Fellow's Seminar: Dr. Roland Domenig

Invitation to the Fellow’s Seminar Fiscal 2008-2009 (on January 9, 2009)

The Japan Foundation
Europe, Middle East and Africa Div.

The Japan Foundation would like to welcome you to join us for the Fellows' Seminar for Fiscal 2008-2009. The presenter is Dr. Roland Domenig from Austria.

Date: Friday, January 9, 2009
Time: 15:00-17:00
Venue: JFIC Space “Keyaki” at the Japan Foundation Head Office.
Note:The Japan Foundation headquarters moved to the new office. Please refer to the link below.


AdmissionAdmission Fee: Free
Language: English (no interpretation)
Contact: If you would like to attend the seminar, please notify Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange Dept. by January 8, 2009 with your name, affiliation, and contact information (tel., fax or e-mail).
If you would apply by e-mail, please be aware to write the name of the presenter and the date of the seminar in the title. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Tel: 03-5369-6071/ Fax: 03-5369-6041 E-mail
Presenter: Dr. Roland Domenig

Dr. Domenig is a Lecturer of Japanese Film History at Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna. As a Japan Foundation Fellow, he is currently carrying out his research concerning ‘Japanese screen practice, 1800-1920.’

Presentation Theme: The ‘birth of cinema’ or a ‘history without beginning’? Thoughts on the early days of Japanese cinema.

The metaphor of the ‘birth of cinema’ enjoys great popularity in Japan, as a vast number of book titles attests. Most Japanese film historians take this ‘birth’ for granted and follow a model of an evolutionary development of cinema from a primitive form of entertainment to the mature status of ‘seventh art’.
In the presentation, he will set forth the fallacies of this teleological model and will give reasons why it is more fruitful to understand Japanese film history as a ‘history without beginnings’. The concentration on the cinematic apparatus and the technical side of cinema has led to a simplistic perception of the ‘origins’ of cinema and to an historical view of cinema’s ‘predecessors’ which are commonly subsumed under the category of ‘pre-cinema’. Looking at cinema as cultural practice opens up new perspectives on the complex interplay of imported technology and indigenous Japanese traditions that eventually merged into a very specific form of Japanese screen practice.

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