Tian Li Korea Foundation-Korea Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, Korea Institute, Harvard University (Ph.D. in East Asian Studies from the University of California, Irvine)
Before joining the Korea Institute as a Korea Foundation-Korea Institute Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard, Tian Li was a lecturer at Stanford University teaching Asian Screen Cultures. She received her Ph.D. in East Asian Studies from the University of California, Irvine. She specializes in Korean and Chinese film, media, and cultural studies. Her articles appear in such journals as Telos, China Perspectives, and Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies. Her current book project Screen-capitalism: Transnational Korean Screen Culture in Postsocialist China investigates the shifting paradigms of cultural dynamics within Korean and Chinese screen media, at their intersection with affect, aesthetic, gender, and ideology.
Chaired by Alexander Zahlten, Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University
Abstract: The cultural phenomenon known as Korean Wave (Hallyu) has flourished in the Chinese mainland since the 1990s, both officially and unofficially, despite looming political conflicts and cultural boycotts. Although the term Hallyu was initially coined in the Chinese context and the phenomenon has reshaped the contours of Chinese pop culture, Sino-Korean screen media relations have received little attention in the English-language scholarship. This project theorizes South Korean screen culture’s transnationality through the concept of what I term screen-capitalism—a system of visual relations that foregrounds the negotiation of boundaries via affective and sensory co-experiences. It does so by scrutinizing the (re)localization of Korean screen culture, namely Chinese remakes of Korean variety television programs, Sino-Korean film and television co-productions and co-consumptions, and the deployment of screen-capitalism in Chinese screen cultures following Hallyu’s transformation into an Amnyu (undercurrent) in China. This talk will show how Korean screen media has been transplanted into different cultural, ideological, and linguistic communities, through mimicked and incorporative modes. By demonstrating the compatibility of screen-capitalism’s logic with both capitalist and (post)socialist societies, I contend that this mechanism, insofar as it is fluidly transplantable, ideologically permeable, and transnationally gendered, circulates a shifting cultural paradigm both on and off screen.
Sunglim Kim Associate Professor of Korean Art History at Dartmouth College
Sunglim Kim is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Asian Societies, Cultures, and Languages (ASCL) Program at Dartmouth College. Her research interests include pre-modern and 20th-century Korean painting, cultural exchanges between Korea and the world, and women and gender matters in Korean art. She is the author of a book, Flowering Plums and Curio Cabinets: The Culture of Objects in Late Chosŏn Korean Art,and numerous articles. She is currently organizing a traveling exhibition on the contemporary Korean ink painter Park Dae-Sung in the United States and is writing a book on that painter. Kim is also preparing a book on women artists and art movements in modern and contemporary Korea.
Chaired by Sun Joo Kim, Harvard-Yenching Professor of Korean History; Director, Korea Institute, Harvard University
Abstract: First appearing in the late 18th century, ch’aekkŏri is a genre of Korean still life painting depicting books, ceramics, antiques, plants, fruits, and other objects. Ch’aekkŏriscreens arose with the flourishing of material culture in the late Chosŏndynasty, and were used to represent their owners’ wealth, status, and aspirations through the represented objects. Simultaneously, artists began to employ mass production techniques to meet the high demand for this new art form. There are three types of ch’aekkŏri: “bookshelf,” “tabletop,” and “isolated.” In this talk, we will see how Korean painters produced tabletop ch’aekkŏri, by looking at extant underdrawings and comparing them with various ch’aekkŏri screens that may have been produced based on them. We also will closely examine the isolated ch’aekkŏri screen in the Harvard Art Museums collection, exploring its aesthetics, symbolism, and social context.
Short presentations on Harvard collections, art and rare books.
SBS Seminar; co-sponsored by the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research (This event is part of the Race and Racism in Asia and Beyond Series, co-sponsored by the Harvard Asia Center, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Program on US-Japan Relations, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies)
Mitchell Lerner Professor of History; Director, East Asian Studies Center, The Ohio State University
Mitchell Lerner is professor of history at The Ohio State University, and director of the East Asian Studies Center. His research and teaching focus is on modern American diplomatic and political history during the Cold War, with an emphasis on U.S.-Korean relations.
Lerner's first book, The Pueblo Incident: A Spy Ship and the Failure of American Foreign Policy, was published in 2002 by the University Press of Kansas. The book won the 2002 John Lyman Book Award for the best work of U.S. Naval History, and was named by the American Library Association as one of 50 "historically significant works" that would not have been published after the passage of Executive Order 13233. It was also nominated for the Pulitzer and Bancroft Prizes. He is also editor of three volumes that work at the intersection of American politics and foreign policy.
He has published articles about modern American politics and foreign policy (often with a Korean focus) in numerous anthologies and journals, including Diplomatic History, Diplomacy & Statecraft, the Journal of Military History, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Journal of East Asian Affairs; Journal of Cold War Studies,and the Journal of East Asian Relations. He is currently at work on a policy history of the Johnson administration, as well as a broad study of U.S.-Korean relations during the Cold War.
Lerner was elected to the governing council of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations in 2008, and is on the advisory board of the North Korea International Documentation Project, directed by the Cold War International History Project at the Wilson Center for Scholars. He has also served as a fellow at the University of Virginia's Miller Center for Public Affairs, and in 2005-06 he held the Mary Ball Washington Distinguished Fulbright Chair at University College-Dublin. In 2019, he was selected to the Association of Asian Studies’ Distinguished Speakers Bureau, and also delivered the National Security Agency’s Center for Cryptologic History annual Henry Schorrek Memorial Lectures.
Lerner has received fellowships and grants from the Korea Foundation, Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library, Dwight Eisenhower Presidential Library, and John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. He has served as editor of Passport: The Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations Review, and is now associate editor of the Journal of American-East Asian Relations. In 2005, Lerner won the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, and in 2019, he won the Ohio Academy of History Distinguished Teacher Prize.
Chaired by Nicholas Harkness, Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University
Abstract: The relationship between the Korean War and the African American civil rights movement is one that has been largely overlooked in the historical literature. This presentation traces the struggles of the African American community during the war, focusing in particular on the battlefield experiences of African American soldiers, to conclude that Korea served as a pivotal moment in directing the civil rights effort towards the more overtly aggressive posture that is commonly associated with the war in Vietnam. This talk will suggest that the experiences of African American soldiers along the 38th parallel provided a critical step towards the increased disillusionment and militancy of the subsequent decade.
Jinsoo An Associate Professor, Korean Studies, Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of California, Berkeley
Jinsoo An is Associate Professor at the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures of the University of California, Berkeley. He received his doctoral degree from the Department of Film and Television of UCLA and subsequently taught at Hongik University in Seoul, South Korea before joining the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2012. His research interests encompass Korean film history, East Asian cinema, film genre, authorship, history and memory, film historiography, and film censorship. His articles have appeared in positions: asia critique, Journal of Korean Studies, Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, and China Review. His 2018 book, Parameters of Disavowal: Colonial Representation in South Korean Cinema, reassesses South Korea's cinematic rendition of the colonial past as a particular type of knowledge production integral to the historical and cultural logic of the Cold War system. His current research focuses on South Korean cinema under authoritarianism and practices of film censorship during the 1970s.
Chaired by Alexander Zahlten, Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University
Abstract: This presentation begins with a recurring feature in Kim Kiyoung’s films that critics have often pointed out but rarely analyzed: the characters’ peculiar speech patterns. Often labeled as a “plain-form” style (“munŏch’e”), the characters frequently take resort to a non-colloquial, pontificating mode of address in his films. The presentation aims to cast light on this and other linguistic features that make up Kim’s oeuvre. It identifies and analyzes several sequences that exemplify Kim’s experiment with language and explain their representational significance. Specifically, it explores the ramifications of this feature by linking it to other aesthetic principles of Kim’s films. Lastly, it puts forward an argument that Kim’s linguistic experiment holds a key for a new understanding of Kim’s aesthetic achievement.
Si Nae Park Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University
Discussant: Wiebke Denecke, Visiting Professor of East Asian Literatures, MIT
Chaired by Karen Thornber, Harry Tuchman Levin Professor in Literature and Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University; Acting Director, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Fall 2020