[KS] Spring 2006 issue of the Korea Journal

Korea Journal kj at unesco.or.kr
Wed Apr 26 04:07:07 EDT 2006

Dear List members

We are pleased to announce the publication of the spring 2006 issue of the KOREA JOURNAL. This issue features the special topic: “Contemporary Korean Cinema: Industry, Art, and Ideology.” It also includes five articles and three book reviews.
1. Contemporary Korean Cinema: Industry, Art, and Ideology
Over the past decades, Korean films have made remarkable progress both qualitatively and quantitatively. Last year, Korean films far exceeded 50% of the local film market share. Early this year, a Korean film, The King and The Clown hit a new record number of viewers in Korean film history, and during recent years, the number of exported Korean films has significantly increased. As a preparatory step towards the Korean-US Free Trade Agreement, the Korean government announced its plan to scale back the film quota, thus reducing the number of days during which Korean films are obliged to run in local movie theaters; this fuelled tremendous resistance from people engaged in the film industry. In addition, Korean directors, actors, and actresses have won prizes at prestige international film festivals. 
With these developments in mind, the spring 2006 issue of the KOREA JOURNAL provides an opportunity for us to examine Korean film more closely, both as an object of public attention and as a leader of Korean popular culture. It might thus be said that the very selection of “Korean film” as a topic in KOREA JOURNAL signifies the changed status of Korean films. It should also be noted that academic research into film, coupled with the growth of the film industry, has bloomed. Various theories, such as deconstructionism and psychoanalysis, have been utilized to offer a resourceful analysis of films. Using these academic resources, KOREA JOURNAL examines the realities of Korean films, which may also contribute to making Korean films more widely known.
While introducing three genres of Korean cinema—auteur-oriented films, “packaged films,” and Korean-style blockbusters, Kim Byeongcheol views these three as a Korean economic and cultural response to the globalization of Hollywood. Moon Jae-cheol argues that recent Korean films are characterized by a desire for newness, and then reads in contemporary cinema the tendency to distance themselves from grand narratives, such as progress and ideology, to prioritize image over narrative and theme, and liberate themselves from responsibility to the societal role of films. Relying on a feminist and psychoanalytic approach, Kim Soyoung examines how Peppermint Candy, a film that is assumed to have a “progressive” political stance, duplicates a patriarchal and totalitarian way of thinking. While reading themes of language, space, and vengeance found in the so-called vengeance trilogy by Park Chan-wook, Kim Kyung Hyun sheds light on the new political and moral realities of present-day society.
Kim Byeongcheol (Kyunghee Univ.) / Production and Consumption of Contemporary Korean Cinema
Moon Jae-cheol (Chung-Ang Univ.) / The Meaning of Newness in Korean Cinema: Korean New Waves and After
Kim Soyoung (Korean National University of Arts) / Do Not Include Me in Your “Us”: Peppermint Candy and the Politics of Difference
Kim Kyung Hyun (UC Irvine) / “Tell the Kitchen That There’s Too Much Buchu in the Dumpling”: Reading Park Chan-wook’s “Unknowable” Old Boy
2. Research papers 
Based on primary sources, Chung Yong-Hwa demonstrates that the Japanese gaze and Orientalism intervened in the making of a Korean self-image from the end of the 19th century to the early 20th century. Hyaeweol Choi uses the novel, Ewa (1906), by Arthur Noble, an American missionary, to examine how Western subjectivity was shaped (or reshaped) in the Korean context. Through this, she presents an alternative perspective to the assumption of “Western superiority and Eastern inferiority.” Kim Young-Hoon argues that Choe Seung-hui and her popularity were closely connected with the birth of modernity in Korea. Park Yunjae compares Japanese and British medical policy in Korea and Japan, which helps readers to more fully understand the realities of Japanese colonial policy in Korea. Park Hee-byoung argues that Korean Studies should arm itself with the viewpoint of integrated humanities in the 21st century.
Chung Yong-Hwa (Yonsei Univ.) / The Modern Transformation of Korean Identity: Enlightenment and Orientalism
Hyaeweol Choi (Arizona State Univ.) / (En)Gendering a New Nation in Missionary Discourse: An Analysis of W. Arthur Noble’s Ewa
Kim Young-Hoon (Ewha Womans Univ.) / Border-Crossing: Choe Seung-hui's Life and the Modern Experience
Park Yunjae (Yonsei. Univ.) / Medical Policies toward Indigenous Medicine in Colonial Korea and India
Park Hee-byoung (Seoul National Univ.) / Korean Studies as Integrated Humanities
3. Book Reviews
Do Myeon-hoe (Daejeon Univ.) / The Yoke of Research on Modern Korean History: Dichotomy of Invasion and Resistance
Suh Young-hee (Korea Polytechnic University) / Outdated Research Framework and Prejudice in the Study of Korean Modern History: A Reply to Professor Do Myeon-hoe's Review of My Book
Shin Kwang-yeong (Chung-Ang Univ.) / Why Has Welfare System Scarcely Developed in South Korea?

Korea Journal

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