SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Decoding Cui Suxin’s Gongliao, How Are You?: Post-verité Documentary and Environmental Activism from Taiwan

Christopher Lupke
Speaker: Prof Christopher Lupke

Date: 6 July 2016Time: 11:30 AM

Finishes: 6 July 2016Time: 1:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: DLT

Type of Event: Summer Lecture

SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies 2016 Summer School
Day Two
Second Event

CLICK HERE to view the full programme and register to attend free!


One of the most critical targets of environmental activism is the opposition to nuclear power: ultimately an inexpensive form of energy whose profoundly deadly power makes it an environmental gambit in the modern world for those seeking less immediately pollutant forms of energy such as coal or profligate forms such as oil. This presentation looks at a documentary presentation of the resistance to Taiwan’s highly controversial Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, built in the northern fishing village of Gongliao. While certainly an “activist” production, equally intriguing is the style in which it was produced. Filmmaker Cui Suxin uses a “second-person” voiceover to narrate her work, addressing a “you” whose identity is only ascertained midway through the film. Christopher Lupke examines this unusual form of narrative structure and speculates on the dramatic effect it has for the viewers. The film, produced in the mid-2000s, can now be viewed with the mediating event of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster in mind, thus raising the stakes for this risky form of energy production.

GongLiaoNiHao Cover

Speaker's Bio

Christopher Lupke 陸敬思 is Professor of Chinese and Cinema Studies at Washington State University where he has coordinated Asian languages for the past sixteen years and chairs the Center for the Humanities Planning Group. A specialist in modern Chinese culture, Lupke was trained in philosophy at Grinnell College, where he received his B. A., in classical Chinese at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he received his M. A., and in classical and modern Chinese as well as cultural theory and film at Cornell University, obtaining his Ph. D. in 1993. Much of his early scholarship was dedicated to literary studies of Taiwanese authors. He continues to have a strong interest in the culture and society of Taiwan and Sinophone Studies in general. His most recent publication is the book The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien: Culture, Style, Voice, and Motion (Cambria Press, 2016). Lupke has edited two books, The Magnitude of Ming: Command, Life and Fate in Chinese Culture (University of Hawai’i Press, 2005) and New Perspectives on Contemporary Chinese Poetry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), and edited or co-edited four special theme issues of journals. He also translates. His publications have appeared in Journal of Taiwan Literary Studies, Taiwan Literature, Chinese PEN, boundary 2, Comparative Literature Studies, positions: east asia critique, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Journal of Asian Studies, Asian Cinema, Senses of Cinema, Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese, Asymptote, Michigan Quarterly Review, New England Quarterly, Epiphany, Eleven Eleven, Free Verse, Five Points, and other journals and edited volumes.

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

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Sponsor: Center for Chinese Studies, National Central Library, Taiwan