Documentary Realism Between Cultures

February 17, 2012 (Friday) / 5:00 pm6:30 pm

Documentary Realism Between Cultures

Rey Chow

Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature
Duke University

2012 Graduate Humanities Forum Conference Keynote

New media technologies have given us unprecedented power to simulate, fabricate, and falsify, while casting doubt on any notion of objectively recording or documenting actual life. Why, then, is the present moment a time of unprecedented vigor and excitement among documentary-makers? Rey Chow, a renowned scholar of Asian-American film and literature, uses this question as her point of departure to discuss some new forms of documentary realism.

Influential across many fields and disciplines, Rey Chow has made substantial contributions to comparative literature, film studies, visual studies, postcolonial studies, ethnic studies, and gender studies. Her books include Entanglements, or Transmedial Thinking about Capture (forthcoming 2012), Sentimental Fabulations, Contemporary Chinese Films (2007), The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism (2002), and Primitive Passions (1995), which won the James Russell Lowell Prize, the Modern Language Association's highest honor. Dr. Chow's current work concerns the legacies of poststructuralist theory, the politics of language as a postcolonial phenomenon, and the shifting paradigms for knowledge and lived experience in the age of visual technologies and digital media. Formerly Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Brown University, Dr. Chow is currently Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature at Duke University.