KRC Seminar Series

"Junian Tetrad: Hangeul as a form of 'banal nationalism'" 

by Dr Eldin Milak (Curtin University) 

Tuesday 2 May 2023

In this talk, Dr Eldin Milak maps out the trajectory by which Hangeul has come to function as a symbol of banal nationalism in the landscapes of Seoul. Building on the discussion of the historical rise of Hangeul through the writings of one of the founding figures in Korean linguistics, Ju Si-gyeong, he positions Hangeul within the national development project of South Korea, theorizing it as one of the four central elements of the nation-state, alongside ‘language’, ‘people’, and ‘land’. Dr Milak labels this fourfold construct as the ‘Junian Tetrad’ (a reworking of the ‘Herderian Triad’) and explore how it manifests in the public signage and semiotic landscapes of the Jongno and Yongsan Districts in Seoul. Triangulating the landscape data with a discursive analysis of the script policies enforced in the two Districts, he exemplifies how script can serve as a form of banal nationalism by reifying the nation-state construct through the ubiquitous and mundane practice of sign-making in public spaces. 

"Australian-Korean multicultural family members' emotions about their family language policy" by Dr Nicola Fraschini and Dr Adrian Lundberg (Malmo University, Sweden)

April 8, 2022

This presentation investigates the emotional reactions of members of multilingual families in relation to their family language policy (FLP) using Q methodology. The purpose is to foreground possible emotional differences that family members experience regarding FLPs, and to show the complexity of the web of emotions triggered by the adoption of these policies. Research in the field of language acquisition demonstrated the relevance of emotions in the process of learning an additional language. Therefore, it is important to understand how different emotions are interconnected and represent individual reactions to FLPs, as emotions ultimately affect the wellbeing of multilingual families. In this project, a pictorial Q set using seventeen face emojis to represent emotions is used to meet existing methodological challenges in research with children with limited literacy. Fifteen participants, parents and children of six Australian-Korean multicultural families, sorted the set of emojis depending on their feeling about their FLP. Results provide insights into the variety of emotional reactions to FLPs, and the different emotional reactions that members of the same family have regarding their family language practices. 

"Brilliant are the Flowers: Envoy Poetry and the Rhetoric of Empire" by Dr Sixiang Wang (UCLA) 

Friday 22 April 2022

In the two centuries of peace, the Chosŏn dynasty of Korea (1392–1910) enjoyed with the Ming empire in China (1368–1644), it exercised enormous agency in shaping the very terms of imperial rule. This agency, however, has often been obscured by the very rhetoric adopted by Chosŏn's own diplomats in the process. This talk explores the rhetorical strategies of Korean diplomacy, in particular in its envoy poetry, to argue that Chosŏn Korea crafted with Ming envoys central aspects of Ming imperial ideology. These included a shared insistence on Korea's membership in a civilized ecumene, recognition of independent Korean links to the classical past, and a repudiation of the specter of imperial irredentism. Chosŏn-Ming relations, far from a ready-made system derived from timeless Confucian principles or a coherent Ming vision of world order, emerged in part from these rhetorical negotiations in diplomatic poetry. 

"Outsiders: Memories of Migration to and from North Korea" by Dr Markus Bell (La Trobe University)
Thursday 18 November 2021His newly released book, Markus Bell explores the hidden histories of the men, women, and children who traveled from Japan in the 1960s to the world’s most secretive state—North Korea. Through vivid ethnographic details and interviews with North Korean escapees, Outsiders: Memories of Migration to and from North Korea reveals the driving forces that propelled thousands of ordinary people to risk it all in Kim Il-Sung’s “Worker’s Paradise”, only to escape back to Japan half a century later.
For more details, please click on the following link: 
“Colonial Noir: Korean Colonial Cinema as a Site of Collaboration or Resistance?” by Caleb Kelso-Marsh(KRC) 
Friday 3 September 2021 This presentation will consider how a series of early Japanese crime films engaged with Hollywood conventions, resulting in a body of Japanese films that are reminiscent of film noir yet predate the inception of film noir in Hollywood. Subsequently, these Japanese proto-noir films came to influence colonial Korean productions. Such Japanese and Korean proto-noir films are significant in that they both decentralise the study of film noir while accounting for the influence of Hollywood, a process that ultimately has implications for how colonialism and modernity in East Asia is understood.
For more details, please click on the following link:

"The Longevity Revolution in the Digital Era: The Korean Experience" by Dr Moon Choi (KAIST)
Monday 23 August 2021 In this talk, Dr Moon Choi will give an overview of demographic changes and cohort differences in the context of South Korea and discuss how these demographic changes and trajectories will affect the society. She will introduce several cases of gerontechnology developed and deployed by collaboration between startups and the government and explain the social and political contexts of these initiatives. Then, she will present the recent research findings of Aging & Technology Policy Lab, covering the topics such as safety vs. privacy issues, advanced vs. appropriate technology, and etc..
For more details, please click on the following link: 

"Emotions in online language learning: Exploratory findings from an ab initio Korean course" by Dr Nicola Fraschini & Dr Yu Tao (UWA/KRC)
Friday 13 August 2021In this talk, Dr Nicola Fraschini and Dr Yu Tao will report their findings of an exploratory investigation into language learner emotions. The study was conducted in a fully synchronous online learning environment for ab initio Korean. Through an Achievement Emotions Questionnaire administered to 117 students in an Australian university, this study measures learners’ pride as well as their enjoyment and anxiety during four teaching weeks. In addition, the presenters will discuss how learner emotions correlate with academic achievement as well as crucial learner and teacher variables.
For more details, please click on the following link: 

"Emotions presented and experienced in Korean aid"by Dr Jae-Eun Noh (KRC)
Friday 14 May 2021 In this talk, Dr Jae-Eun Noh will explore how Korean aid discourse present and re-produce emotions in the public sphere, by analysing aid policy documents and public statements of civil society. Interviews with development practitioners show their experienced emotions while delivering Korean aid and the implications for development practices. The preliminary findings highlight a need for more attention to emotions as a social construct and contextual influences on them.
For more details, please click on the following link: 

"Shincheonji and Covid-19: Observations on Biopolitical Mediatization in South Korea" by Dr Sam Han (UWA/KRC)
Wednesday 14 April 2021 This presentation is an attempt to gather some initial notes towards analysing the mediatization of Protestant Christianity during COVID-19. It aims to build upon previous work on “biopolitical mediatization” in order to explore how the relationship between religion, media and the state has been recast by the pandemic in South Korea.
This lecture is part of the seminar series RELIGION, CRISIS AND DISASTER
For more details, please click on the following link: 

"Homophobic COVID-19 Surveillance on South Korean Social Media" by Dr Jin Lee (Curtin University)
Tuesday 30 March 2021In this talk, media scholar Dr Jin Lee will explore how homophobic COVID-19 discourses have shaped a network of surveillance against LGBTQ+ people on South Korean social media, and how LGBTQ+ Influencers have coped with the surveillance. In particular, she will trace how news, started from a Christian-affiliated news outlet, has circulated feelings of anger and fear, targeted at LGBTQ+ people in particular, in tandem with attention economies. Then by visiting a few famous LGBTQ+ YouTubers’ strategies and practices to cope with surveillance, she will show how queer politics has been depoliticized in the pandemic. This talk will shed light on key issues around the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea, where social minorities are doubly burdened across the offline and online spaces, on the contrary to the story of South Korea’s successful management of COVID-19. 
For more details, please click on the following link:

"South Korea's Webtooniverse andthe Digital Comic Revolution" by Associate Professor Brian Yecies (University of Wollongong)
Tuesday 27 October 2020In this talk, Associate Professor Brian Yecies will introduce the meteoric rise of Korea’s online and mobile webtoon industry and explore how this new digital entertainment medium is transforming Korea and the world’s creative industries. In particular, he will trace some of webtoons’ dynamic links to cross-media storytelling, styles and technologies, as well as the production, localization and reception of innovative smartphone apps and platforms. While the “Korean Wave” of popular culture has enjoyed striking global successsince the 2000s, limited attention – at both popular and scholarly levels – has been paid to the complex relationships between webtoon artists, platforms, agencies, policymakers, fan-translators, and readers – all elements of what he calls the “Webtooniverse”. Through a brief sketch of his ongoing research, he will explain why the South Korean webtoon industry is important to amateur and professional content creators across the globe, and how their work in this diverse platform environment is contributing to the digital economy.
For more details, please click on the following link: