Elmo GONZAGA is Associate Director of the MA in Intercultural Studies program. He obtained his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley specializing in the Visual and Spatial Cultures of Southeast Asia and the Global South.
Monsoon Marketplace, his second monograph (under contract with Fordham University Press), traces the entangled genealogies of capitalist modernity, mass consumption, and media spectatorship in Manila and Singapore through representations of popular commercial and leisure spaces such as amusement parks, night markets, movie theaters, and shopping malls during colonial occupation in the 1930s, national development in the 1960s, and neoliberal globalization in the 2000s. An extract has been published in the Journal of Asian Studies.
More recent publications look at the global production, circulation, exhibition, and consumption of genres and iconographies across transmedia platforms including films, blogs, apps, museums, video games, and art installations. One article in Cinema Journal, “The Cinematographic Unconscious of Slum Voyeurism”, examines the construction, misrecognition, and refusal of urban realism in poverty porn made for international film funds and festivals. “Supply Chain Capitalism in the Planetary Network Blockbuster”, a contribution to a special issue that resulted from a Social Science Research Council workshop on InterAsian Connections, analyzes how imaginaries of infrastructures for financialization, innovation, and logistics in superhero, spy, science-fiction narratives divide the world into prosperous capitals and underdeveloped megacities.
A new book manuscript, Slum Voyeurism and the Aesthetics of Impunity, looks at representations of dispossession and inequality, including films of neon ruin, maps of ghetto tourism, and satellite images of environmental catastrophe.
An invited entry for the Asia Theories Network's Critical Asia Archives ruminates on the keyword "Archipelago". Another piece in Cultural Studies, “Zombie Capitalism and Coronavirus Time”, explores how zombie movies and memes frame the political and temporal culture of state capitalism, social order, and market risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He is the co-convenor, together with Prof. Klaudia Lee of City University of Hong Kong, of the Transnational Urban Narratives Network, a global platform for interdisciplinary work in the Urban Humanities.
His current research project on ‘Decolonizing and Doing Theory in Southeast Asia’ is funded by two grants, notably the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC)’s General Research Fund (GRF). One outcome of this grant was the conference ‘Doing Theory in Southeast Asia,’ which, featuring over 30 speakers in 9 time zones, was convened together with Prof. Nazry Bahrawi of the University of Washington in Seattle.
In collaboration with Prof. Brian Bernards of University of Southern California, he is co-organizing an international workshop and edited volume on ‘Inter-Asia Intermediality.’