian countries is coeval with the increasing
economic importance of cultural production and consumption in today¹s world.
In India, for example, government agencies have estimated that cultural and
creative industries contribute up to 34% of the GDP and employ 30% of the
workforce. The circulation of cultural commodities in contexts other than
those of their production draws attention to the hitherto under-researched
area, namely the increased interface between culture and economics. In a
global context where cultural production and consumption are engines of the
economy, the manner in which cultural commodities flow, the resistances they
encounter, the ways in which they are localized, transformed, and engender
new cultural practices and have social and economic consequence that are
completely unanticipated by the production centre are issues the conference
will address. 

We would like to examine questions related to cultural markets and cultural
economy. These include but are not limited to:

a) Cultural impenetrability. Why do certain markets, especially Asian
markets, prove to be impenetrable to commodities produced elsewhere? What
role does the industrial and business context of the host market play in
determining/limiting the flow of imported cultural commodities?

b) Localization. The acceptance of cultural objects in new markets is a
direct consequence of localization, or the mediation of the object by
distribution and exhibition sectors of the host country. How are cultural
imports localized in the contexts examined? Of particular interest is the
role played by film and television industries in localizing imports through
context-specific publicity campaigns, dubbing, etc.

c) Creation of new subcultures. What new sub-cultures are formed in host
countries and what is their similarity/difference with their counterparts in
the production centre? These subcultures are at times premised on existing
cultural stereotypes of the production centre and at other times they
seriously challenge stereotypes (as in the case of Korean drama in Japan,
which has contributed to the changed perception of Korea in Japan).

d) Invisible and underground markets and ŒSoft Power¹. The relative lack of
control over distribution and exhibition and the rampant circulation of
pirated media content in Asia create a situation in which cultural
consumption is actively facilitated by unauthorized and underground markets.
Typically, Japanese, Korean and Indian cultural commodities arrive in an
authorized, legal market long after illegal channels introduced them there.
How do entertainment industries grapple with complex questions posed by
unauthorized circulation of their productions? Do current discussions of
Œsoft power¹ adequately account for the actual extent of the circulation and
influence of imported forms?

e) Dispersal across media formats. Although dispersal of media content
across a range of technologies and formats is not confined to Asia, we would
like to draw attention to the ways in which digital technology has mediated
the circulation of Asian cultural forms. The conference would like to
examine the new opportunities and challenges of post-celluloid technologies
for entertainment industries of the region.

Tentatively, the conference will be organized around the following broad

1. Asian Culture Industries: Conceptual and theoretical issues;
2. Celluloid and post-Celluloid media forms in Asia
3. Imported entertainment: Case studies of India, Japan and Korea
4. Export of Culture: focus on comparative studies of more than one context
of reception. 

Paper abstracts (250 words) should be submitted to S.V.Srinivas at
cidasia at cscs.res.in. Abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats, following this
order: author(s), affiliation, email address, title of abstract, body of
abstract. Abstracts should be submitted no later than 5th September, 2010.
If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be
submitted by November 10, 2010. The maximum duration of individual
presentations within each panel will be 25 minutes. All papers should be
unpublished because they will be published on the conference website and/or
in an edited conference volume.

Further announcements about registration, funding and venue related details
will be made available in due course. Please contact S.V. Srinivas at
srinivas at cscs.res.in or cidasia at cscs.res.in for additional information.

Financial and other support:

1. Complete or partial air travel reimbursement will be provided for a
limited number of participants traveling from within Asia. Preference will
be given to younger applicants.
2. All participants will be provided basic, non-smoking accommodation free
of cost for a maximum of three nights. Meals will be provided during the
conference days. 
3. Indian visa costs and taxi fares will not be covered by the organizers.

If you wish to apply for a travel reimbursement, indicate in a separate
paragraph below your abstract the approximate cost of your air ticket and
the extent of support you require. As of now we only have funding to
reimburse a limited number of fares for participants travelling from
locations in Asia and affiliated to institutions in Asian countries. We are
in the process of seeking additional funds but at this stage we cannot
commit ourselves to supporting travel costs of participants from non-Asian

S.V. Srinivas
Coordinator, CIDASIA Research Programme
Centre for the Study of Culture and Society
Bangalore, India.


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