Reading the Transnational out of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s A Tale of Love: How a Film Serves as a Public Pedagogue and What it Teaches

By Julia Yujie Li.

Published by The Arts Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Contrary to the common view, the author argues that Trinh T. Minh-ha’s film, A Tale of Love, has simultaneously presented a feminist and a transnational stance. The investigation of the various gazes, particularly, the ethnographic eye when evaluating another culture or country, the focus on the examination of relations among nations and on one’s search for a communal identity in a globalized world, and most importantly, the resistance against purity and singularity and the celebration of multiplicity and hybridity, instead have all qualified A Tale of Love as a transnational film. By exposing the oppressive nature of the various types of gazes, questioning the concept of love, and employing multiple artistic and linguistic languages that first originated in different countries and places, the film calls us the viewer to re-think the relationship between genders, nations, and different cultures as well as social groups. Through politicizing such a mundane matter as the love life of an individual and by making the film dialogically with both its social context and other artistic and cultural products in it, A Tale of Love arrives as a public pedagogue and teaches many things made in relation to the era of globalization–among them, a proper attitude toward difference, others, and the self.

Keywords: Transnationalism, Transnationality, Art, Teaching, Film, Trinh Minh-ha, Pedagogy, Janusian Thinking, Dialogic, Hybridity, Liminality, Multiplicity

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp.131-140. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.144MB).

Julia Yujie Li

Franklin Fellow, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Art Education, The Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA

Julia Yujie Li is originally from The People’s Republic of China, and is currently a Franklin Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow and visiting assistant professor in the Department of Art Education at The University of Georgia in the U.S. She has received an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from The Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a Ph.D. in Art Education from The Pennsylvania State University. She has published in various journals associated with The National Art Education Association (NAEA) in the United States and in China. Her current research interest focuses on transnational art and artists, visual culture, and multicultural and transnational art education.

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