CSI grad student, Erin Nunoda wins SCMS award

March 25, 2022 by Denise Ing

Cinema Studies PhD candidate, Erin Nunoda has won the Graduate Student Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) Asian/Pacific American Caucus for the paper, "The Impenetrable Ornament," on My Own Private Idaho and Hapa opacity, which is part of her thesis, "Unconsummated/Queer Loneliness." Erin won honorable mention for the 2020 Chris Holmlund Graduate Student Writing Prize, Queer and Trans Caucus, SCMS, for her essay, "On Ephemerality: Tiger Beat and Teenage Time."

Erin will be presenting "The Impenetrable Ornament" at the upcoming SCMS conference. Here's a short summary of the presentation:

This presentation focuses on the tableau sex scenes in My Own Private Idaho, arguing that they elaborate a realm of racialized objecthood and illegibility, one that substitutes the stereotypical equation of Asian men and bottoming with an emphasis on exteriority, encasement, and impenetrability. Just as Scott's (Keanu Reeves) race and sexuality remain opaque throughout the film, here his figuration is mobilized to question the teleology of penetrative intercourse: the suggestion that “real sex” cannot occur without an inter-corporeal breach. Making use of queer Asian American theory, analyses of Reeves’ stardom, and histories of the tableau aesthetic, this presentation explores a visuality centred not in the inevitability of roles, but in the voiding of a consummative moment, in the porcelain smoothness of a racialized surface.

Congratulations to Erin!