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Japan-in-Asia Cultural Studies Program

Cinema Studies; Media Studies; Sinophone Cinema; Transnational Cinema
Associate Professor
The University of Hong Kong (Ph.D)
The University of Amsterdam (MA in Film Studies)
Yunnan University (MA in World Literature & Comparative Literature)
Yunnan University (BA in Chinese Language & Literature)
Research Interests
Centering around an intersection of inter-Asia studies, transnational film and screen cultures, and film festival studies, particularly on the relations between the film movements, the politics of auteurism, and the institutional contexts of exhibition, circulation, and criticism; the issues of mobility, infrastructure, and affects in transnational Sinophone cinema and media.
Classes Taught
  • Spring Odd Years
"Introduction to Research Methods for Culture and History"
"Asian Cinema After 1945" 
"Critical Analysis of Visual Culture"
"Joint Undergraduate Seminar"
"Graduate Seminar (on various issues in contemporary Asian media and cinema studies)"
  • Fall Odd Years
"Introduction to Thesis Writing"​
"Introduction to Film History"
"Critical Film Analysis"
"Joint Undergraduate Seminar"
"Graduate Seminar"
  • Spring Even Years
"Culture and Representation"​(Liberal Arts)
"Introduction to Thesis Writing"
"New Perspectives on Cinema Studies"
"Joint Undergraduate Seminar"
"Graduate Seminar"
  • Fall Even Years
"Introduction to Research Methods for Culture and History"
"Introduction to Asian Cinema Culture"
"Asian Cinema Before 1945"
"Joint Undergraduate Seminar"
"Graduate Seminar"​​
Professional Experience
  • November 2010-August 2011 

Urban Research Plaza, Osaka City University, Japan

Position: Global-COE (Centers of Excellence) Young Special Researcher, the 2nd Research Unit, “Cultural Creativity”                           

  • September 2011-September 2013                           

Urban Research Plaza, Osaka City University, Japan 

Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, the 2nd Research Unit, “Cultural Creativity”

  • October 2013-present

Global-30 “Japan-in-Asia Cultural Studies” Program & Screen Studies (映像学)

Graduate School of Humanities, Nagoya University, Japan 

Position: Associate Professor

Research Grants & Affiliated Projects
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences, Scientific Research C (2022-2025) 

Project Number: 22K00230

Project Title: Chinese Independent Cinema in Transformation: Visual Politics in Perspective

  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences, Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (2018-2021)

Project Number:18K12263

Project Title: Sinophone Imaginaries in Contemporary Asian Visual Cultures​

  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences, Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (2015-2017)

Project Number:15K16665

Project Title: East Asian Film Cultures in the Post-Cold War Era: Film Festivals and their Transnational Network​

  • Co-investigator for Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences, Scientific Research B (2020-2025)

Project Number:20H01219

Project Title: デジタル映像アーカイブの未来研究/a Study on the Future of Digital Image Archive

Principal Investigator: Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano, Kyoto University​

  • Affiliated Researcher for the Team Research Project of ‘Examining Cultural Discourses in Post-3.11 Japan’ (2016-2017), Principal Investigator: Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano, International Research Center for Japan Studies (Nichibunken), Japan

Ran Ma. 2019 (November 19th). Independent Filmmaking across Borders in Contemporary Asia. Amsterdam University Press.
Journal Articles
  • Tong, Shan & Ma, Ran. (forthcoming) ‘It is All About Qingnian Dianying: Post-Independent Chinese Cinema, Auteurism, and the FIRST International Film Festival’, Journal of Chinese Cinemas.

  • Ma, Ran. (2021) ‘Kim Soyoung’s ‘Exile Trilogy’—‘Retro’ Toward an Affective Archive’, philoSOPHIA: a Journal of TransContinental Feminism, 10 (1), pp.145-153.

  • Ma, Ran.(2021)‘To Think Like an Archipelago’—Regarding the Japanese-Chinese Independent Film Culture Connections (1989-2020)’ [导言:‘像群岛那样思考’——有关当代日本-中国独立电影文化的关联(1989-2020)], in Independent Chinese Cinema Observer /华语独立影像观察, 1.pp.8-21.

  • Fujiki, Kosuke & Ma, Ran. (2021) ‘In/visibility in Post-war Okinawan Images 2’, Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, 13 (2), p. 97-98, DOI: 10.1080/17564905.2021.2001143

  • Ma, Ran & Fujiki, Kosuke. (2021) ‘In/visibility in Post-war Okinawan Images 1’, Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, 13(1), pp. 1-3, DOI: 10.1080/17564905.2021.1930474

  • Ma, Ran. (2021) “Reminiscences of a Journey to Okinawa: Landscape Film as Essay, and Takamine Gō’s Okinawan Dream Show (1974)’, Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, 13 (1), pp. 4-21, DOI: 10.1080/17564905.2021.1914887

  • Ma, Ran & Fujiki, Kosuke & translated by Christopher M. Cabrera (2021) ‘Re-emerging Voices and Re-imagined Landscapes: An Interview with Chikako Yamashiro’, Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, 13 (2), pp. 138-154, DOI: 10.1080/17564905.2021.1985357

  • 馬然.(2019)“故鄉的風景:高嶺剛的沖繩夢幻”(Landscape of the Hometown: Takamine Gō’s Okinawan Dream Show), in ‘Literature as Shadow Metaphor/藝術作為影喻’, Issue No. 78. ACT: Art Critique of Taiwan/藝術觀點,pp.82-91

  • Ma, Ran. (2018) ‘A Landscape Over There: Rethinking Translocality in Zhang Lu’s Border Crossing Films’, Verge: Studies in Global Asias, 4 (1), pp.111-132.

  • Ma, Ran. (2018) ‘Asian Documentary Connections, Scale-making, and the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF)’, Transnational Cinemas, 9 (2), pp. 164-180.

  • 马然. (2017) “论•谈之‘那边的风景’:以朝鲜族导演张律的‘越境三部作’为中心 ”(Landscape over There: Interview with Korean-Chinese Filmmaker Zhang Lu and Review of his Border-crossing Trilogy),《戏剧与影视评论》 (Stage and Screen Reviews),第6期,总第21期.pp.80-87.

  • 马然.(2017) “彻悟‘映画祭’:论当代日本国内外电影节中的日本电影策展”(Debating Eigasai: Programming Japanese Cinema at Japanese Film Festivals and Film Festivals Overseas),《戏剧与影视评论》(Stage and Screen Reviews),第3期,总第18期.pp.21-31.

  • 马然.(2017) “论•谈:归去归来不得,华裔导演赵徳胤及其越境电影” (the Impossible Homecoming: Interview with the Diasporic Chinese Filmmaker Midi Z and Review of His Border-crossing films),《戏剧与影视评论》(Stage and Screen Reviews),第4期,总第13期.pp.66-72.

  • 马然.(2016) “概览1989年以来亚洲的国际纪录片电影节:有关微观历史及其跨国关联”(An Overview of International Documentary Film Festivals in Asia: Small Histories and Transnational Connections),《戏剧与影视评论》(Stage and Screen Reviews), 第1期,总第10期.pp.54-62.

  • 马然.(2016) “ ‘新’集体主义礼赞──论2000年以来日本独立电影的一种发展脉络”(In Praise of the ‘New’ Collectivism—toward A Genealogy of Japanese Independent Cinema since the 2000s’),《戏剧与影视评论》(Stage and Screen Reviews), 第5期,pp.53-59.

  • Ma, Ran. (2016) ‘A Genealogy of Film Festivals in the People’s Republic of China: ‘Film Weeks’ during the ‘Seventeen Years’(1949-1966)’, New Review of Film and Television Studies, 14 (1), pp. 40-58.

  • Ma, Ran. (2013) ‘Departing from Songzhuang: Interviews with Chinese Independent Documentary Filmmakers Feng Yan & Wang Wo’, Asian Cinema, 24 (1), pp.105-123.

  • Ma, Ran. (2012) ‘Disremembering Shanghai, Celebrating the International: The Curious Case of Shanghai International Film Festival’, Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research, Shanghai Special Issue, edited by O’Connor, Justin & Gu, Xin (eds.) 4 (8), pp. 147-168.

  • 马然.(2010) “国际电影节视野中的香港独立电影”(Regarding Hong Kong Independent Filmmaking On The Global Film Festival Circuit ) , 《艺术评论》 (Art Criticism), Vol 4. 中国艺术研究院(China Art Academy), pp. 38-45.

Book Chapters
  • Ma, Ran. (2021) ‘How to Remember 3.11? — Post-Fukushima Documentary and the Politics of Tōhoku Documentary Trilogy (2011-2013)’, in Coates, J. and Ben-Ari, A. (eds.) Japanese Visual Media: Politicizing the Screen. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge, pp.136-157

  • Ma, Ran. (2020) ‘Eigasai Inside Out: Programming Japanese Cinema at Overseas and Japanese Film Festivals Today’, in Fujiki, H. and Alastair, P. (eds.) The Japanese Cinema Book. London: British Film Institute, pp. 164-178.

  • 馬然.(2019)‘記憶と身体を乗り越えるー東北ドキュメンタリー三部作とポスト・福島ドキュメンタリー’[Transcending Memory and Body: Tohoku Documentary Trilogy and Post-Fukushima Documentary], 名取雅航(訳)(Translated by Natori, Masakazu).ミツヨ・ワダ・マルシアーノ編集 (Wada-Marciano, Mitsuyo ed.) <ポスト3.11〉メディア言説再考 [Reconsidering the ‘Post 3/11’ Media Discourses]. 東京:法政大学出版局 (Tokyo: Hosei University Press), pp. 283-302.

  • Ma, Ran. (2018) ‘Asian Documentary Connections and ‘The International Film Festival Short Circuit’: Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF) as a Case Study’. In: Magnan-Park, A., in Marchetti, G., Tan, S.(eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Asian Cinema. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 171-189.

  • Ma, Ran. (2017) ‘Contesting the National, Labelling the Renaissance: Exhibiting Taiwan Cinema at Film Festivals in Japan since the 1980s’, in Rawnsley, M.Y.; Chiu, K.F. & Rawnsley, G. (eds.) Taiwan Cinema, International Reception and Social Change. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge, pp. 53-68.

  • Ma, Ran. (2017) ‘Programming China at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Shanghai International Film Festival’, in Berry, C. and Robinson, L. (eds.) Chinese Film Festivals: Sites of Translation. London & New York: Palgrave McMillian, pp. 237-257.

  • Ma, Ran. (2016) co-authored with Cindy H.Y. Wong, ‘Spectacles, Showcases, Marketplaces (And Even Public Spheres): Chinese Film Festivals as Cultural Industries’, in Keane, M. (ed.) Handbook of Cultural and Creative Industries in China, Northampton, US: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, pp. 484-505.

  • Ma, Ran. (2014) ‘Regarding the Grassroots Chinese Independent Film Festivals: Modes of Multiplicity and Abnormal Film Networking’, in Johnson, M. D.; Yu, T.Q., Vulpiani, L.; and Wagner K. (eds.) China’s iGeneration: Cinema and Moving Image Culture for the Twenty-first Century. London & New York: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 235-254.

  • Ma, Ran. (2009) ‘Rethinking Festival Film: Urban Generation Chinese Cinema on the Film Festival Circuit’, in Iordanova, D. & Rhyne, R. (eds) Film Festival Yearbook 1: The Festival Circuit. Scotland: St. Andrews Film Studies. pp.116-135.

Presentation and Talks (selected)

  • “Border-crossing Bodies and Affects—the Politics of Being the Other in Japan within East Asian Visual Cultures”, (Un)winding: Spinning East Asia Response Forum (Invited Talk), Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile, Hong Kong, Virtual Symposium, May 15th, 2022.

  • Seeing in the Dark: Asia’s Independent Cinema Spaces in the Midst of Uncertainties (Invited Talk),Council on East Asian Studies, Yale University, Virtual Workshop, April 29th, 2021.

  • “It is All About “Youth Cinema” (qingnian dianying)—Independent Cinema, New Auteur, and the FIRST International Film Festival.” (co-presenter).” Reassessing Chinese Independent Cinema: Past, Present…and Future?, Chinese Independent Film Archive & Newcastle University, Virtual Conference, Jan 29th-30th, 2021.

  • “Save the Cinema? In (Post-)Pandemic Japan – an Incomplete Observation” (Invited Talk), AFA Online Symposium: An (In)Hospitable World, Nanyang Technological University & Asian Film Archive, Singapore, Virtual Symposium, Oct 23rd, 2020. 

  • “Realigning Chinese Independent Cinema (1989-2019): Intersecting Histories, Aesthetics, and Politics” (Chair & Panelist). The 11th International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS 11), Leiden University, the Netherlands, July 10th-19th, 2019.

Academic Membership

American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)

Society of Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS)

日本映像学会Japan Society of Image Arts and Sciences (JASIAS)  

表象文化論学会Association for Studies of Culture and Representation (Japan)

沖縄映画研究会Okinawa Cinema Society (Japan)

Editorial Team Member 

Chinese Independent Cinema Observer (a bilingual journal run by the China Independent Film Archive, Newcastle University, UK)

MA Ran 馬 然


Graduate School of Humanities/School of Humanities

〒464-8601 名古屋市千種区不老町

Furōchō, Chikusa Ward, Nagoya 464-8601 Japan

People: Tristan R.GRUNOW, Kristina IWATA-WEICKGENANNT, MA Ran

© 2022 by Nagoya University Japan-in-Asia Cultural Studies Program

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