Superdeep Nighthawks: “Blurring the Color Line” (Kwok 2022) | Nov 30 6:15pm, CCT Theater

6:15pm CCT Theater | 8pm Performance Café

The Nighthawks are thrilled to co-sponsor a special DKU treat this week: join us for a screening of Crystal Kwok‘s 2022 award-winning documentary Blurring the Color Line, which will be followed by a Q&A (& food & drink) with Crystal Kwok moderated by Prof. Selina Lai-Henderson. Then on Friday morning Crystal Kwok will lead a filmmaker & storyteller salon. For further details on Crystal Kwok and our events see the HRC’s initial announcement. Overview of events:

    • Thu Nov 30, 6:15pm, CCT Theater, Screening of Blurring the Color Line
    • Thu Nov 30, 8:00pm, CCT Performance Café, Q&A.
    • Fri Dec 1, 10:00am, Water Pavilion, Filmmaker & Storyteller Salon.

The events are sponsored by DKU UG Studies, Division of Arts and Humanities, and the Humanities Research Center (Doc Lab + Freedom Lab + Supedeep).


Superdeep Nighthawks generally meet on Thu eve (~8pm till late). For more info, or to submit proposals for the Nighthawks, follow this link; for info on Superdeep more generally, follow this one.

Superdeep is sponsored by DKU’s Humanities Research Center.

Blurring the Color Line

Mark your calendar (Nov 30, 6:15pm, CCT Theater) for an fascinating in-person film screening, Blurring the Color Line, with the award-winning film director, actress, and talk-show host, Crystal Kwok!

See the trailer of Blurring the Color Line

More about Crystal Kwok’s film work

Crystal Kwok holds a PhD in Performance Studies and an advanced Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is an award winning filmmaker who established her career in Hong Kong as an actress, writer, director, and controversial talk show host. Her debut feature film, The Mistress, won the Audience Choice Awards at the Deauville Asiatic Film Festival and her Cable TV and RTHK radio talk show pushed boundaries in Hong Kong, addressing socially sensitive topics around sexuality and the body. She has taught courses in Women and Film/Media at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and currently teaches at the University of Hong Kong under the Department of Comparative Literature. Her latest film production, Blurring the Color Line, examines race-relations between the Chinese and Black communities. This documentary was streamed nationally on PBS under America ReFramed and has won multiple awards including Best Documentary at the Silicon Valley Asian Pacific Film Festival, Courage Award at DisOrient Film Festival, and the Mira Nair Rising Female Filmmaker Award at the Harlem International Film Festival. Through both creative and scholarly work, Crystal is committed to breaking boundaries and amplifying voices of women and marginal communities.

* The event is sponsored by DKU UG Studies, Division of Arts and Humanities, and the Humanities Research Center (Doc Lab + Freedom Lab + co-host Supedeep)

Student Report on the Screening and Discussion of “The Battle of Chile”

By Felipe Silvestri

On Friday, September 15th, the Film Society hosted a screening of Patricio Guzmán’s The Battle of Chile: Part I. The movie selection was motivated by the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Chilean coup d’état orchestrated by the Chilean military in conjunction with the U.S. It inaugurated a bloody 17-year-long dictatorship whose repercussions are still felt today. Although 50 years may seem like a distant past, the contemporaneity of the topic is evident, considering that, as recently as 2020, Chile still operated under the Constitution drafted during the dictatorship. Attendees were briefed on the historical context through a presentation on Latin America during the Cold War, highlighting key events that led up to 1973.

The Film Society believes DKU’s multidisciplinarity extends beyond the classroom and into the extracurricular activities we host. Guzmán’s documentary brings film, history, and political science together seamlessly, while focusing on his subjects’ lives. The screening was an opportunity for students to learn more about a region oftentimes forgotten by our discussions and events. Although South America is geographically distant from China, both regions share a similar history during the Cold War. Located in the periphery, they were heavily influenced by the overbearing influence of the bipolar world order shared by the United States and the Soviet Union. The artistic direction chosen by Guzmán also allowed the spectator to peer into interviewees’ lives, so as to not forget that people were at front and center of the coup d’état. Listening to people’s perspectives on the turvy political climate of the country in the months leading up to the coup added a human component to the documentary.

Many of the viewers were not knowledgeable about the history of Chile during these years, so it proved to be a very informative screening for them. The pre-movie debriefing also helped situate them in the broad events occurring throughout the region during the Cold War. Although we did not have any Chilean participants, our fellow students from Latin American shared their personal views and how the Chilean story unfolded in similar ways to how their countries fared during the same period. Viewers were shocked to see the dirty war waged by the opposition against the Salvador Allende government, may it be through hoarding supplies or blocking the government agenda. Most of the attendees were pleasantly surprised by the jovial manner Guzmán portrayed the everyday people in Chile through the street interviews he conducted in 1973.

The discussion component of the event proved to be crucial to the educational component of the screening. Seeing as the documentary touched on many different subjects, the discussion allowed for viewers to share their opinions and discuss their views on how it relates to their personal and national experiences. The movie’s ending was a focal point for discussion. In a prelude to the actual coup on September 11th, 1973, the military revolted in mid-1973. On the ground, Guzmán and his crew followed the events. As one of the cameramen was recording the soldiers on the streets, he was shot. Immediately after, the screen faded to black, and the lights turned on. The cliffhanger, both for the cameraman and the documentary, surely left a strong impression on spectators, leaving the audience on the edge of their seats, eager to delve deeper into the riveting narrative presented by Patricio Guzmán. Due to it being only part I of the documentary, the cutoff instigated most viewers into asking the Film Society to host screenings for the other two parts.

We would like to use this space to express our gratitude to the Documentary Lab and the Humanities Research Center for sponsoring our event and enabling us to offer an interdisciplinary, multifaceted approach to literature, cinema, politics, and history. We hope to screen the other two parts of the documentary and, perhaps, host a discussion with professors knowledgeable about the topic or the Third Cinema movement, to which Guzmán belonged.

Film Night: Chungking Express

Date/Time: Wed, Jan 11, 6:30pm
Location: IB Auditorium
Food (good pizza) & drinks will be provided

Wednesday night will be the screening of  Wong Kar-Wai’s Chungking Express (1994).  Prof Richard Davis and Prof Seth Henderson will both say a few words of introduction to the film and facilitate a discussion after the screening.

There will be free pizza (from a GOOD place for pizza) starting at 6:20pm. The screening will be at the IB Lecture Hall.

See you there!

Made in China: Cities and the People that Make Your Shoes 

“Made in China: Cities and the People that Make Your Shoes” is funded by HRC’s Doc Lab as part of  Doc Lab’s ongoing “Requests for Proposals: Documentary Projects.”

Project members: Cici Cheng (Media and Arts) and UG student (TBD)

Project summary: China continues to have the world’s largest footwear industry. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the country faced quarantines and closed factories, including most of the shoe manufacturing facilities. The pandemic had an impact on both domestic and global manufacturing and distribution operations within these businesses, disrupting an already fragile supply chain. Continue reading “Made in China: Cities and the People that Make Your Shoes “

HRC Doc Lab Project: One Hundred Crossed-Out Messages of Gender Discrimination: A Crypto-philanthropic exploration of feminist NFT PFPs

One Hundred Crossed-Out Messages of Gender Discrimination: A Crypto-philanthropic exploration of feminist NFT PFPs is funded by HRC’s Doc Lab as part of  Doc Lab’s ongoing “Requests for Proposals: Documentary Projects.”

Faculty Advisor: Professor Jung Choi
Undergraduate Researcher: Xinran (Penelope) Lai

Project Summary
Crypto philanthropy, with the word “crypto” referring to “using blockchains and their cousin technologies as tools themselves to achieve impactful outcomes” and the word “philanthropy” concerning “allocating unrestricted capital towards the improvement of society, life, the physical world, and everything in between” (Lehrer 2022), is now gaining increased attention as the concept of cryptocurrency continues to emerge and thrive in many areas. For example, cheecoin (CHEE), Hollywood’s first NFT and game metaverse token, focuses on helping stray animals. Continue reading “HRC Doc Lab Project: One Hundred Crossed-Out Messages of Gender Discrimination: A Crypto-philanthropic exploration of feminist NFT PFPs”

Student Report: Ascension 登楼叹 Q&A Session & Interview

Q&A session with Maggie Li
Reported by Zishuo Wu, Class of 2024

Tonight’s first screening in the 2022 academic year, Ascension (Kingdon, 2021) is an Oscar-nominated American documentary depicting class inequality in China. After screening the splendid realistic observational documentary, the producer of Ascension, Maggie Li, was invited to the Question & Answer session hosted by DKU Humanities Research Center.

Maggie began this session by introducing her contribution to the documentary. “There exist two kinds of producers,” said Maggie, “the first kind invests money and contributes nothing else; the other kind works on every part of the production.” As a producer of the second kind, Maggie made sure everything in the movie was working — communicating with organizations, companies, and individuals about their appearance in the documentary, and proofreading the translation and edits made to the film. The production took four years in total. With almost everything done by only a team of three people, the success of the documentary is unbelievable. She also shared that she was majoring in nano-science, though ended up working in filming industries.

Below is the Q&A session with Maggie Li:  Continue reading “Student Report: Ascension 登楼叹 Q&A Session & Interview”

Ascension 登楼叹: Documentary Screening with Filmmaker

Humanities Research Center’s Doc Lab and Center for the Study of Contemporary China Present:
Documentary Screening with Filmmaker
Q&A Session with co-producer, Maggie Li, will follow film screening

Date: Wed, Sept 28, 6:00pm BJT
Location: IB-1008 (IB-Auditorium)
Zoom ID: 530.394.0458

Screen the film up to 48 hours in advance at the following link:

Ascension, nominated for an Oscar as best documentary feature, explores the myriad corners of China’s increasingly stratified economic classes. Everything we use every day is the product of someone else’s labor. Cellphones and computers, water bottles and plastic cutlery, soap dispensers and blankets are all items in one interconnected chain of global capitalism that the documentary Ascension explores with curiosity, candor and criticism.

Continue reading “Ascension 登楼叹: Documentary Screening with Filmmaker”

Doc Lab Research Project: Documenting the Sustainability of Localized Organic Farming

HRC Doc Lab‘s research “Documenting the Sustainability of Localized Organic Farming” is an episodic documentary video and photo essay that will focus on the Yue Feng Island Organic Farm which is located in Kunshan. The documentary will investigate the sustainability of smart agriculture at the intersectionality of culture, linguistics, economics, ecology, and environmental studies. The documentary will consist of three parts: 1) the regional oral culture: the connection between traditional farming culture and the local Kunshan dialect, 2) the relationship between crop diversity and genetically modified food, and 3) sustainability in smart agriculture: how the farmers and administrators incorporate the idea of sustainability into production and operation.

Project members: Continue reading “Doc Lab Research Project: Documenting the Sustainability of Localized Organic Farming”

Humanities Research Center Current Research Projects

The Humanities Research Center proudly announces the current research projects being conducted by the HRC labs. We invite you stay in touch with updates on each of these projects by checking the news sections of our website and following our weekly newsletter.


Title: The Neganthropocene and Arts (Case studies in China)
Who: Prof. Jung Choi, Meixuan Wang, Yujia Zhai
Project summary: Inspired by the notion of Neganthropocene by a French Philosopher, Bernard Stiegler, the study explores innovative tactics by Chinese emerging artists that challenge the human-centered logic of understanding the world.

Title: DKU Augmented Reality (AR) Campus
Who: Prof. Xin Tong, Prof. Jung Choi, student researchers Qingyang He, Tony Ren, Weiran Li, and Ruiqi Chen
Project summary: In the research, we are creating an AR mobile app, DKU AR Campus, and investigating how augmented reality technology can support spatial digital co-creation and social interaction. We aim to understand multi-users’ social dynamics and examine their co-creation behaviors in an embodied AR context and derive design implications to shed light on future research. Continue reading “Humanities Research Center Current Research Projects”