I feel honoured to have been invited to give the Annual Lecture of the Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures at the University of Leeds this year.

![Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra, 2015)](/uploads/embraceserpent_karmakate.jpg “Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra, 2015)”)

The title of the lecture is Decentring the Exotic in Contemporary World Cinema, 4-5.30pm

Please contact s.dennison@leeds.ac.uk for the Zoom link.

This presentation examines why exoticism is central to thinking about the global dynamics of world cinema and its transnational reception. Offering a theoretical discussion of exoticism, alongside the closely related concepts of autoethnography and cultural translation, I propose that the exotic gaze is a particular mode of aesthetic perception that is simultaneously anchored in the filmic text and elicited in the spectator in the process of transnational reception. Like world cinema, exoticism is a travelling concept that depends on mobility and the crossing of cultural boundaries to come into existence. 

One of the key questions my paper will address is, how exoticism in contemporary world cinema challenges and decentres dominant western values and systems of knowledge. Drawing on the Columbian film Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra, 2015) and the Hong Kong horror movie Dumplings (Fruit Chan, 2004) as my case studies, I will explore how these films repurpose familiar exoticist tropes, such as the noble savage and cannibalism, in order to critique global capitalism and promote new socio-political agendas.