Fall 2016 Schedule

All meetings will be held in Room 319 in the Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS 319).

CEAS is located in the Harris School of Public Policy, 1155 E. 60th St.

9/30 Orientation and Planning Meeting

3:00 – 4:00 PM

10/7 A Conversation with Ryo Kagawa

3:00 – 4:00 PM

10/21 Presenter: Mi-Ryong Shim

Assistant Professor of Korean Literature and Culture, Northwestern University

Title: Aesthetics of New Regionalism and Korean Local Color in the Wartime Japanese Empire

3:00 – 5:00 PM

11/11 Presenter: David Andrew Knight

University of Chicago, co-sponsored with EATRH

Title: “Li Deyu and the Golden Pine”

4:00 – 6:00 PM

11/18 Presenter: Yuqian Yan

Cinema and Media Studies/East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago

Title: “Bringing the Past to the Silver Screen: The Burgeoning of Chinese Costume Films in the 1920s”

3:00 – 5:00 PM

12/1 Presenter: Scott Aalgaard

East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago

Title: “Untimely Voices: Hearing Critique in Japanese Cultural Production”

3:00 – 5:00 PM

Reading and Spectating in Colonial Korea

Professor CHEON Jung-Hwan has taught modern Korean literature and culture at Sungkyunkwan University since 2006. He is the author of Reading Books in Modern Times: The Birth of Readers and Modern Korean Literature (2003), one of the most influential South Korean literary and cultural studies monographs of the 2000s. His recent book publications include 1970s Modernism: From Yusin to Sunday Seoul (coauthored, 2015), On Suicide: Between Suffering and Knowledge (2013), Questioning/Burying 1960, The Era of Mass Intellect (2008), and Revolution and Laughs: The April 19 Revolution in Kim Sŭng-ok’s Cartoon Mr. Pagoda (2005), among others. English translations of his articles have appeared in the Journal of East Asian History and The Korean Popular Culture Reader.

Professor SEO Jaekil received his Ph.D. degree from the Seoul National University in 2007 with a study on the radio and literature of colonial Korea. Having worked as a researcher in Tokyo Foreign Language University and as a research professor at Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (SNU), he is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Korean Language and Literature at Kookmin University. His research interests range widely from colonial Korea to Manchuria, covering the topics of literature, radio, film, and musical theater. His publications include recent English-language articles on the broadcasting of colonial Korea and wartime films. He also translated monographs by Yoshimu Shunya and Kuroda Isamu, respectively about the university and the birth of radio gymnastics, into Korean.

Janet Poole

Tuesday, April 26, 11 p.m.-1 p.m. in CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)

Tuesday, April 26, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)

Janet Poole, “A New World?: Midcentury Modernisms on the Korean Peninsula”

We have invited Professor Janet Poole, the 2015 Modernist Studies Association Book Prize Winner, from the University of Toronto to give a very special lecture at APEA. A summary of the talk can be found below. Please note the unusual meeting time.

This talk takes an exploratory look at two writers—Yi T’aejun and Ch’oe Myŏngik—and their work from the late colonial and early post-Liberation periods. Acknowledged as masterly modernists during the colonial era, their work from the late 1940s is usually understood as having regressed under the influence of the North Korean society to which they moved (in the case of Yi) or stayed (Ch’oe) as the peninsula was partitioned by competing states. But can we think of their work through the era of the Asia-Pacific and Korean Wars as forming part of an ongoing modernist project?

There will be no pre-distributed paper for this talk. If you have concerns about accessibility, please contact David Krolikoski at davidkroli at uchicago.edu or Brian White at bmwhite at uchicago.edu.

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Newspaper column on Sweet Dream (Lullaby of Death), 1936

Friday, February 27, 3:00-5:00PM in CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)
Hyunhee Park (PhD Candidate in EALC, University of Chicago)
“Enlightenment and Disenchantment: Sweet Dream,
Traffic Film, and Early Colonial Korean Cinema”

This Friday, February 27, the Art and Politics of East Asia Workshop will welcome Hyunhee Park for discussion of a draft chapter from her dissertation project on wartime propaganda film. The chapter explores Sweet Dream (1936) as the earliest extant example of enlightenment film production in colonial Korea. Departing from existing scholarship that treats Sweet Dream as a New Woman story, the chapter interprets Sweet Dream as “traffic film,” part of an enlightenment film genre–unique to Korea within the Japanese empire–that inherently entailed sensationalism and “the aesthetics of astonishment.” The paper further argues that the state’s utilization of cinema to forward colonial projects had a large influence on Korean cinema from its inception, creating a mutually beneficial mode of production between Korean filmmakers and the colonial government.

A draft of the paper is available at this link. If you have not received the password for the post, please feel free to contact Nicholas Lambrecht at lambrecht at uchicago.edu. Wine and light refreshments will be served at the workshop. We look forward to seeing you on Friday.

Ji Young Kim, “Interrogating Shame,” March 2nd

The Art and Politics of East Asia workshop presents:

Ji Young Kim

PhD student, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago

Presenting her dissertation proposal:

Interrogating Shame: Pro-Japanese Collaboration in Decolonizing Korea,

Friday, March 2nd,


Judd Hall, Room 313

5835 S. Kimbark Ave. Chicago, IL 60637

This workshop is sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies and the Council on Advanced Studies in the Humanities. Persons who believe they may need assistance to participate fully, please contact the coordinator (Daniel Johnson) in advance at: djohn at uchicago.edu

6/9 Sei-Jin Chang, Cold War and the Cultural Politics of ‘The Pacific’

Art and Politics of East Asia Workshop presents:

Cold War and the Cultural Politics of ‘The Pacific’:
The Transition of Spatial Imagination and Nationalizing the Sea in South Korea in 1945~1950

(click here to read the paper)

Sei Jin Chang
(Visiting scholar, EALC)

With a response offered by
Ji Young Kim
(PhD Student, EALC)

June 9 (Wednesday)
2:00-4:00 PM
Judd 313

With the break up of the old Japanese imperial territory, the issue of space has surfaced in the ‘post-colonial’ era. This being precipitated by the mass migration of people to the Korean peninsula and the demarcation of the 38th parallel through the dynamics of global politics. Foucault’s point that the modern nation state is not completed until it occupies an exclusive national territory: “Space is central to any exercise of power” is worth noting in this regard. During this period, one of the characteristics of spatial discourse produced in South Korea was a ‘rediscovery’ of the sea or ocean which became politically inscribed within a cultural/national narrative, thus being given a new significance.

From a colonial perspective of Korean history, ‘peninsulaness’ is regarded as a central trope delineating its dependence on other countries. In such a construction, Korea is neither island (like Japan) nor imposing land empire (like China). But in this ‘Post- colonial’ period, it has come to be taken as a geographical benefit through which Korea can connect with both land and water. After the establishment of the South Korean government below the 38th parallel, an oceanic affinity has been much emphasized compared to a continental one. This discourse on water – seen by many as a binary between territorial waters and the open sea – became politicized and signified in its totality within the national. This political and conceptual shift evinces the way in which ‘the Pacific’ obtains new meaning in contrast to colonial period. The momentum of new meaning comes from three directions. First, the new discourse of the Pacific subverts the old: Japan and its pan-Asian imaginary, of which the Pacific forms a central discourse, is rendered ineffective in the closing scenes of the second World war. A new Pacific connection is made, that of America as the ‘Democratic’ victor which now occupies the position of the vanquished. Second, the Pacific is settled into the narrative of ‘honorable origin’ as the sacred space where the fight for Nation’s independence has taken place. This ‘glorious’ metaphor exists in relation to another, the Pacific ocean as theatre for national suffering during the war. Thus, it has been located at the centre of a nexus of meaning that has been colored by discourses of the Nation state. Finally, the most dramatic signification of the Pacific begins with the Cold war which accelerated after the communization of China in 1949. The sign of the Pacific –the locus of many poor countries – was transformed into a space to be preserved in competition with the USSR in the terms of bloc theory. The Pacific was regarded as ‘the sea of race’ before and during WWII, but it quickly gains new meaning as ‘the sea of ideology’ in the post-War era and beyond. In a word, the Pacific was the sign connected directly America as a global power which was seen as making the new spatial order of East-Asia after 1945, so-called ‘Postcolonial’ world.

The workshop is sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies and the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences.

Persons with a disability who believe they may need assistance, please contact Ji Young Kim (jiyoung22@uchicago.edu) or Ling Zhang (ling1@uchicago.edu)

June 3: Andre Schmid, Family and Domesticity Across the Cold War Divide: North and South Korea in the 1950s

Please join the Art and Politics of East Asia Workshop and the East Asia: Tranregional Histories Workshop on June 3 (Thursday), 4-6 p.m. HM 141.



Family and Domesticity Across the Cold War Divide:

North and South Korea in the 1950s

Andre Schmid

(Associate Professor of East Asian Studies, University of Toronto)

There is no paper for this workshop

 Thursday, June 3, 4:00-6:00 PM

Harper Memorial 141

1116 E. 59th Street

Chicago, IL 60637 

If you would like to be added to our mailing list and receive workshop updates, please contact jiyoung22@uchicago.edu

Faculty sponsors: Michael Bourdaghs, Paola Iovene 

The workshop is sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies and the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences. Persons with a disability who believe they may need assistance, please contact Ji Young Kim (jiyoung22@uchicago.edu) or Ling Zhang (ling1@uchicago.edu)