SMLC is proud to welcome Dr Dag Yngvesson to the school as Assistant Professor of Film and Television Studies. Dag is a recent graduate from the doctoral programme in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society at the University of Minnesota, with a minor in Moving Image Studies. He also has over a decade of ongoing experience as a filmmaker, and has worked on projects ranging from ethnographic documentaries to experimental and intergeneric work, as well as music videos, commercials and skateboard films. His research interests include media and film studies, Southeast Asian studies, postcolonial studies, gender studies, and visual anthropology. Dag’s dissertation and book project, Non-Aligned Features: The Coincidence of Modernity and the Screen in Indonesia, explores the function of cinema in post-independence Indonesia as a key platform for the continual re-imagining and contestation of the ‘face’ of modern nationhood, and as a tool for encountering and translating emergent techniques and ideas into locally salient forms. His analysis focuses in particular on the ways in which dynamic regional histories of representation, exchange, and gender politics have shaped the most distinctive features of Indonesian cinema over the previous six decades. In the broader context of film and media studies, the work thus is aimed to advance scholarly understandings of how national cinemas are conceived and distinguish themselves vis-à-vis the technological, political and formal attachments of cinema and modernity to America, Western Europe and the Soviet Union.
Many of Dag’s recent film projects, while engaging with issues like the capitalisation of Islamic discourse in Java, labor and health conditions in the Los Angeles pornography industry, or the politics of peacekeeping and international finance in post-conflict, post-tsunami Aceh, also reflect on the complex role of media therein. Highlighting the ways in which media producers exploit and adapt emergent technologies to older, localised practices and modes of expression, his films acquire an additional function as a practical laboratory that critically engages with theory and research. Here at UNMC, Dag states, I very much look forward to sharing and further developing my theoretical and production work within the vibrant local community of scholars, practitioners and students. I hope to contribute to the existing strengths of School of Modern Languages and Cultures in the study of cinema, media and theory in historical context, and to help build and enrich students’ acquisition of skills that will enable them to enter creative media industries and produce successful independent work.
Posted on 8th February 2017