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For other UW Korea related lectures and events please visit the calendars at the East Asia Center, and Asian Languages and Literature.

This Week

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January 2015

Entertainment Industry in Korea: Synergy of Industrialization and Democratization

Tuesday January 27, 2015
Thomson 317

Sang Jo Jong

Center for Korea Studies

 South Korea is unique in the sense that it achieved both industrialization and democratization in just half a century. During the course of rapid changes, it became clear that much benefit can be gained from the synergy of industrialization and democratization. In this colloquium, Prof. Sang Jo Jong will share with the audience how the entertainment industry was one of the sectors that benefited from such a synergy. His real-life case study on the entertainment industry in Korea will provide law and policy implications in other nations as well.

Currenntly serving as the Garvey Schubert Barer Visiting Professor at the University of Washington, Prof. Sang Jo Jong is the Dean and Professor of Law at Seoul National University. He graduated from Seoul National University and completed his Ph.D. studies at the London School of Economics. His researches and teachings focus on copyright, trademark, patent, and unfair competition laws. Prof. Jong has served as a civilian member of the Presidential Council of Intellectual Property, the Director of the Center for Law & Technology, Seoul National University and a Panel Member of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center. His publications include “The Legal Protection of Computer Programs with Particular Reference to U.K., U.S., Japan & Korea,” “Contributory Infringement of Patents in Korea,” “Property versus Misappropriation: Legal Protection for Databases in Korea,” “Criminalization of Netizens for the Access to On-line Music,” and “Fair Use: A Tale of Two Cities, Intellectual Property in Common Law and Civil Law.”

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February 2015

Jesters on the Streets: Satire in North Korea

Thursday February 5, 2015
Thomson 317

Dmitry mironenko

Center for Korea Studies

As the Soviet state was going through the process of de-Stalinization at home and trying to implement the same policies abroad in its satellite countries, it brought the public in close contact with a rich body of satire, both contemporary and classic. The impact of this campaign on the North Korean society at large was profound as much as it was unexpected in its outcome. A call for an all-out satirical offensive was not too enthusiastically embraced by professional writers, but found a welcome audience with ordinary people who were also invited to participate in the nationwide process of satirizing their fellows. The working masses took to the new fad of self-made satire, finding in it the justification for their own tricks and pranks, much to the chagrin of cultural officials, as their productions quickly began to take them outside the boundaries set by the new policy. As a result, we see an explosion of street play during this period, with the street itself emerging as a site of play in the absence of a well-developed infrastructure of leisure and entertainment. This paper describes the genesis of the North Korean jester, first, as an object of official representation and, later, as an object of self-representation and the main protagonist of everyday shows of comic disobedience, which lay at the foundation of an emerging pervasive culture of antidiscipline.

Dima Mironenko received his B.A. in Diplomacy/Korean Studies from Moscow State University of International Relations in 2005 and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Korean History and Film and Visual Studies from Harvard University in 2007 and 2014, respectively. Dima’s research interests encompass cultural history, cinema and visual studies, humor, and the study of gender and sexuality. His dissertation “A Jester with Chameleon Faces: Laughter and Comedy in North Korea, 1954-1969” explores the question of agency within the realm of everyday living by looking at the emergence of a laughing subject in North Korea in the wake of the Korean War (1950-53) and the state’s efforts to discipline this subject through cinema. Dima is the founder of the Korean Cinémathèque at Harvard which he curated from 2009 to 2012. He is currently a Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University. In 2000, Dima spent a semester as an exchange student at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang


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The Disappearing Future: Korean Literature during the Asia-Pacific War

Tuesday February 17, 2015
3:30-5:00 pm
Thomson 317

Janet Poole

Center for Korea Studies

 The future seems to disappear from Korean fiction written under late 1930s colonial fascist rule as a stream of protagonists wind their weary way through a repetitive daily life, dreaming of past glories or present escapes. Critics at the time noted the widespread phenomenon of nostalgia and the craze for reading the classics; revolutionaries struggled to imagine a transformed, and postcolonial, society; and all writers had to confront the shrinking space of publication for printed letters and the demand to write in the imperial language, Japanese. Yet what forms of time come to the fore when the future seemingly disappears and what does this suggest about modernism in the Japanese empire and in a global fascist moment?

Janet Poole teaches Korean literature and cultural theory at the University of Toronto. Her exploration of Korean modernist writers’ response to Japanese fascist occupation during the Pacific War recently appeared as When the Future Disappears: The Modernist Imagination of Late Colonial Korea (Columbia University Press, 2014). She has translated the works of many writers from colonial Korea, including a collection of anecdotal essays published during the Pacific War by Yi T'aejun, Eastern Sentiments (Columbia University Press, paperback edition, 2013), and a bilingual edition of Ch’oe Myŏngik’s melancholic elegy to interwar Pyongyang, Walking in the Rain (ASIA Publishers, 2015). 

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Center for Korea Studies