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News & Events

8 November 2016

Claiming Her Voice: Female Subjectivity and Representation in Early Asian American Independent Media

Prof. Ming-Yuen S. Ma

Date: 8 November, 2016 (Tuesday)
Time: 5:00pm
Venue: Rm 4.36, Run Run Shaw, Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

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Dr. Grace Wang (HKU Fulbright Visiting Associate Professor)

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This talk is related to Ma's essay “Claiming A Voice: Speech, Voice, Subjectivity in Early Asian American Independent Media," in the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Asian American Media. In “Claiming A Voice,” Ma examines a collection of early Ethno-Communications films to explore the complex and sometimes contradictory relationships between the claiming of an Asian American “voice” and the many voices heard on their soundtracks. The resonance between voice and Asian American subjecthood is examined here through training our ears (and eyes) to the tone of language, synchronicity, and gender. Although women have been involved in and instrumental to the development of Asian American independent media production, they have been largely absent from the male-dominated public face of this “birth” of Asian American independent media. Ma juxtaposes the representation of women’s voices, both phenomenological and metaphorical, in these early Ethno- Communications films with later works by Asian American women video artists. And he theorizes that Asian American women have always spoken powerfully in a “negative voice” that claims the subjectivity and vocal expression for Asian American women and men without relying on speech and language.

About the Speaker:
Ming-Yuen S. Ma is Professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College, and the Co-Chair of Intercollegiate Media Studies at the Claremont Colleges. He is the co-editor of Resolutions 3: Global Networks of Video (with Erika Suderburg, University of Minnesota Press, 2012) which won SCMS’s Best Edited Volume Award in 2014, and was the co-editor (with Alexandra Juhasz) of the Moving Image Review of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. Ma's experimental videos and installations, including the ReCut Project (2006), THIS IS NOT A FOREIGN FILM (2002), Xin Lu Project (1997-present), Sniff (1997), Slanted Vision (1995), and Toc Storee (1992) have shown national and internationally in venues ranging for the Museum of Modern Art in New York to a tour bus driving around Los Angeles. After producing experimental media for more than 20 years, Ma recently shifted his focus to writing and research. He is currently working on a book, titled There is No Soundtrack: Theorizing Aural Cultures Through Experimental Media (working title). For more information, go to

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