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CFP: Edited Volume on Asian German Film and Media  


By Qinna Shen, Zach Ramon Fitzpatrick, and Qingyang Zhou 


Since the beginning of 2020, anti-Asian violence saw a sharp increase in Europe and North America, as frustrations about the COVID-19 pandemic were taken out on those marked as Asian or “asiatisch gelesen.” In response to the March 2021 shootings in Atlanta, the Berlin-based network for Asian German perspectives korientation posted the open letter “Atlanta – War da was?” with a broad coalition of Southeast, East, South, and West Asian signatories and organizations in German-speaking areas positioning themselves against anti-Asian racism. The ongoing conversations about Asian racialization frequently link to intersectional questions of gender, class, migrant status, orientalism, and geopolitics. Audiovisual media such as film and television have often been seen as key sources of perpetuating anti-Asian sentiment and reproducing stereotypes, often in reference to Hollywood and English-language media. Examples include Nhi Le’s article “Die Darstellung ostasiatischer Frauen macht mich wütend”; Pocket Hazel’s YouTube video “warum Rassismus gegen Asiaten so ‘normal’ ist”; the ARD-alpha documentary “Ich bin kein Virus! - anti-asiatischer Rassismus in Deutschland.”  


Our volume seeks to explore how German and German-language media have contributed to the Western imagination of Asia and Asians in their moving pictures. We invite contributors to reflect on the roles that film (feature film, short film, documentary, etc.), television, and other audiovisual media have played in directing, regulating, and controlling the exchange of people(s), information, culture, and affect. At present, there is very little focused research on Asian German film studies, besides the forthcoming volume East Asian-German Cinema: The Transnational Screen, 1919 to the Present (ed. Joanne Miyang Cho, Routledge 2021). Directors like Fritz Lang, Ulrike Ottinger, and Doris Dörrie have repeatedly turned toward Asia in their films, and these works are relatively well-researched. At the same time, these directors’ fascination with India, Japan, and China reflect a larger pattern of imbalance wherein Western imaginations of Asians in moving pictures still predominantly feature these three countries while neglecting other diverse cultures and regions in East, Southeast, South, Central, and West Asia. This edited volume thus aims to assemble English-language contributions on the vast number of lesser-known, previously under-researched Asian German films produced since the 1910s. Our project includes all German-speaking countries and regions and their interactions with Asian cultures, traditions, and (diasporic) populations. Contributors are encouraged to submit proposals based on the lists the three co-editors have compiled: “Asian-German Filmography: A Teaching Guide” (https://mgp.berkeley.edu/2021/06/04/asian-german-filmography/) and “Asian-German Filmography (Long List)” (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iYons8l0mGYGAv2YQTLjbyInGkza-4LO/edit#). 


We hope that the publication of this volume will promote Asian German film and media studies as a significant field of research and teaching, as well as encourage film distribution networks to digitize Asian German films from media archives, increase the availability of existing films, and produce more films related to Asia and Asian diaspora in German-speaking countries. Depending on the number of proposals accepted, there might be opportunities for more than one edited volume, each with a different focus. 


Potential topics include but are not limited to: 

Qinna Shen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of German

Department of German and German Studies

Bryn Mawr College

101 N. Merion Ave.

Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899

Phone: 610-526-7312

******************* The German Studies Call for Papers List Editor: Sean Franzel Sponsored by the University of Missouri Info available at: https://grs.missouri.edu/german/german-program-resources