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Lecture: The Margins of Love in Contemporary Korean Cinema
Date: 28 March 2013 

Korean lecture series, School of Modern Languages and Cultures

The Margins of Love in Contemporary Korean Cinema
Dr. Steven Chung

Date: March 28, 2013
Time: 3:30 - 5:20pm
Venue: MB217, Main building, HKU
Over the past three decades, South Korea has experienced a dramatic change, shifting from a largely homogeneous population overseen by militaristic political regimes to an increasingly multi-ethnic society governed by an ostensibly democratic system. South Korean cinema has undergone a corresponding revision, making visible a range of figures – ethnic minorities, the disabled, political refugees, etc. – that are wholly new, marginalized or heretofore invisible on film. These new figures, predominantly, are made visible through melodramatic narratives and romantic themes, arguably the dominant modalities of South Korean cinema. This lecture explores the significance of these social and cinematic transformations, concentrating on a central tension: how, on the one hand, the radical difference of the newly visible figures is contained by melodramatic love stories and, on the other, the excesses of melodrama sometimes push the new figures into a critique of the very terms of their marginalization. 

Short bio;
Steven Chung is Assistant Professor in the East Asian Studies department at Princeton University. He focuses his research on Korean cinema, and is drawn especially to the relationship between politics and aesthetics in the film cultures of the late colonial through the early postwar periods. He has published articles in edited volumes – North Korea: Toward a Better Understanding (2009) and Democracy and Cinema (Korea) – and in the Journal of Korean Studies and Memory and Vision (Korea). Chung is finishing his first manuscript, The Split Screen: Sin Sang-ok and Postwar Korean Film Cultures and also beginning work on his next book, Cold War Optics: Asia.


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