General Call for Papers
Asian Cinema is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the advancing of Asian cinema studies throughout the world. It offers a platform for scholars, teachers and students who seek to form and promote communities of Asian cinema studies within Asia and beyond. Whether understood in the terms of traditional (celluloid) or cross-media (digital) formats, Asian cinema has wide geographical dispersion, and diverse practices and histories. It has been the flagship publication of the Asian Cinema Studies Society, established in 1984.
Appearing twice yearly, this inter- and trans-disciplinary journal carries research articles, essays, interviews, symposia, book and film reviews and bibliographies. All types of Asian films are featured, including full-length movies, documentaries, animation and experimental.
Prospective guest editors are welcomed and may approach Intellect or the editors with a proposal for a themed issue or series. Prospective book reviewers and authors should approach the editors directly: Gary Bettinson and Tan See Kam.
We publish the following types of writing: scholarly articles (8000 words, including references), interviews (3000 words), conference and festival reports (2000-3000 words) and review essays of books (2000–3000 words).
Scholarly articles will be blind peer-reviewed. All writings should propose a central idea or thesis argued through a discussion of the work under review.
All articles submitted should be original work and must not be under consideration by other publications.
Journal contributors will receive a free PDF copy of their final work upon publication. Print copies of the journal may also be purchased by contributors at half price.
Special Issue Call for Papers
Special Issue ‘Aesthetics of Fear in Asian Cinema’
Deadline for abstracts/proposals: 31 August 2022
Deadline for submissions: 28 February 2023
'[…] we are all caught in this terrible thing called fear. We don’t seem to be able to resolve it. We live with it, become accustomed to it, or escape from it; through amusement, through worship, through various forms of entertainment, religious and otherwise. So, we must together examine again the nature and the structure of fear' (J. Krishnamurti).
Etymologically the word fear, from old English, færan, means 'to terrify, frighten'; in Old Saxon faron means 'to lie in wait'; in Middle English fere, it is 'calamity, sudden danger, peril, sudden attack'; and in Old Norse far means 'harm, distress, deception' (Online Etymology Dictionary). Despite these traditional definitions of fear, new fear scholarship has been expanding these definitions and incorporating more complex meanings and contexts for understanding the nature and role of fear. Scholars have explored far beyond the biology and psychology of fear. Now, we are confronted with representational complexes of the 'ecology of fear', 'geography of fear', 'sociology of fear', 'politics of fear', 'dramaturgy of fear', 'philosophy of fear', 'architecture of fear', 'semiotics of fear', 'culture of fear' and concomitant evolving notions that ‘fear’ is no longer merely an emotion/feeling (response to danger), nor can it be fixed in its pregiven constitution and affects. Through holistic-integral, postmodern, postcolonial and posthumanist lenses, the topic becomes even more complicated.
However, the multi-layered inquiry project of fear still engages with diverse human situations ranging from (in)voluntary migration, exiles, war, conflict, trauma, demographic evolution, climate change, memory, health, history, pandemics, disease, quotidian life and even home. Boundaries of private and public fear experiencing become ever more frail and inseparable. From a very personal narrative on one’s fears, interest is growing to the project(ion) of fear which has transmuted itself to infuse a dominant public imagination of fear, which calls for a pluri-disciplinary empirical and hermeneutic approaches to its study.
Several disciplines are theorizing fear using their own conventional as well as hybrid-experimental methodologies. In literary-cultural studies, the element of fear has been part of most theoretical and socio-cultural engagements.
Paola Mayer, in her book The Aesthetics of Fear in German Romanticism, argues that the Enlightenment can be described as an attempt to contain fear. Sublimity, Romanticism, post-modernism, and post-colonialism projects are all based on the element of fear. In literature and cinema fear is generally portrayed as an agent of an extraordinary moment; for instance Peter Parker in the film SpiderMan (2002) undergoes dejection, fear, trauma and illness before the power emerges – a complete transformation occurs. Mayer’s search is to investigate and understand fear as a normalized event that is part of every human’s quotidian life. However, Ruth Wodak disagrees with this normalization of fear due to its political implications in her seminal work titled The Politics of Fear: The Shameless Normalization of Far-Right Discourse (2020). Needless to say, most of our systems – educational, medical, legal, military, governmental, non-governmental and religious – are evidently entangled with fear.
Recently in cinema studies, Matt Glasby’s The Book of Horror: The Anatomy of Fear in Films (2020) analyses the most terrifying horror films ever produced in the West to create a critical framework for the cinematic elements of fear that makes horror films fearful. Similar studies have been attempted earlier with specific foci. Neil Lerner’s Music in the Horror Film: Listening to Fear (2009), Aviva Briefel’s and Sam J. Miller’s 2012 book, Horror After 9/11” World of Fear, Cinema of Terror; Horror Film: Creating and Marketing Fear (2004) by Steffan Hantke are all pioneering works. Most of these films that are considered for fear-analysis adopt the western trope, which clearly opens an intriguing niche for an all-encompassing inter- and transdisciplinary fear analysis of Asian cinema.
This is a global call (authors welcomed from any country or region) for a Special Issue of the journal Asian Cinema, which will explore the theme of 'Aesthetics of Fear in Asian Cinema'. The issue will bring on board essays focusing on the themes and structures of cinema from the north, south, east and west parts of Asia. The terminology of ‘aesthetics of fear’ involves consideration of a fluid-open-ended notion of fear as a cinematic tool but also a methodology and medium itself for cinematic ecologies of arts, aesthetics, affects, creativity and other relevant relationships that revolve around fear dynamics.
In this Special Issue, the essays and/or poetics are expected to explore how the fear-project has and is currently developing in cinema. A few questions may be helpful in the theorization of fear. What are the cinematic elements of fear? How are they created? Is a genre approach to a fear-framework in cinema possible? How do audience studies help in defining cinematic fear? How is fear related to other affects and emotions in films? How is fear written in cinema (fear communications)? How are causes and effects, and affects of fear, defined and imagined? Is fear beyond any psychographic representations in cinema? In the spectrum of expressions and meanings of fear, how would one locate the frightening disorientation, anxieties, distancing and estrangement that are now the texture of everyday living and dying for many?
We welcome interested contributors to submit abstracts of around 250 words along with a bio-note of not more than 150 words as a single MS Word file (.doc or .docx) to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 August 2022. Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to contribute full papers for the Special Issue of Asian Cinema. Prospective strands of discussion in Asian cinema may include but are not limited to:
- Fear, pity and catharsis
- Fear in nature films
- Fear-based relationships between characters
- Gender and insidious fear
- Fear and phobia
- Sublimity and fear
- Gothic and fear
- Audiences’ experience of fear
- Horror and fear
- Fear and separation
- Fear and migration
- Fear, patriotism, fascism
- Postcoloniality and fear
- Decoloniality and fear
- Neo-liberalism and fear
- Postmodernism and fear
- Anxiety and fear
- Food, eating and fear
- The posthuman fear
- Plastophobia and animals
- Apocalyptic fear
- Spectrum of ecofear
- Ecofascism migration
- State, subjects and fear
- Politics of alienation and otherization
- Fear mongering and fake news
- Abstract (250 words)
- Deadline: 31 August 2022
- Intimation of Selection: 30 September 2022
- Full paper (6000-8000 words)* Deadline: 28 February 2023 (* including reference)
- Revisions to be complete by: 30 March 2023
- Publication: May 2023