[KS] CFP: MLA 2021 (Toronto, Jan 7-10), LLC Korean (March 15 deadline)

Dafna Zur dafnaz at stanford.edu
Mon Mar 9 13:56:28 EDT 2020

Dear colleagues,

Please find two CFPs for the 2021 MLA convention, below:

1. The Persistence of Encoded Bias: Algorithmic Hegemony in Korean Media

Short description: Encoded biases and/or biased codes in Korea’s mediascape, including gender/age/class/race/religion-based prejudices in media, literature, platforms, and products (e.g. AI assistants). 250-word abstract and one-page CV by March 15 to Haerin Shin (h<mailto:haerin.shin at vanderbilt.edu>elenshin at stanford.kr<mailto:elenshin at stanford.kr>).
Long Description: Recent advancements in research and application have established machine learning as not only a pervasive base structure but also a superstructural presence that reflects and shapes the public domain. Seemingly impartial due to its computational nature yet constitutionally reliant upon existent identificatory parameters such as gender, race, nationality, religion, class, and age, algorithmic reasoning is in fact heavily steeped in human bias. Korea’s mediascape is no exception, feeding on and in turn feeding into hegemonic discourses that persist across discrete substrates. The power of algorithmic hegemony extends over a wide spectrum of networked interactions and their representations to encompass ecommerce, OTT platforms, manufacturing, social media, and entertainment services; implementations of aggregate user behavior data produce gender-profiled results in search engine autosuggest features, for example, while facial recognition software trained in biased or flawed datasets even proves fatal in autonomous vehicles or home security programs. This panel seeks papers that explore such instances of algorithmically powered hegemonies in Korean media and/or its representation, with attention to the particularities of social susceptibility that stem from Korea’s robust telecommunications infrastructure and super-wired userbase. Literally enacted through their execution, how do encoded biases and biased codes persist in mediated experience, and subsequently, the tangible fabrics of our lives? Topics may include readings of television, film, literature, videogames, platforms, consumer products (e.g. AI assistants), or social media trends that instantiate or represent such phenomena.

2. Narrative Notes: Music, Poetry, and Affect in Modern and Contemporary Korea

Short description: Relationship between music and narrative in modern Korea, including music as affective language, music and language education, censorship/protest, music and nation/division/diaspora, etc. 250-word abstract and one-page c.v. by March 15 to Susan Hwang (shwang1 at indiana.edu<mailto:shwang1 at indiana.edu>) and Dafna Zur (dafnaz at stanford.edu<mailto:dafnaz at stanford.edu>)

Long Description: Analyses of music and narrative often proceed on parallel tracks, separated by their respective disciplinary grammar. However, an approach that brings together music and narrative can reveal the culturally- and socially-informed contexts into which they are conceived, as well as the extent to which they are mutually powered. Music’s non-verbal capacity to reach unconventional audiences can carry words into diverse spaces, galvanizing people in acts of protest or fostering collective belonging. The inherent power of melody can enhance a text; at the same time, it can undermine and distort the very text it is meant to amplify. This panel seeks to raise theoretical concerns around the relationships between the textual and the musical, between literacy and orality, the written and the performative, the emotive and the referential. By interrogating these relationships, this panel asks: How does the sung word enable political participation and/or revolutionary thrusts during times of surveillance and repression? In what ways does contemplating the “literary” and the “musical” together take us beyond the boundaries of the Korean nation? What is the role of music in augmenting the power of literature beyond representation and meaning-making to affect? Topics may include formation of sonic communities, music as affective language, music and language education, protest and music, music and censorship, politicization of music and literature, music of diaspora, national division and music, etc.  ​

Dr. Dafna Zur

Associate Professor, Korean Literature and Culture, Stanford University
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Director of the Center for East Asian Studies

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