Ackbar Abbas teaches comparative literature at the University of California, Irvine and is a honorary professor at Hong Kong University. His research interest lays in Hong Kong, Chinese culture, architecture and cinema as well as in critical theory, globalisation and post-colonialism.
Ackbar Abbas’ keynote for the biennial derives from his research on Chinese culture and identity and his practice as a Professor in the United States for Comparative Literature. Through the framework of “volatility” Abbas offers a reading of current global conditions such as financial crises and their impact on cinematic and artistic departures. In a time where no values of one cultural perspective can provide a frame of reference for an adequate understanding of the world we live in anymore, this keynote elaborates on the question: Which epistemes could offer leads to the dynamic societal, cultural and economic contexts we find ourselves in?