Cinemas and Popular Media in Transcultural East AsiaEdited by Jenny Kwok Wah Lau
Multiple Modernities explores the cultural terrain of East Asia. Arguing that becoming modern happens differently in different places, the contributors examines popular culturemost notable cinema and televisionto see how modernization, as both a response to the West and as a process that is unique in its own right in the region, operates on a mass level.
Included in this collection are significant explorations of popular culture in East Asia, including Chinese new cinema and rock music, Korean cinema, Taiwanese television, as well as discussions of alternative arts in general.
While each essay focuses on specific nations or cinemas, the collected effect of reading them is to offer a comprehensive, in-depth picture of how popular culture in East Asia operates to both generate and reflect the immense change this significant region of the world is undergoing.
"Lau has managed to bring together an impressive collection of essays by both established and emerging scholars. She does an excellent job of combining new research on national cinemas that have received a decent amount of scholarly attention in the West with lesser-known Asian media cultures. The cogency of the volume is astounding. Multiple Modernities provides valuable new insights into the relationship between Asian cinema, popular culture, and issues of modernity. It adds significantly to our understanding of political cinematic culture."
—Gina Marchetti, Ithaca College, and author of Romance and the "Yellow Peril": Race, Sex, and Discursive Strategies in Hollywood Fiction
"Two of the book's many merits stand out especially prominently. First it is a useful introduction to various popular media...(second,) many of the researchers are engaged in interdisciplinary analyses...and it is the scholar's responsibility to identify and discuss these various manifestations."
—Senses of Cinema
"Multiple Modernities is a welcome addition to the growing scholarship in the area of contemporary Asian cultural studies."
— Modern Chinese Literature and Culture
"(A)n anthology comprising of cutting-edge research by interdisciplinary scholars.... provides an enlightening insight into the relationship between Asian cinema, popular culture, and issues of modernity.
— Language and Intercultural Communication (pdf; review begins on page 2)