SOAS University of London

Academic Summer School at SOAS

Queer Cinema in Asia (2019 entry)

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  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
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Queer Cinema in Asia Summer School

Programme Description

This course examines the rapid developments in cinematic content in Asia in the representation of diverse sexualities and genders. The course will draw on mainstream film, independent film, mixed media and webseries to investigate the complex issues at stake in discussing the notion of queer cinema in Asia. Film examples watched during the course will all come from across Asia, while secondary sources, both theoretical and examples of film analysis, will draw on Asian and Western contexts. While knoweldge of one or more Asian languages is of course useful it is by no means essential, and all key films will be subtitled. Any unsubtitled clips screened during lectures will be accompanied by detailed viewing notes.

The course is divided into three parts. The first week will focus on the impact of discourses of globalisation on represenations of sexual and gender alterity in Asian cinema. These will include examples of screen media from different parts of Asia to explore key theoretical ideas related to the understanding of  non-normative sexualities and genders. Key topics for exploration will include thinking about terminology in the Asian context; sensitivity to specifically local manifestations of sexualities and genders in the region will be encouraged, while at the same time screen images will be contaxtualised in terms of transnational circuits of queer knoweldge and related arguments for and against the notion of global queering. Specific topics for investigation will include the notion of 'positive' and 'negative' images of LGBT and queer identities, and the relevance of homonormativity and notions of the queer unwanted to the study of films from Asia and how queer sexualities offer possibilities of resistance to categorisation. The course will also explore LGBT and queer film festivals in relation to the globalisation of queer identities.

The second week focuses on forms of queer cinema in Asia examining the success of certain LGBT/queer films in Western film festivals; alternative images in independent film, webseries and NGO produced screen media, and documentaries. The third week examines problems of censorship, class and race in the circulation and consumption of queer cinema in Asia and beyond. 

These classes will give students the opportunity to explore the applicability of theory introduced earlier on in the course to specific films and cinemas. It will also equip students with skills pretaining to reviewing films through mixed media methods. In this regard it will include workshops on film production, interactive sessions with film makers, and conceptual knowledge on producing podcasts. Students will be encourages to apply  key theoretical ideas explored during the course to a film or selection of films from beyond those watched over the course in their final assessment.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Reflect on some of the key theoretical ideas related to notions of queer identity in Asia
  • Use primary sources from cinema and media to discuss key ideas related to gender and sexuality across Asia
  • Theorise correspondences between films and extra-textual historical, political and cultural phenomena
  • Show awareness of the wide range of thinking about and uses of conceptions of queer as a strategy as well as an identity
  • Write and speak on queer cinema from Asia using a variety of different media including podcast, film review and essay

Course Activities

  • Film screenings, lectures, class discussions.
  • Radio Production Training for Podcasts
  • Interactive sessions with organisers of Film Festivals
  • Practical session on writing reviewing for online media

In addition to film screenings, guest lectures and classes led by film practitioners and critics, the course will coincide with the Queer Asia film festival so there will be many opportunities to view extra films and engage with further discussions.


Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and typically our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to claim credits from your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you enrol. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.

Assessment will be optional and will vary for each course. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance and a Record of Study will be available on request.


For more information, please fill out our enquiries form

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: 1 July - 19 July 2019

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

  • You will have completed one year of undergraduate study at the time of joining the Academic Summer School. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.

Featured events

3 weeks

Tuition Fees 2019

Tuition fee:



Week 1: Globalisation and queerness in Asian Cinema

Day 1: Cinema and Global Queering

Day 2: Cinema, Stereotypes, and LGBT

Day 3: Resistance and New Queer Cinema in Asia

Day 4: Workshop: Making Effective Film Reviews: Building Bridges Between the Media and the Film Industry by Victor Fraga

Week 2: Forms of Queer Cinema in Asia

Day 5: Documentaries for Positive Socio-legal change

Day 6: The Queer Short Film

Day 7: Making Queer Cinema in times of Censorship

Day 8: The Feel Good Film

Day 9: Workshop: Making a Radio/Podcast Show by DJ Ritu

Weekend: Free all access passes to the 3rd annual ‘Queer’ Asia Film Festival at the British Museum (13th – 14th July 2019)

Week 3: Problematising Queer Cinema

Day 10: Neoliberal and Homonormative LGBT Film

Day 11: Trans in Cinema

Day 12: Representation Matters

Day 13: Workshop: Curating Queer Cinema: the Queer Film Festival in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan by CinemQ

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Contact hours:

46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.

Core hours:

Monday - Friday 10am-3pm. In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course is composed of a range of activities relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc).

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees


Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.


20% discount for our partner institutions


Accommodation is available to Summer School students at the SOAS halls of residence, Dinwiddy House. For more details of how to book a room please visit the Dinwiddy House accommodation page.

Academic Summer School Ambassador Scholarship 2019

The SOAS Academic Summer School is delighted to offer three tuition-fee waiver scholarships to passionate students with a desire to make a difference in the world.

The scholarships will cover the tuition fee for one Academic Summer School course in 2019. 

Application Deadline: 2019-04-12 00:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section


How to Apply

Click to apply

Entry Requirements

In order to join the Academic Summer School, students should meet the following entry requirements:

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
  • Participants must be 18 or over at the time of attendance.
  • Fluency in English language is recommended for non-credit courses, but essential for SOAS Accredited courses. Proficiency can be demonstrated through:
  • IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all sub scores.
  • TOEFL Paper based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with minimum 20 in all skills. 
  • Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B
  • If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses) you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university. 
  • If you are unsure whether you meet the above entry requirements, please contact us to discuss your application.

Enrolment of applicants who do not meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us about your application and we will be happy to help. 

Application Procedure

Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.

Application Deadline

Applications now accepted on a rolling basis for all courses

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