27 April 2017
Mr Aaron Anfinson, School of English, HKU
'In sha'Allah, Masha'Allah, Hopefully no martial law':
the disciplining of transnationalism and the attempted self-legitimisation of the so-called Islamic State



Since 2001, Muslim minority communities have been subjected to disproportionate disciplinary State power, surveillance and legislation. Through the identity politics of the Global War on Terror, the mapping and labelling of network and subjective transnationalism have rendered followers of Islam as suspect, portrayed in a constant state of unbelonging. From the perspective of critical terrorism studies, I review how this disciplining of transnationalism has perpetuated monolithic correlations of terrorism and identity, setting the stage for the ‘transnational’ (self-)branding of the so-called Islamic State. This violent terrorist organisation’s founding declarations issue a call for immigration, projecting itself as a borderless, multilingual State for the transnational 'Islamic' Other. I scrutinise this projection through a multimodal Foucauldian discourse analysis of primary source materials published by the Islamic State. First, I examine liturgical texts as an instance of transidiomatic practices or language crossing. Then, I illustrate how these practices and their dissemination across social media platforms do the work of projecting the organisation’s legitimacy. I conclude discussing how, in an era of intense mediatisation, even the decentralisation of transnationalism can be reified and (re)packaged in the founding identifications of aspirational new ‘States’.


Ms Jennifer Gresham, School of English, HKU
Unauthorized Bonds: Shaw's Bond-type Films and The Problem of Genre



In their classic analysis of the James Bond phenomenon, Bennett and Woollacott argue that the release of Goldfinger in 1964 “saw the establishment of the Bond films as a distinctive sub-genre” and further highlight how the notion of the “Bondian” was deployed by those involved in their production as “a specific formula, a specific genre of film” (8, 179-180). This seminar presentation will investigate some of the critical and theoretical issues surrounding the construction of Bond as film genre by turning its lens onto a body of works located outside the official, authorized tradition, specifically the Bond-type thrillers produced by Shaw Brothers Studio in the mid to late 1960s. The problem of genre as it relates to Shaw’s Bonds will be explored on two related fronts. First, the notion of the Bond film as genre will be used to analyze how genre functions with respect to the films’ context of production and their encoded systems of meaning. This will be followed by a consideration of how the discursively constructed and textually enacted generic connections to the authorized tradition of Bond films mask and conceal other transnational and intertextual relationships and processes of remaking. The presentation will conclude by discussing the significance of these analytical observations in understanding the role of genre in canon formation and the transnational consumption of globalized popular culture.



Last updated: 21 April 2017