[KS] CfP Film and History: The Korean Example, SOAS, University of London, 5-6 November 2015

Hyunseon Lee hyunseon.lee at uni-tuebingen.de
Sun Jul 5 06:52:27 EDT 2015

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce a Call for Papers for an interdisciplinary
international conference /Film and History: The Korean Example i/n November
2015. The date for the conference is 5-6 November 2015. We are particularly
delighted that this conference will be held within the London Korean Film
Festival 2015 (2.- 14. November) which is set to celebrate its tenth
anniversary, and that a number of renowned Korean film directors and
practitioners will be joining the conference.



DATES:    5-6 NOVEMBER 2015

VENUE: SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London,
Russell Square, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1B 5 DN and Korean Cultural
Centre UK, Grand Buildings, 1-3 Strand London WC2N 5BW (TBC)

Cinema has become a battle ground upon which history is made – a major
mass medium of the twentieth century dealing with history. Films with
historical incidents include not only historical drama and documentary but
also other genres such as melodrama, modern political drama, thrillers,
martial arts and war films. The social functions of these films are also
diverse: from remembering, writing or inventing national histories to
educating and transporting spectators to enable them to deal with
experienced or future catastrophes.

The re-enactments of historical events in film straddle reality and
fantasy, documentary and fiction, representation and performance,
entertainment and education. The filmic forms of collective cultural memory
offer wide-ranging research possibilities in the fields of history, film,
media and cultural studies.

In recent years, research on film and history, particularly war films, has
noticeably increased. Several film theorists have already raised questions
such as; can film make a positive contribution to the explanation of
history? Can filmic depictions function as historical source material? Can
film offer particular knowledge which other media cannot provide? These
questions are increasingly relevant as our multimedia society continues to

The following conference aims to explore the changing modes, impacts and
functions of screen images dealing with history with the case study of
Korean cinema. As with all national film industries, observing North and
South Korean film histories,  Korean cinema functions as a mass medium of
inventing national identity, national history and also establishing their
legitimacy – both in forgetting the past and remembering history. Korean
films also play a part in forging cultural national memory. Korea as a
colonized and divided nation clearly adopted different approaches to the
filmic depiction of history compared to colonial powers such as Western or
Japanese cinema. The Korean War (1950-53) draws particular attention as
this has been a major topic shaping the narrative of nation in North and
South Korean films.

Why does film need history, and history film? Why has film become an
important medium to interpret history, correct or even invent it? In what
way are independent single author films different from recent blockbuster
historical dramas? Which historical figures, battles and events became
filmic myths? In which way, and with what kind of film- and genre
aesthetics (compared to other media), have the characters of the mythic
figures, for example General Yi Sun Shin, continued or changed? Why are
they popular? With which theoretical tools can we describe the historical
re-enactment in each film in the appropriate way?
This interdisciplinary conference will examine the relationship between
film and history and the links between historical research and filmic
presentations of history with special reference to North and South Korean
cinema. The above questions will be explored. Papers on other aspects of
Film and History will also be considered.

_Call for Papers_
Proposals for individual papers (presentations will be limited to 20
Minutes) and/or 90-minute panel sessions should include an abstract of 300
words and the name, institutional affiliation, a 100 word biography of the
author, and the title of the paper. Please send proposals in a WORD file by
MONDAY, 3 AUGUST 2015 to Dr. Hyunseon Lee hs53 at soas.ac.uk
We aim to notify successful applicants by 14 August 2015. Participants are
encouraged to send the complete paper of 5,500 - 6,000 words by October
15th, 2015.  Please note that selected papers from the conference will be
considered for publication. For all enquiries, please contact Dr. Hyunseon
Lee hs53 at soas.ac.uk

This is a non-profit event which is free and open to the public.  We
therefore encourage successful applicants to apply for funding from their
own university.  The organizers will make an effort to secure funding for
accommodation and economy travel expenses to presenters (from outside
London) whose papers have been accepted. Further details will be confirmed
when the paper has been accepted.

Best wishes
Hyunseon Lee

Hyunseon Lee, PhD. habil.
Centre of Korean Studies & Centre for Film Studies
SOAS, University of London
Russell Square, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1B 5 DN, UK
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