Beth Tsai

Beth Tsai
Ph.D., Stony Brook University

Visiting Assistant Professor

Specialization: Taiwan Cinema, Film Festivals, Transnational Film Theory

Office: HSSB 2230

Office Hours: By Appointment Only
Personal Website:

Beth Tsai is a film scholar, experimental filmmaker, and freelance photographer. Her published work focuses primarily on the cinema of Taiwan, film festivals, and transnational film theory.

She is a contributing author to the International Journal of Asia Pacific Studies, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Journal of Asian Cinema, and Oxford Bibliographies. Her connection to the film festival circuits includes the Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival (LACFF), Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Rendez-vous Québec Cinéma (RVCQ), New York Film Festival (NYFF), and New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF). Her first book, Taiwan New Cinema at Film Festivals, is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press.

Her future research will follow two thematic directions. The first project examines how the notion of sleep—both onscreen and offscreen spectatorial sleep—contributes new meaning to Anthropocentric cinema. The Taiwan-based, Malaysian director Tsai Ming-liang’s sleep cinema, for example—benefits from the global economy and hierarchy of curatorial practices lifted from film festivals to expand a universal vocabulary of slow aesthetics. At the same time, Tsai’s exhibition practice rebels against the unforeseen consequence of an accelerating world.

The second project will be a web documentary about Chinese nail salon workers in the U.S. As an ethnographic study on women migrant workers’ everyday experience, this project will take the form of an interactive web documentary that allows viewers to navigate the story in a manner similar to that of a video game or interactive fiction books.

selected articles

“Of Fleas and Parasite: Unpacking Class and Space in Bong Joon-ho’s Barking Dogs Never Bite,” co-authored with Bonnie Tilland. New Review of Film and Television Studies. (Forthcoming)

“Film Festivals in Taiwan: Lurking on the Periphery.” Rethinking Film Festivals in the Pandemic Era. Eds. Antoine Damiens and Marijke de Valck. Palgrave Macmillan, 2022. (Forthcoming)

Visage (2009): That Obscure Face of the Muses.” Thirty-two New Takes on Taiwan Cinema. Eds. Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh, Darrell Davis, Wenchi Lin. University of Michigan Press, 2022.

“Agnès Varda: The Queen of the Margins.” The Sustainable Legacy of Agnès Varda: Feminist Practice and Pedagogy. Eds. Feride Çiçekoglu and Colleen Kennedy-Karpat. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2022.

“Visible Art, Invisible Nations? On the Politics in Film Festivals, Hou Hsiao-hsien, and Taiwan New Cinema.” International Film Festivals: Contemporary Cultures and History Beyond Venice and Cannes. Ed. Tricia Jenkins. London: I.B. Tauris, 2018.

The Many Faces of Tsai Ming-liang: Cinephilia, the French Connection, and Cinema in the Gallery.” International Journal of Asia Pacific Studies 13, no. 2 (2017): 141-160.