2020 Kyujanggak Booktalk: 1st Lecture

The International Center for Korean Studies, Kyujanggak, Seoul National University is hosting a booktalk series, 규장각 해외 한국학 저자특강, which introduce a work in Korean studies to facilitate the exchange of views and information among scholars. We will have our 1st booktalk via ZOOM on May 29, 10AM (KST). If you would like to join, please register at https://forms.gle/k5sA7tr8vKgZRS4b6. We will send you the details you need to log in one day in advance.

About the Book
Parameters of Disavowal: Colonial Representation in South Korean Cinema
The colonial experience of the early twentieth century shaped Korea’s culture and identity, leaving a troubling past that was subtly reconstructed in South Korean postcolonial cinema. Relating postcolonial discourses to a reading of Manchurian action films, kisaeng and gangster films, and revenge horror films, Parameters of Disavowal shows how filmmakers reworked, recontextualized, and erased ideas and symbols of colonial power. In particular, Jinsoo An examines how South Korean films privileged certain sites, such as the kisaeng house and the Manchurian frontier, generating unique meanings that challenged the domination of the colonial power, and how horror films indirectly explored both the continuing trauma of colonial violence and lingering emotional ties to the colonial order. Espousing the ideology of nationalism while responding to a new Cold War order that positioned Japan and South Korea as political and economic allies, postcolonial cinema formulated distinctive ways of seeing and imagining the colonial past.

About the Author
Jinsoo An is Assistant Professor of Korean Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley.