Kangurus and Gavagais: Rethinking Language, and Ethnocentrism through Villeneuve’s Arrival

A public lecture co-organised by the Nottingham Confucius Institute (NCI) and the Centre for Contemporary East Asian Cultural Studies (CEACS).

Denis Villeneuve’s 2016 film Arrival—which was based on Ted Chiang’s 1998 short story “Story of Your Life”—explores concerns and issues of language, culture, and ethnocentrism through a story that revolves around tentacled aliens whose language (and corresponding worldview) is radically different from our own. In this way, the work explores how our understanding of the world is mediated through language, and what it might mean to radically reassess the underlying assumptions upon which these worldviews are predicated.

The speaker, Carlos Rojas, is a Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies; Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies; and Arts of the Moving Image at Duke University. He is the author, editor, and translator of numerous books, including Homesickness: Culture, Contagion, and National Transformation in Modern China.

The lecture will take place on Thursday 22 November, 17.00-18.30 in A39 Sir Clive Granger Building, University Park Campus. Find out more on the website.

There will also be a free screening of Arrival (2016) on Tuesday 13 November, 6-8pm in the Djanogly Theatre, Nottingham Lakeside Arts. Please book tickets in advance online or from the Lakeside box office. Find out more at the Lakeside Arts website.

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