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Art History Lecture Focuses on Calligraphy and Asian Cinema

May 2, 2012
By Alex Korsunsky '12

Abé Mark Nornes will lecture on the ubiquity of calligraphy in the cinema of East Asia in a presentation entitled “Translating Calligraphy” at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 10 in the Carleton College Weitz Center for Creativity, Room 236. This event is free and open to the public.

Although calligraphy and cinema may, at first glance, appear to be radically different art forms, Nornes argues that in East Asia the two artistic genres have an intimate relationship, and one which helps to tie Korean, Japanese, and Chinese films together to create a regional cinema. He argues that both cinema and calligraphy are built from records of the human body moving in time and space. Given the importance of calligraphy, how is one to go about subtitling a calligraphic script, attaching dull print letters to a text whose visual form is central to its meaning? Nornes will address this and other questions in his presentation.

Nornes is the Chair of the Department of Screen Arts and Culture and professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. His latest book is A Research Guide to Japanese Cinema Studies (UM Center for Japanese Studies Publication Program, co-written with Aaron Gerow), and previous works include Cinema Babel: Translating Global Cinema (University of Minnesota Press) and Forest of Pressure: Ogawa Shinsuke and Postwar Japanese Documentary Film (Minnesota UP). Nornes was a coordinator for the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival from 1990-2005. His current projects include an edited volume on the pink cinema of Japan, a reader of Japanese film theory in translation, and an investigation into the curious pleasures of ski porn.

This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Department of Asian Languages and Literatures. For more information or disability accommodations, call (507) 222-5437. The Weitz Center for Creativity is located at 320 East Third Street in Northfield.