James Wicks, Ph.D.

Professor of Media & Film Studies

James Wicks, Professor of Media and Film Studies, grew up in Taiwan and teaches Narrative and Documentary Film, Scriptwriting for TV and Film, Intro to TV and Film Production, and World Cinema in San Diego, California. His Ph.D. in Literature (Cultural Studies section), with an emphasis on Chinese Cinema, was received from the University of California, San Diego in 2010. He has taught at PLNU since 2009 and joined the Department of Communication Studies in 2021. He has written two books: Transnational Representations: The State of Taiwan Film in the 1960s and 1970s (HKUP, 2014) and An Annotated Bibliography of Taiwan Film Studies (Columbia UP, April 2016) co-authored with Columbia University librarians Jim Cheng and Sachie Noguchi.


  • Ph.D., University of California, San Diego 
  • M.A., Oregon State University 
  • B.A., Oregon State University

Courses Taught

  • Scriptwriting for TV and Film, COM 1075
  • Introduction to TV and Film Production, COM 2043
  • Narrative and Documentary Film, COM 3000
  • Media Literacy, COM 3095
  • Sundance Film Festival, COM 4090
  • Great Directors: Agnes Varda, Chloe Zhao, Hayao Miyazaki, COM 4090
  • World Cinema Auteurs: Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Martin Scorsese, COM 4090
  • History and Culture of Surfing (Surf Cinema), COM 4090

Experience in Field

  • Professor of Film Studies, Point Loma Nazarene University, September 2009 – present

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Film Presenter: San Diego Asian Film Festival: Nov. 9 – 11 2013, Nov. 7 – 9 2014, Nov. 6 – 8, 2015, Nov. 5 – 6, 2016, Nov 9-11, 2018., Nov. 10, 2019.
  • Co-organizer: San Diego Asian Film Festival, Taiwan Film Showcase. Nov. 2 – 4, 2012
  • Co-organizer: UCSD Taiwan Film Festival, Presented by the UCSD Taiwan Studies Lecture Series, May 4 – 8, 2009

Awards and Honors

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Point Loma Nazarene University, 2019.
  • Point Loma Nazarene University RASP grant for the “Diverse Film Research Collection Project,” 2019.
  • Point Loma Nazarene University RASP grant for the "Taiwan late-1950s through early-1980s Film Reels Preservation Project," Summer 2018
  • Taiwan Ministry of Education “2011 Faculty Research Grant for Taiwan Studies Scheme” Recipient, 2011
  • Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation Dissertation Fellowship Recipient, 2009 – 2010

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • Transnational Representations: The State of Taiwan Film in the 1960s and 1970s. Hong Kong University Press, 2014.
  • An Annotated Bibliography of Taiwan Film Studies. Co-authored with Jim Cheng & Sachie Noguchi. Columbia University Press, 2016.
  • A Symbolic Victory: An Analysis of Liu Jia-Chang’s 1976 Film in Three Parts.” In Thirty-two New Takes on Taiwan Cinema, ed. Emily Yueh0yu Yeh, Darrell William Davis, & Wenchi Lin (Univ. of Michigan Press, 2022).“Foreword” to In the Scene: Ang Lee by Ellen Cheshire. London: Supernova Books, 2020.
  • “Portrayals of Street Culture in Hollywood Films.” In the Routledge Handbook of Street Culture, ed. Ross, Jeffrey Ian and Peter K. Manning (Routledge 2020), 285-294.
  • “Clarifying Street Culture: Integrating a Diversity of Opinions and Voices.” Co-author with Jeffrey Ian Ross, G. James Daichendt, Sebastian Kurtenbach, Paul Gilchrist, Monique Charles.” In Urban Research and Practice (2019).
  • “Hot Wars on Screen during the Cold War: Philosophical Situations in King Hu’s Martial Arts Films.” In National Central University Journal of Humanities 64 (2018). 
  • Co-Keynote Address: “Hot Wars on Screen during the Cold War: Philosophical Situations in King Hu’s Martial Arts Films.” 「第三屆台灣與亞洲電影使國際研討會:1950至1970年代臺灣與香港電影(人員)的交流」“The 3rd Taiwan/Asia International Conference: 1950-1970 Taiwan and Hong Kong Film Personnel Exchange.” The Taipei National Univ. of the Arts, Oct. 6-8, 2017.
  •  “The Antithesis of What We Might Expect”: Viewing The Assassin in the New Punk Cinema Tradition.” June 29, 2016. Academia Sinica, Taipei.
  • “Recent Taiwan Films: Currencies & Circulations.” Symposium: “Taiwan Cinema: Yesterday and Today” & Book Release: An Annotated Bibliography for Taiwan Film Studies. April 21, 2016. Columbia University, New York.
  • “Sympathetic Portrayals in a Sea of Anti-Japanese War Films: Café Lumière and Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles” Association for Asian Studies Conference. April 1, 2016, Seattle.
  • “A State of Transition in Taiwan: Bai Jingrui’s Home Sweet Home (Bai, 1970).” 2015 Literature and Film Festival of Southern California, Literature and Heritage Series no.4: “When The East Meets the West :Taiwan Film in Retrospect.” May 1, 2015. University of Southern California, Los Angeles.“Love in the Time of Industrialization: Representations of Nature in Li Hanxiang’s The Winter (1969).” In Journal of Taiwan Literary Studies 17 (2013): 81-102.
  • “Gender Negotiation in Song Cunshou’s Story of Mother and Taiwan Cinema of the Early 1970s.” In A Companion to Chinese Cinema, ed. Yingjin Zhang (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 118-132.
  • “Projecting a State That Does Not Exist: Bai Jingrui’s Jia zai Taibei/ Home Sweet Home” In Journal of Chinese Cinemas 4 (2010): 15-26.
  • Two Stage Brothers: Tracing a Common Heritage in Early Films by Xie Jin and Li Xing.” In Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 21 (2009): 174-212.