CFP: Mediating the South Korean other: Representations and discourses of difference in the post/neocolonial nation state

David Oh's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
August 1, 2019
Location: 
New Jersey, United States
Subject Fields: 
Asian History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Korean History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies, Race Studies

South Korea’s ethnoscape has undergone dynamic change. It is peculiar as it has both a postcolonial history with Japan and a neocolonial relationship with the United States. These histories shape complex views of who belongs and who is valued vis-a-vis racial, ethnic, and national others. One major site of the construction of difference is popular culture. Popular and online media in South Korea construct difference through celebration of the desirable otherness of Whites and biracial White-Koreans (Ahn, 2015), the joining of Southeast Asian women and their multi-ethnic children in the paternal nation-state through the loss of their difference (Oh & Oh, 2016), and marginalized, outcast others, who are rendered irredeemably different. With this in mind, the purpose of the book is to animate postcolonial impulses by drawing together local theories developed in the South Korean context that focuses on the construction of ethnicized, racialized, and nationalized difference in the local cultural terrain.

 

Previous literature on ethnoracial differences in Korea explains that differences are due to (1) Korea’s myth of ethnic homogeneity (2) Confucian preferences for “civilized” societies, (3) internalization of the racial logics of the US, and (4) a lack of distinction between race, ethnicity, and nation. While each is informative and useful, they are partial explanations and do not adequately explain the ways difference is mediated and discursively constructed, e.g., Western racial hierarchies are not merely mapped onto Korean cultural logics of difference nor are there simple binaries of Koreans versus others.

 

By bringing together media scholars of Korean popular culture located in and outside Korea, the project aims to map the ways in which ethnic/racial/national difference vis-a-vis Koreanness is represented and constructed at the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, and nation. Thus, I seek contributions that analyze the discourse of multiculturalism and ethno/racial/national/regional difference.

 

As an interdisciplinary project, I am interested in contributions, which include fields such as Communication Studies, Media Studies, Korean Studies, Asian Studies, Sociology, Literature, Performance Studies, and Ethnic Studies. Though it is interdisciplinary, I limit the methods to critical qualitative inquiry in order to maintain a focused epistemological vantage point. Finally, I accept original, unpublished submissions that are written in English. Areas of interest might include but is not limited to:

  • Mediated constructions of desirable otherness
  • Mediated constructions of assimilated otherness
  • Mediated constructions of marginalized otherness
  • Mediated constructions of multiple assimilations
  • Mediated constructions of ambivalent otherness
  • Self-mediated constructions of belonging in the imagined nation
  • Self-mediated rejection of the imagined nation

If interested in contributing, please submit a 250-400 word extended abstract and CV to David C. Oh (doh@ramapo.edu) and a 100-word bio by August 1, 2019.  Please include (1) your purpose, (2) justification, (3) proposed method, (4), if available, tentative findings, and (5) references. Final manuscripts should be 7,000-8,000 words, which includes all elements of the paper – title page, body essay, references, and, if necessary, tables and figures. Final book chapters will be due June 1, 2020.

Contact Info: 

David C. Oh, PhD

Associate Professor of Communication Arts

Ramapo College of New Jersey

505 Ramapo Valley Rd.

Mahwah, NJ 07430

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