The Department of World Languages and Literatures offers a wide range of events every semester, ranging from professional development workshops and guest lectures, to language club meetings, conversation tables, and our annual International Film Festival!
Documentary film screening. April 24, 7 pm. McCord Auditorium (Dallas Hall 306)
FRANCE. DOCUMENTARY. 60 MINS. 2015. RAPHAËL MILLET
"This compelling documentary reveals a forgotten chapter in the history of cinema and our collective human diversity, as documented in the remarkable footage shot by a forgotten French cinematic pioneer. Using incredibly rare footage, this revelatory film showcases the globe-trotting work of the brother of early cinema icon Georges Méliès, Gaston. From 1912 to 1913, Gaston sailed and filmed throughout the Pacific, to Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, Java, Singapore, Cambodia, and finally Japan. His films were among the first to cast indigenous peoples in fiction roles and included many films shot around Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. Extremely prolific, Gaston shot over 64 films, of which few survive. This program is made possible courtesy of Nocturnes Productions and by a generous grant from Humanities Texas and continued support from the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Dallas Film Commission." (Dallas Video Fest). Info and RSVP HERE.
The nineteenth-century Vietnamese epic poem, Truyện Kiều, tells of a young woman who agrees to marry to repay the debts of her father, but who unwittingly sells herself into prostitution instead. The ethics of sexuality and sacrifice at the heart of the masterpiece are no less central to 20th-century and contemporary narratives that explore the line between marriage and prostitution. This paper begins with a brief analysis of colonial marriage in Vũ Trọng Phụng’s Kỹ Nghẹ Lấy Tây (The Industry of Marrying Europeans, 1934), then focuses on the transnational marriage market in Clément Baloup’s Les Mariées de Taïwan (2017). These narratives encourage consideration of love and marriage as forms of labour determined by market demands and migratory flows. They also draw out thecorporeal identitiesof the Vietnamese, offering insight into the place of the body in Vietnamese culture – its maintenance and presentation, the meaning of its gestures, the aesthetic canons into which it is inscribed – and tracking the effects of its colonization, decolonization, and postcolonial dislocation (Guillemot and Larcher-Goscha 2014, 11). The body of the bride/sex worker is not merely an object of exchange or agent of a certain kind of labour; it emerges as a site of culturally specific yet disputed meanings and experiences.
Leslie Barnes is Senior Lecturer and Convenor of French Studies at the Australian National University. Her first book, Vietnam and the Colonial Condition of French Literature (Nebraska, 2014), studies the impact of colonialism on the modern French novel. Her current project offers a comparative analysis of literary and cinematic narratives that engage with questions of sex work, mobility, and human rights in Southeast Asia. She has authored and edited publications on these and other subjects in Contemporary French Civilization, French Cultural Studies, French Forum, Journal of Vietnamese Studies, and Modern Language Notes.