Sohye Kim

Friday, November 17th, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in CEAS 319 (1155 E. 60th St.)

Sohye Kim, “An Invitation to the Cinematic Dream of Diaspora: Zhang Lu’s Fashioning of Spectatorship in South Korea”
Discussant: Emily Jungmin Yoon (PhD student, EALC)
Please join us Friday, November 17th as we host Sohye Kim (PhD candidate in East Asian Languages and Civilizations.) She will present a draft of her dissertation chapter, which she summarizes as follows:

This chapter analyzes a Korean-Chinese filmmaker, Zhang Lu’s films and their South Korean reception. As a third-generation member of the Korean diaspora in China, Zhang Lu has self-consciously captured in films what he aptly terms “the scenery of strangers,” transcending nationally-defined issues and depicting those lives pushed to the peripheries and boundaries between nation-states, by featuring ethnic Koreans across China, Korea, and Mongolia. However, since 2012, when Zhang Lu temporarily shifted his main base for filmmaking to South Korea, issues related to Korean diaspora did not surface explicitly in any of his recent films, such as Gyeongju (2014), Love and… (2015), and A Quiet Dream (2016). Far from viewing Zhang Lu’s “homecoming” as a fait accompli, I argue that his recent work reveals another journey taken, in the very act of homecoming, by this film director with a hyphenated identity. His return to Korea involves another departure for him, which initiates long overdue conversations on collective memory with its homeland audience. By examining Zhang Lu’s cinematic rendition of his history of displacement and envisioning of an intersubjective cinematic experience, this paper explores not just collective memories of the past in the homeland and sites of diaspora, but also a new sense of communication and community-building between historically and spatially divided lands and nations.

The paper is available directly below, or at this link. If you have not received the password, or have questions about accessibility, please feel free to contact Helina Mazza-Hilway ( or Susan Su (






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