Forthcoming Events

2018 Events

Monash University Korean Studies

Free events. All welcome! No registration necessary.
Organized by Monash University Korean Studies.

For further information, please contact Andy Jackson: andy.jackson@monash.edu


The Melbourne Metropolitan Korean Studies Seminar Series

Seminar 1

‘Collecting power or compromise: K-pop fandom objectivised’

Dr Roald Maliangkay (ANU)

Date Wednesday 14 March 2018 4pm – 6pm
Location: Library-Matheson T1 CL 40Exh (36), Library-Matheson T2 CL 40Exh (45) (map)

Abstract:

Popular culture is commonly associated with national rather than individual soft power. And yet, the consumption patterns of individuals equally serve to attract the other. People are keenly aware of the socio-political significance of their consumption. They may not actively seek out the most significant purchase they could make, but they generally conform to a pattern of consumption that best reflects their aspirations, which social media allows them to advertise widely and instantly. Of course, not all consumption is a collection per se, but the compound selections people make serve to establish a trait. As Baudrillard put it, “it is invariably oneself that one collects”. K-pop, however, may be different. After all, little social credit may be earned from something that can be easily downloaded, and of which even limited editions are readily available, and relatively affordable. What is more, the average lifespan of a K-pop act is short and may quickly leave their collectors looking out of touch. What, then, drives so many K-pop fans to collect, and what characterizes their collections? In my talk I will discuss what may drive people towards collections and explain the unique place occupied by K-pop fandom.

Biography

Roald Maliangkay is Associate Professor in Korean studies at the Australian National University. Fascinated by the mechanics of cultural policy and the convergence of major cultural phenomena, Roald analyses cultural industries, performance and consumption in Korea from the early twentieth century to the present.


The Melbourne Metropolitan Korean Studies Seminar Series

Seminar 2

‘Sanctions and Staying Power: North Korea in 2018’

Dr. Andray Abrahamian
Pacific Forum CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies)

Date: Thursday 22 March 2018 4pm – 6pm
Location: E561 (fifth floor, East Wing, room 561), Menzies Building, 20 Chancellors Walk, Monash University, Clayton Campus, Victoria 3800 (close to bus loop).

Abstract

North Korea under Kim Jong Un is different to North Korea under Kim Jong Il. It is more marketized than every before, with less government ambivalence about entrepreneurship and commerce than in the past. It also appears to have taken denuclearization off the negotiating table and has pushed forward with its weapons programmes at an unprecedented rate. Because of this, it now faces the tightest sanctions regime in its history: over 90% of its legitimate export products are now banned. Will these sanctions force North Korea back to the negotiating table and create a path to denuclearization? What options does the Trump administration have and what new risks have emerged with a new presidency? This talk will provide a sketch of the current iteration of the North Korean nuclear issue, examining its impact on both domestic social and economic change, as well as North Korea’s international relations.

Biography

Dr. Andray Abrahamian is an Honorary Fellow at Macquarie University and a member of the U.S. National Committee on North Korea. He is also a Research Fellow at Pacific Forum CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies), Affiliate Scholar at the East-West Center and an Adjunct Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute. He is a frequent media commentator on Korea issues, has lived in Myanmar and visited North Korea dozens of times.


The Melbourne Metropolitan Korean Studies Seminar Series

Seminar 3

‘Myanmar and North Korea: Divergent Paths’

Dr. Andray Abrahamian
Pacific Forum CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies)

Date: Friday 23rd March 2018: 2-3.30pm
Location: Deakin University, Burwood and Geelong:

Abstract

The stories of North Korea and Myanmar (Burma) are two of Asia’s most difficult. For decades they were infamous as the region’s most militarized and repressed, self-isolated and under sanctions by the international community while, from Singapore to Japan, the rest of Asia saw historic wealth creation and growing middle class security. Andray Abrahamian, author of the recent book North Korea and Myanmar: Divergent Paths (McFarland, 2018), examines and compares the recent histories of North Korea and Myanmar, asking how both became pariahs and why Myanmar has been able to find a path out of isolation while North Korea has not. He finds that both countries were faced with severe security threats following decolonization. Myanmar was able to largely take care of its main threats in the 1990s and 2000s, allowing it the space to address the reasons for its pariah status. North Korea’s response to its security threat has been to develop nuclear weapons, which in turn perpetuates and exacerbates its isolation and pariah status. In addition, Pyongyang has developed a state ideology and a coercive apparatus unmatched by Myanmar, insulating its decision makers from political pressures and issues of legitimacy to a greater degree.


Seminar

‘Is the DPRK really a ‘Train Wreck in Slow Motion’? The Prospects for a People’s Power Rebellion in North Korea’

Dr Andy Jackson (Monash University Korean Studies)

Date: Wednesday 28th March 2018 1:pm- 2:pm
Location Japanese Studies Centre Auditorium, 12 Ancoro Imparo Way

Abstract:

Predictions of the collapse of North Korea (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK) have arisen repeatedly in the last thirty years. One scenario put forward by both researchers and journalists has been a People’s Power (or popular) rebellion. Victor Cha, for example, argues that cases of unrest since the 1980s show that an ideological clash between official state policy and a rapidly marketizing society will result in an imminent rebellion. This paper uses theories about (1) regional occurrences of rebellion and (2) military defection from autocratic regimes to opposition movements. It analyses data about unrest (food riots, protests and violent clashes) taken from researchers, defector testimony and South Korean media reports since the 1980s and examines the military institutional structure of the DPRK. The available data indicates there is a highly uneven pattern of unrest that does not spread beyond remote coastal or border regions in the northeast and northwest. Reduced levels of violence during unrest suggest authorities have developed new strategies using counteractive methods targeted at individuals rather than opening fire on crowds. These new strategies may have helped hinder the spread of violence.The overall patterns of unrest do not point to the type of central state collapse that occurred in Romania in 1989 or Tunisia in 2011, but a regionally restricted and potentially bloody conflict. The DPRK lacks a dissident political elite capable of leading an opposition movement, and neither does it have the type of personalistic institutional ruling structure that increases the likelihood of military defection to an opposition movement. In sum, the likelihood of a popular rebellion in the DPRK is far from certain.


Quiz on Korea

Date: Thursday 19 April 2018 5-9pm
Location: H1.16 Caulfield

Korea, event for Korean Studies students, co-organised with Monash Korean Studies and Korean Consulate

Details: TBA


The Melbourne Metropolitan Korean Studies Seminar Series

Seminar 4

‘Creating an Anti-Communist Motion Picture Producers’ Network in Korea: The Asia Foundation and the Korean Motion Picture Cultural Association (KMPCA)’

Sangjoon Lee
Nanyang Technological University
Singapore

Date: Wednesday 9 May 2018 2-2:30pm
Location: Deakin University, Burwood Corporate Centre

Abstract:

Under the leadership of its first president Robert Blum (1953-1962), The Asia Foundation, a private non-profit organization which was established in 1951, was actively involved in the motion picture industries in Asia since its first feature film project The People Win Through, based on a play written by a Burmese Prime Minister U Nu, came out in 1953. Roughly from 1953 to 1959, to win the battle for hearts and minds in Asia, The Asia Foundation had clandestinely supported anti-Communist motion picture industry personnel, ranging from producers, directors, and technicians to critics, writers, and general intellectuals in Japan, Hong Kong, Burma, Korea, as well as American and British producers in Malaya and Thailand in mostly indirect ways. Nagata Masaichi-initiated Federation of Motion Picture Producers in Southeast Asia (FPA) and its annual Southeast Asian Film Festival had been the Foundation’s core venture and other motion picture operations in Asia, Chang Kuo-sin’s Asia Pictures in Hong Kong and Korean Motion Picture Cultural Association (KMPCA) in Korea, were more or less related outcomes of FPA. What The Asia Foundation’s motion picture project team had hoped for was the construction of the league of anti-Communist motion picture producers in Asia in order to win the psychological war against Communism. Although It was, in the end, a failed project, but it should be noted that The Asia Foundation had played a significant role in the formation of the inter-Asian motion picture industry network in Cold War Asia, which had ultimately redrawn the imaginary and geo-political map of Asia. Drawing archival materials from Asia Foundation Records and Robert Blum Papers, this presentation is primarily concerned with the origins of the Foundation’s motion picture project in Japan and Korea, with a view to explore the ways in which the U.S. government-led cold war cultural policies had influenced the regional film industry.

Biography

Sangjoon Lee is Assistant Professor of Asian Cinema at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Lee is the editor of Hallyu 2.0: The Korean Wave in the Age of Social Media (University of Michigan Press, 2015) and is currently editing Rediscovering Korean Cinema for University of Michigan Press (forthcoming 2020). His writing has appeared in such journals as Film History, Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television, Journal of Korean Studies, Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, and Transnational Cinemas. He is currently working on a monograph tentatively titled The Asian Cinema Network: The Asian Film Festival and the Cultural Cold War in Asia.


The Melbourne Metropolitan Korean Studies Seminar Series

Seminar 5

‘The South Korean Film Industry’

Sangjoon Lee
Nanyang Technological University
Singapore

Date: Thursday 10 May 2018, 4pm-6pm,
Location: Library-Matheson T4 CL 44Exh (43), Clayton Campus, Monash University

Abstract:

South Korean cinema has been one of the most striking case studies of non-western cinema success stories in the age of the neo-liberal world order where Hollywood dominates the world’s mind, heart, and soul. Under the tsunami of America-led Hollywoodization of the world’s media marketplace, South Korean cinema has successfully defended and keeps maintaining its industry remarkably healthy. In 2001 South Korea became the first film industry in recent history to reclaim its domestic market back from Hollywood. New York-based film magazine Film Comment proclaims that South Korean cinema is “one of the greatest renaissances in global filmmaking the world has ever seen” (2004). And in 2014 local films had a 62% market share in South Korea, the highest such figures in the world, except America and India. In less than two decades, South Korea’s film industry has blossomed from a small-scale curiosity into a vibrant business mimicking the earlier transformation of Hong Kong’s film industry in the process. Moreover, adding to this film industry success story, the high-quality South Korean local product flowed outward to global film markets to connect with international audiences in commercial cinemas, art theatres, at major international film festivals, and new platforms like Netflix and iTunes. Such acclaimed directors like Chan-wook Park, Bong Joon-ho, Hong Sang-soo, Lee Chang-dong, and Kim Jiwoon have now become household names in world cinema today. The goal of this introductory lecture on the Korean film industry is to develop a broad understanding of Korean cinema exploring their wide-ranging impact and asking how they participate in the transnational production and circulation of culture, ideology, modernity, politics, and tradition in both regional and international contexts.

Biography

Sangjoon Lee is Assistant Professor of Asian Cinema at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Lee is the editor of Hallyu 2.0: The Korean Wave in the Age of Social Media (University of Michigan Press, 2015) and is currently editing Rediscovering Korean Cinema for University of Michigan Press (forthcoming 2020). His writing has appeared in such journals as Film History, Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television, Journal of Korean Studies, Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, and Transnational Cinemas. He is currently working on a monograph tentatively titled The Asian Cinema Network: The Asian Film Festival and the Cultural Cold War in Asia.


Korean Studies Conference

‘Reimagining Korean Identity through Wars, Money, Ideas and Exchanges: 70 years’ Identity Transformation’

Monash University Korean Studies, Melbourne, Australia.

Date: August 17-18, 2018.
Location:
August 17, Matheson Library: ISB Meeting Room L1.04/ L1.02, Clayton Campus 9:00am – 6:30pm
August 18, Japanese Studies Centre meeting room & Auditorium 8:30am – 6:30pm

Details: TBA


Korean Studies Speech contest

Date: 20 September 2018, 5-9pm
Location: H1.16 Caulfield

Details: TBA


The Melbourne Metropolitan Korean Studies Seminar Series Biannual Meeting

Monash University Korean Studies, Melbourne, Australia.

Date: Friday 12 October 2018 9am – 5pm (AEDT)
Location: S Building, S901/ S9.02 Caulfield Campus, Melbourne.

Details: TBA


Free events. All welcome! No registration necessary.

Organized by Monash University Korean Studies

For further information, please contact Andy Jackson: andy.jackson@monash.edu