"The ethics of entertainment: a case study of popular cinema in China and India" by Danielle de Feo-Giet

Past Event

26 April 2012, 6:30pm - 8:00pm

St Cross College
61 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LZ

The St Cross Seminar is hosted by the Institute for Science and Ethics

Abstract: What is the value of entertainment? Is it necessarily consigned to the category of the frivolous, or can it be transformative? Should entertainment films exist at all in countries with deep social problems? Do film makers in such countries in fact have an ethical and moral obligation to produce films that address these issues without regard for their popularity or palatability?

Putting the subject in a global context, this talk will compare some examples of popular and independent cinema in China and India, how they deal with diverse social issues from homosexuality to the role of civil society, and their artistic and commercial reception. The talk considers the influence of ethic and moral judgment in the success or failure of these films both domestically and abroad, their inclusion in film festivals, and types of release. The key question: what does entertainment do, and what is it capable of doing, if anything, for the ethical future of contemporary society? And who decides the ideal ethical framework for popular culture anyway?

Speaker: Danielle de Feo-Giet, DPhil Candidate, Department of Oriental Studies

Biography: Danielle Karanjeet de Feo-Giet (BA (hons.) SOAS, (MA) Harvard), is a first year DPhil Candidate in the Oriental Studies department of the University of Oxford. Her thesis focuses on contemporary Chinese and Indian entertainment films in Mandarin and Hindi and their roles in communicating ideas about identity and Asian-ness today. Her interests include technology and communications, identity and language, diaspora and gender studies, Asian popular culture and literature. She also runs the St. Cross Students’ Baking Group.

Booking: This talk will be followed by a drinks reception and a dinner, and is open to all. However, those wishing to attend either the talk or dinner must email rachel.gaminiratne@philosophy.ox.ac.uk