Free and open to public, the Arts and Humanities Conversations at CUHK series bring academics and researchers together to explore our diverse cultures, languages, traditions and heritages. The conversations engage students, educators, researchers, and anyone who are interested in arts and culture in Hong Kong and beyond.


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Episode 3 –
Why Inequalities in Film and Technology Matter



Date: 13 March 2021

Time: 3-4pm

Language: English 

Channel: Zoom* and Facebook page CUHK Faculty of Arts (*Please register here to join through Zoom if you would like to ask question live.)



Ep3 13Mar Poster




We are all experiencing inequality in some way or other. The talk is going to look at how inequality can be studied in different ways across two disciplines, Cinema Studies and Applied Linguistics. Prof. Elmo Gonzaga from the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies will explain how the worldbuilding of the spy and sci-fi movie franchises, such as James Bond, Jason Bourne, Transformer, and Pacific Rim, contrasts Northeast Asian global cities with Southeast Asian megacities. While so-called “advanced and industrialised” cities like Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul, and Hong Kong are extolled as affluent, orderly, and dynamic, “developing” or “emerging” cities like Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, and Ho Chi Minh City (commonly known by its previous name Saigon) are debased as poor, guilty of crime, and violent.


Prof. Ron Darvin from the Department of English will discuss how digital inequality is not just about whether you have access to devices and connectivity. The types of devices you use, the contexts in which you use them, and your access to different cultural and social resources can shape different digital practices that are valued unequally. At the same time, the design and the algorithms of some platforms like Zoom and Instagram can also structure behaviour online and position users in unequal ways.


About the Speakers


Prof. Elmo Gonzaga, Assistant Professor, Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, CUHK
Elmo Gonzaga is Assistant Professor in the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, where he teaches Transnational Screen Studies, Global Critical Theory, and Asian Urban Humanities. He obtained his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. His book Monsoon Marketplace is under contract with Fordham University Press. His research has been published or will be published in the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Cultural Studies, positions: asia critique, Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, Verge: Studies in Global Asias, and the Journal of Asian Studies.


Prof. Ron Darvin, Assistant Professor, Department of English, CUHK
Ron Darvin is Assistant Professor in the English Department, where he teaches Digital Literacies and Digital Technologies for Language Learning. He obtained his PhD from the University of British Columbia and his research on the digital inequalities of immigrant youth received the 2020 Dissertation Award of the American Association of Applied Linguistics. His research has been published in the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics and Langage et société.


About the Moderator
Prof. Prem Phyak, Assistant Professor, Department of English, CUHK
Prem Phyak is assistant professor at the Department of English. His research areas include multilingualism, language policy, politics of English, minority/indigenous languages, teacher education, and social (in)justice. He is particularly interested in how language and social (in)justice are intertwined and how language policies and practices create unequal societies. He has co-authored two books on language policy and higher education. His articles have appeared in journals such as Language Policy, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, Language in Society, and Multilingua.





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