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Aesthetics of the Male Body in Korea and Japan Collaboratory

Korea Research & Engagement Centre

Curtin University

23-24th November 2023, Bentley campus

Event summary

This Collaboratory will bring together leading scholars in the field of Korean and Japanese masculinity studies, to examine how beauty aesthetics, fashion and grooming intersect with gender and masculinities in Japan and Korea. While both Korean and Japanese beauty aesthetics often feature in media and have spawned multitude of dissertations and media articles on K-pop and J-pop masculinities in particular, this research Collaboratory seeks to bring together academics working on Japanese and Korean to examine and analyse male aesthetics in the two countries in both comparative focus. 

The aim of this Collaboratory is for the workshop participants to workshop each other’s early drafts and ideas, provide collegial and constructive feedback, and ultimately produce an edited volume on Japanese and Korean male body aesthetics. First of its kind in taking such comparative lens, the participants will contribute to  a volume grounded in recent developments in masculinity theory in ways that seeks to build on and expand existing understandings of global masculinities  through analysing representations of the male body in the context of two beauty cultures that often seem to run counter to Eurocentric understandings of normative or hegemonic masculinity. As such the collaborative volume will seek to challenge existing ideas of ‘global’ or ‘transnational’ masculinities and the social and symbolic meanings attached to these in local Japanese and Korean contexts.

Confirmed participants:

Professor Laura Miller (University of Missouri St. Louis) 

Associate Professor Jo Elfving-Hwang (Curtin University) 

Dr Debbie Chan (Curtin University) 

Dr Masafumi Monden (University of Sydney) 

Dr Emerald King (University of Tasmania) 

Dr Eldin Milak (Curtin University)

Prof Roald Maliangkay (Australian National University)

Dr Jin Lee (Curtin University)  

Participating in the book project, but not in person in November:

Dr Lawrence Monocello (Washington University St Louis)

Dr Sojeong Park (Seoul National University)

Dr Gowoon Jung (Kyung Hee University)

The Collaboratory will consist of one day of closed-door discussions, and an open-to-public roundtable on Friday 24th November. Registration details to follow shortly!

2021 Korea Research Collaboratory

Beyond han: New interpretations of Korean emotions

4-5 February 2021

The Korea Research Centre at the University of Western Australia organised an Online Research Collaboratory in 4-5th February 2021. This innovative format explored emotions as a lens to examine aspects of Korean culture, society and history. Terms such as han, jeong, heung and perceived practices such as injeong juui, yeongo juui and inmaek have been claimed (by some) as distinctly Korean experiences of attachment and connection that have created a dynamic sense of self that is relational, interdependent, and interconnected. Most often these terms have been studied in psychological, therapeutic, pastoral and sociological contexts. With this collaboratory, we sought to broaden the analysis of such concepts and their lived experiences to analysis within the arts, literature, media, historical and contemporary social practice, by focusing particularly on their expressive forms.