P52. Global Asia and Comparative Topics

Session: Session 7, 3:45-5:15 pm, Saturday 9/30

Category: Individual Papers

Location: Knowledge

Chair: My-Xuan Hillengas (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

Paper Presenters: Pratiti Ketoki (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Shao-Chi Ou (University of Michigan)

Narrating the ‘Hippie’: Bengali perceptions of the ‘Trail

Speaker: Pratiti Ketoki
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Abstract: With this paper, I will attempt to shift the focus of the Counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s from the Global North and examine how it affected cultural norms and perceptions in the Global South. My presentation will look at the ‘Hippie Trail’, a colloquial way to refer to a travel route taken by many European and  North-American youth to the East at the height of the counterculture movement. The East, therefore, served as an allegory, and could mean a variety of things; but travellers often came by land from a European centre like London and Amsterdam to anywhere relatively east, often ending in South and Southeast Asia. In this presentation, I try to understand the perceptions of the trail in the Bengali cultural milieu, through the literary representation in Satyajit Ray’s detective Novel, Gangtok-e-Gondogol.

Visual Experiences and Visualization in Literary and Filmic Narratives Through a Three Kingdoms Lens

Speaker: Shao-Chi Ou
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: University of Michigan
Abstract: In this paper, through a comparative analysis of Luo Guan Zhong’s (1330 – 1400 AD) Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguo yanyi, 三國演義) (Romance) and the Japanese anime Ya Boy Kongming! (Ya Boy), I investigate how “camera movement” as a narrative technique might function not only in films but also anachronistically in literature and how it fundamentally shapes viewers’ visual experiences watching films and readers’ visualization reading literature. I synthesize Vivian Sobchack’s phenomenological approach to understanding camera movement and Daniel Morgan’s “showing” approach to understanding the role of camera in films in order to justify this “reversed” application of film theories to literary criticism. I compare the scene of Kongming meeting with Liu Bei in Romance and Ya Boy through this synthesized theoretical approach and find that while in films camera movement is completely controlled by the director and so viewers’ visual experiences are conditioned by what is visually presented, it is impossible to fully take control over readers’ visualization of literary narrative because of the limited ability of literary techniques to restrict readers’ visualization. Furthermore, extending xto the discussion of historiography and narrative history, I will further suggest that it is significant to investigate “camera movement” in literary narratives as it reveals its imaginary nature. Considering the constructedness of literary narratives and the cultural significance of Romance, I conclude that readers should also be aware of how language and narrative techniques implicitly influence readers’ concrete visual experiences and how the imaginary nature of literary narratives allow them to engage with narratives from a critical perspective. At the end of this paper, I will address the anachronistic nature of this investigation of “camera movements” in literature, and how it leads us to think more about how the invention of visual technologies influence both writers and readers.