This essay integrates feminist scholarship on silent serials with discourses on memory and diaspora to situate historical inquiry, textual interpretation, and construction of subjectivity at the intersection of viewing and writing. It chronicles the author’s experience watching Louis Feuillade’s 1919 serial Tih-Minh, whose half Vietnamese titular character is brought to France and undergoes multiple cycles of kidnapping, amnesia, and memory restoration. This instability of inscription—through Tih-Minh’s memory—is mirrored in the physical degradation of the serial, the unruly distribution of its intertitles and inserts, and subsequent acts of retroactive restoration by historians and conservators. Drawing on historiographic methods that incorporate indeterminacy and lacunae, the instability of inscription is serialized in a process that makes visible, sensible, and poetic the textures of loss and remembrance that connect the serial’s text and preservation with memory in the Vietnamese diaspora, constructing a spectral ecology of suppressed and ephemeral archives.
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Research Article| October 20 2020
Untraceable Origins, Generations of Loss: Tih-Minh’s Echoing Afterlives
Feminist Media Histories (2020) 6 (4): 151–182.
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Kim-Anh Schreiber; Untraceable Origins, Generations of Loss: Tih-Minh’s Echoing Afterlives. Feminist Media Histories 20 October 2020; 6 (4): 151–182. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2020.6.4.151
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