MLA 2020 (Jan 9-12, Seattle) CFP: Korea panels

Chris Hanscom's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
March 11, 2019
Location: 
Washington, United States
Subject Fields: 
Literature, Korean History / Studies, East Asian History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies, Languages

Please find below two calls for papers for panels sponsored by the LLC Korean Forum and proposed for the Modern Language Association convention, to be held in Seattle, WA from January 9-12, 2020.

Alternative Imaginaries of the Human in Korean Science Fiction

Papers exploring alternative conceptualizations of the “human” in Korean science fiction, including mechanical/computational/biomedical post- or transhumanist visions, A.I., the Anthropocene, and monstrosity. 250-word abstract and one-page c.v. by March 11, 2019, to Haerin Shin (helenshin@stanford.kr).  

While the relative dearth of science fiction narratives in Korea’s literary domain belies the extent to which social and infrastructural technicity has shaped the contours of the nation’s modern history, different arenas of cultural expression have embraced the genre over the past decades. Partaking of Rod Serling’s notion of science fiction as a genre that aims to envision “the improbable made possible,” this panel calls into question the liberal notion of human subjectivity and explores alternative conceptualizations of the “human” in Korean science fiction across media platforms old and new. How may we understand what being human means and involves in an age when cognitive and bodily augmentations, reconfigurations, or even replacement are realistic ventures, with the properties of the human mind being reproduced, preserved, and/or emulated by near-independent substrates? And how are new mediatory technologies reconfiguring the ways in which we perceive, comprehend, and in turn build the world we live in? Topics may include, among others, mechanical/computational/biomedical post- or transhumanist visions, A.I., the Anthropocene/Chthulucene, monstrosity, postracial illusions, neurodiversity, and interstitial realities (e.g. AR, VR, MR, and XR).


Exophony and Other Challenges to Thinking National Literatures

Exophony, literatures of migration, and implications for Korean literary history.  250-word abstract and one-page CV by March 11, 2019, to Chris Hanscom (chanscom@ucla.edu).

Language may become flexible in the process of migration, shifting intentionally or unintentionally outside the boundaries of the supposed mother tongue.  Such creative practices are often reterritorialized in situations where commensurability within a given community is established through comparison with another community imagined as a (linguistic, ethnic-national) whole.  Literary history is one medium through which such reterritorialization may take place.  This panel seeks papers focused on literature and literary communities which experience or represent such migratory movements.  In particular, we welcome papers examining exophonic or other challenges to the idea of the unity of ethnic-national languages and the seamless communication that is assumed to exist within them.  What are the effects of such indeterminacies on standard literary critical and literary historical practices?  How do such critical and classificatory practices yield common-sense ideas of what counts as literature?  How do literature and language in migration stand in relation to ideas of national literature or world literature?  We will focus especially on the case of Korea, as a given or a unifying concept rather than a geopolitically bounded area sharing a common language and ethnicity.  Papers may thus examine Korean language works, but also non-Korean languages used within Korea, the use of Korean in exilic or migrant communities outside of Korea, non-Korean languages used among emigrant communities understood to be Korean, etc.

Contact Info: 

Chris Hanscom (chanscom@ucla.edu)

Haerin Shin (helenshin@stanford.kr)

Contact Email: