Friday, March 28, 2014

"Voices of Asian Modernities: Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Asian Popular Music" Conference at Pitt, April 4 - 6.

From April 4 through April 6, the University of Pittsburgh will host the "Voices of Asian Modernities: Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Asian Popular Music" Conference. A brief summary from the conference website:
This conference aims to demonstrate how female entertainers, positioned at the margins of different intersecting fields of activities, created something hitherto unknown: they were artistic pioneers of new music, new cinema, new forms of dance and theater, and new behavior and morals. They moved from the margins to the mainstream and in their wake Asian pop cultures now have followed. These female performers were not merely symbols of times that were rapidly changing. Nor were they merely the personification of global historical changes. They were active agents in the creation of local performance cultures, of the newly emerging mass culture, and the rise of a region-wide and globally oriented entertainment industry. 

This interdisciplinary conference will bring together a group of scholars from a range of fields including Music, Literature, History, Anthropology, Film Studies, Cultural Studies, Women’s Studies, Performance Studies, and Asian Studies to properly historicize the artistic sounds, lyrical texts, visual images, and social lives of female performers in Asian popular music of the 20th century.
Several items are of particular relevance to this blog, including
* The documentary Kim Loo Sisters: Portrait in Four-Part Harmony and discussion with the director on April 4
* Kookmin University's Hee-sook Kim of Kookmin University presenting "From Female Dance Divas to K-pop Girl Groups: Gender, Sexuality, and the Body in Popular Music of South Korea from the 1980s to the 2000s".
* "Female Passivity or Musical Democracy?: Making Music with Hatsune Miku" by Jennifer Milioto Matsue of Union College.
* The University of Toronto's Joshua D. Pilzer presenting "The 'Comfort Women' and the Voice of East Asian Modernity".
* "The Acoustic Ladies: Remediating 'Chinese' Femininity and (Inter)nationality in Early Talkies" by Yimin Wang of UC-Santa Cruz.
A complete conference program is available online, and the film and the presentations are free and open to the public.