CfP: Ghost-Movies in Southeast Asia and beyond

Achei bem interessante a chamada de trabalhos abaixo para um evento sobre filmes de horror asiáticos com temáticas relacionadas a fantasmas. Recebi através da lista MediaAnthro. Informações abaixo.

Call for Papers

Ghost-Movies in Southeast Asia and beyond.

Narratives, cultural contexts, audiences

Workshop, Oct 3-6, 2012,

University of Goettingen, Social and Cultural Anthropology

Dynamics of Religion in Southeast Asia network (
<> )

Deadline for submission of abstracts: April 30th, 2012

Within the diverse and colorful religious landscape of Southeast Asia ghosts
and spirits play an important role, not only in the pre-modern past but also
in the post-colonial presence. Spirits become visible and audible in shrines
and temples, through trance mediums and by the means of performance, but also
in mass media such as TV-series, blockbuster cinema, cartoons and tabloids.
This holds true for rapidly transforming societies such as Thailand, Taiwan,
Vietnam, Singapore or Indonesia, to mention only few examples.

Whereas a good deal of studies focus on spirit cults and spirit-mediumship,
the realm of consumer culture, of entertainment and the popular is rather
unexplored when it comes to “ghostly matters”. In the late 1990s, right in
the middle of the Asian crisis, ghost-movies became great box-office hits.
J-Horror, a brand name for the most exquisite cinematic thrill by then,
stimulated ghost-movie productions in Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Hongkong, and

Frenzy, ghastly homicides, terror attacks, communication with unredeemed
(Un)dead, vengeful (female-)ghosts and their terrifying grip on the living –
all this is part of popular TV- and film-entertainment. Such films are
world-view mirrors but also enhancers of morals and convictions. They reflect
traumatic events of the past, but can also be used as instruments of social
criticism, ironic or moral comments, or as validation of magical machinations
behind a mundane surface.

However, the audience of the extremely popular ghost-genre is largely

The workshop aims at film-reception research and the comparative analysis of
ghost-discourses in the realm of popular culture of various Southeast Asian
countries and beyond. Methodological problems involved should be taken as
special challenges in this workshop.

What are the sources on which such film narratives are based (myths, urban
legends, stage drama, social drama, literary fiction, crime)? What kind of
people (age, gender, class, education) become horror-movie fans? Why do
people like to be scared (and pay for this experience)? Are ghost-movie
morals perceived as conservative or anarchistic, or do they back middle-class
values? In what ways is scary entertainment related to worldviews, politics,
aspirations and religious convictions of the (middle-class) audience? Do
“tele-visions of the otherworldly” promote forms of imaginations that
undermine (or stabilize) the dominant knowledge formations? How about
violence and terror in such movies? What about irony and overt critique as
stylistic devices of the ghost-film genre? Are the products of the film
industry sources of re-enchantment, or do they simply produce forms of “banal
religion”, or do we need different analytical categories, beyond the
enchantment-disenchantment metaphor?

Deadline for submission of abstracts: April 30th, 2012. Please submit an
abstract of not more than 300 words to

Peter J. Braeunlein

Goettingen University
DORISEA – Dynamics of Religion in Southeast Asia
Deptm of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Berliner Str. 28
D-37073 Goettingen

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