Archived events

The Melbourne Metropolitan Korean Studies Seminar Series 2022

Seminar 3 - Promises of the fatherland: Escape to North Korea

Dr. Markus Bell (Research Officer UN International Organisation for Migration & Research Fellow La Trobe University)

Date: Wednesday, 18th May, 4pm (AEST)


Between 1959 and the early 1980s, 93,000 people migrated from Japan to North Korea. They went seeking a better life in Kim Il-sung’s Korean People’s Republic; they went seeking a place to call home. But the promises of the Fatherland would prove hollow. Recently, some 300 men and women have escaped North Korea and returned to Japan. In this special talk, Dr. Markus Bell reveals why so many left Japan for North Korea, what happened to them in their new home, and what this hidden history can teach us about forced migration in the world today.


Dr. Markus Bell is an anthropologist specializing in refugees and labour migration, with over a decade of experience working with displaced people and migrant workers in the Asia Pacific region. He has taught at the Australian National University, University of Sheffield, and Goethe University, Frankfurt. He earned his PhD from ANU in 2016 and is currently a Research Fellow at La Trobe University, Melbourne. His new book, Outsiders, Memories of Migration to and from North Korea is available from Amazon. Tweets @mpsbell

Seminar 2 - K-pop fandom in Mexico: Transnational performances of race and gender

Dr. Joyhanna Yoo Garza (Postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anthropology Harvard University)

Date: Thursday, 28th April, 11am (AEST)


Racialized performances within a mediatized transnational frame, are frequently prone to circulation in contexts not original to their production, as well as uptake from disparate, perhaps even unintended, publics. Such performances warrant an analysis that explores the tensions and uneven processes inherent to such exchange. Within the now-globalized genre of K-pop, the subgenre of K-pop dance cover features groups which recreate the dance choreography of K-pop bands. These dance cover groups frequently engage in cross-gender and cross-racial performance.  In this talk, I examine the racialized gendered performances of such K-pop fans in the Mexican context who also participate in digital K-pop fandoms. More specifically, I show how they use linguistic and embodied forms which index Korean hegemonic femininity and how such performances are taken up amid converging interpretive frames.

Rather than read such practices as determined by the consumerist influence of K-pop, I argue that their performances constitute socioculturally-specific contestations of personhood and power.  Based on face-to-face and digital ethnography of K-pop fans in Mexico, I present a multimodal semiotic analysis of fans’ mediatized performances. In so doing, I elucidate how such performers tap into transnational, multilingual fandom networks to perform appropriate fan identities and to assert their own queer, aspirational cosmopolitan desires through digital recognition.


Joyhanna Yoo Garza is a sociocultural linguist who examines language, race, and gender from an ethnographic lens, particularly in mediatized contexts. She is currently a College Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard and completed her PhD in Linguistics at UC Santa Barbara. Her research takes a semiotic approach to the study of language with a focus on transnational Korean popular culture and its consumption in Mexico and the US. Joy has a secondary research interest in Asian American racialization in contexts of higher education and is especially passionate about student-centered teaching, mentorship, and student advocacy.

Seminar 1: English fever, language capital, American dreams

Dr Jinhyun Cho (Macquarie University)

25th March, 3-4pm AEST


The presentation examines how English has developed to serve as language capital in Korean society from a historical viewpoint, based on the Bourdieusian theory of capital. The historical analysis spans from the arrival of English in Korea in 1882 to the post-independence period (1945-1960), during which the seed for the ongoing phenomenon of “English fever” was planted in Korean society. The evolution of English as a valued language capital in Korea is inseparable from the cultural, economic and political influences of the United States throughout the local history. The imagined superiority of the United States has justified English as a powerful tool for many Koreans in pursuing dreams attached to class mobility, distinction, female emancipation and political ambitions. By challenging the notion of English as a global language, the presentation seeks to emphasize the importance of examining particular local conditions that have contributed to the emergence of distinctive language ideologies in the local context.


Dr. Jinhyun Cho is a senior lecturer in the Translation and Interpreting Program of the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Her research interests are primarily in the field of sociolinguistics with a focus on intersections between interpreting, language ideologies, language policies, and intercultural communication. Jinhyun serves on the editorial board of Multilingua and has authored two monographs: English language ideologies in Korea: interpreting the past and present and Intercultural communication in interpreting: power and choices.

MUKSRH Event: Working with Korea: Employment experiences and opportunities in Korean Studies Talk

Talk with Blair Williams, Kate Kalinova, Niha Sathasivam and Jennie Park on employment for Korean Studies students.

Associate Professor Andy Jackson on teaching English in Korea.

The 12th Korean Studies Association of Australasia (KSAA) 2021 Biennial Conference (Feb 2022)

KSAA 2021

The Melbourne Metropolitan Korean Studies Seminar Series 2021 events

Talk 8: The Virtual Feast: Mukbang, Con-Man Comedy, and Blackness in Parasite (2019)

Prof. Kyunghyun Kim (UC Irvine)

15 September 12-1 PM AEST


This talk will focus on Parasite (dir. Bong Joon-ho, Kisaengch’ung) and probe the reasons why it had become one of the most successful films ever made outside Hollywood. This crime thriller successfully switches out predictable melodramatic codes usually reserved for blockbuster films for comedic conventions of wordplay, con-artist schemes, and food drama. Kim will argue that these themes not only problematize the division between real and fake and serve as a larger subject of the tension between haves and have-nots but also allow us to look at how food has lost its social or even cultural significance and has instead assumed a perverse, negative, and almost undesirable association with gluttony and psychological depression in the era of mukbang (eatcast). How the cynicism raised in the film compares against some of the code-switching themes in Hollywood comedies featuring African American stars will be probed.  The talk will also explore the career of writer/director Bong Joon-ho and contextualize Parasite within the Korean Cinema of the new millennium.


Prof. Kyung Hyun Kim is a creative writer, a scholar, and a film producer, who is currently a professor in the Department of East Asian Studies, UC Irvine. He has worked with internationally renowned directors such as Hong Sang-soo, Lee Chang-dong and Marty Scorsese, and also with American film producers Jason Blum and Steven Schneider. Prof. Kim is author of Virtual Hallyu: Korean Cinema of the Global Era, The Remasculinization of Korean Cinema, Hegemonic Mimicry: Korean Popular Culture of 21st Century, all of them published by Duke University Press, and a Korean-language novel entitled In Search of Lost G (Ireo beorin G-reul chajaso, 2014) about a Korean mother combing through the US in search of her missing son during his junior year in a Massachusetts prep school.  He has coproduced and co-scripted two award-winning feature films Never Forever (2007, Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Main Competition) and The Housemaid (2010, Cannes Film Festival Main Competition), and his co-scripted film screenplay, The Origins of a Detective (Hyeongsa eui kiwon), won the cash prize (US$ 30,000) by being selected for the 2019 Best Film Development Project by the Korean Film Commission. He has also written The Mask Debate, his first theatre screenplay, which premiered in February 2021 through UCI’s Illuminations: Chancellor’s Initiative in Arts and Drama YouTube channel.

Talk 7: When Artists Become the Product Placed: K-pop in Korean Commercials

Assoc. Prof. Roald Maliangkay (ANU)

6 September, 5-6 PM AEST


Until they began to be packaged for replay in the 1990s, music videos were created to sell a song and artist. The images were hard to forget and became the immediate connotation of the songs, often eclipsing their lyrics’ original intent. Because audiences learn how to interpret musical clues, however, it does not matter whether the original intent of a particular piece of music bears any relation to the medium or narrative in which it is newly embedded. But when it is used in a movie viewed by people other than the intended audience, music can disrupt. Where its purpose is to promote, as in commercials, music must therefore align well with its target audience. Claudia Bullerjahn (2006) identifies three key features of the use of music in television commercials that all rely on this alignment: motivation, opportunity, and ability. While the first and second features relate to the use of music to respectively attract and convey information, the third captures the use of music to help the target audience digest the message. But how do these features play out in TV commercials in South Korea, where celebrities, including K-pop idols, dominate the advertising world? Might a celebrity not distract the target audience from processing the commercial message embedded? Do the images of celebrities correspond with the commercials’ target audience? Focusing on the commercials and K-pop idols voted respectively most memorable and liked in nationwide surveys, in this talk I explore the combined use of music and K-pop idols in South Korean commercials since 2009 and examine how they have ensured the success of marketing campaigns.


Roald Maliangkay is Associate Professor of Korean Studies at the Australian National University. Fascinated by the factors driving fandom, the mechanics of cultural policy, and the convergence of major cultural phenomena, he analyses the history of Korean entertainment.

Talk 6: Translating Korea and Korean Literature

Brother Anthony (Sogang University)

26 August, 5-6 PM AEST


Translations of Korean poetry and fiction into English were almost unknown until the 1970s. Any study of published translations needs to explore (1) what works / writers were selected; (2) who translated them; (3) where and how the translations were published; (4) how effective the publications were in attracting readers and “globalizing Korean Literature.” Brother Anthony has been publishing translations of modern Korean poetry and fiction for more than 30 years, but has recently been focusing more on contemporary fiction. This evening he will talk about these topics, although admitting that he has read very few of the translations he will mention. He will stress that the translations available do not allow students to obtain anything like a full picture or accurate overview of the course of modern Korean literary history. He thinks that in any case literary translation should not be undertaken with the aim of providing material for students. Works of poetry and fiction are not written to be studied but to be read thoughtfully and enjoyed.


Brother Anthony has been publishing translations of Korean poetry and fiction for over 30 years, since 1990. He will talk about some of the poets he has translated, reading a few of their poems. He will also evoke the few novels he has translated and briefly survey the general history of translation from Korean, ending with today's explosion of popular titles.

Brother Anthony was born in Britain in 1942, joined the monastic community of Taizé (France) in 1969, came to Korea in 1980, took Korean nationality in 1994. After teaching English literature at Sogang University (Seoul) for over 20 years, he is now an emeritus professor there. He has published over 60 volumes of translations and continues to be a prolific translator, although he often says that finding a publisher is much harder than translating.

Talk 5: Reflections on 20 years of Fieldwork, Writing, and Publishing on North Korea

Assoc. Prof. Sandra Fahy (Sophia University)

19 May, 4-5 PM AEST


This presentation shares my experience of working on the topic of North Korea from the earliest stages of my career to the present. It gives a "behind the scenes" view of the experience - the things we usually don't write or talk about - of being a non-Korean, white, woman scholar of Korea approaching the fraught topic of human rights north of the 38th parallel. It is, therefore, an ethnography of my experience. I have often felt that I should write "the book beneath the book" - by this I mean the story of what lead to my interest in Korea, what it was like to study Korean language in South Korea when my interests were in the North, and it was like to conduct the research with North Korean defectors in South Korea and Japan – survivors of the 1990s famine – for my PhD, which resulted in my book on 1990s famine Marching through Suffering: Loss and Survival in North Korea and to a lesser extent my second book. The talk elaborates on the phenomena of working with human subjects on sensitive, traumatic topics – the impact of this on the researcher, and the informant. This talk is designed to offer students and the audience of researchers working in similar topics. My aim, in presenting my experiences of typically overlooked or under discussed aspects of the work is to normalize and represent the human in the researcher and in the research.


Sandra Fahy is a former visiting fellow with the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School. She is associate professor of anthropology at Sophia University in Tokyo. She holds a PhD from SOAS University of London. She grew up in Canada, but has lived in South Korea and Japan for 12 years.  She is the author of Marching through Suffering: Loss and Survival in North Korea (New York: Columbia University Press 2015) and Dying for Rights: Putting North Korea’s Rights Abuses on the Record (New York: Columbia University Press 2019). She is currently working on a book titled States, Lies and Video: a century of states using video to deny allegations of rights abuses.

Talk 4: Glossolalia and the Problem of Language in South Korea

Prof. Nicholas Harkness (Harvard University)

April 30, 9-10 AM AEST


Speaking in tongues, also known as glossolalia, has long been a subject of curiosity as well as vigorous theological debate. A worldwide phenomenon that spans multiple Christian traditions, glossolalia is both celebrated as a supernatural gift and condemned as semiotic alchemy. In South Korea, glossolalia is practiced widely across Protestant denominations and congregations. This lecture addresses the popularity of glossolalia in South Korea, situating the practice at the intersection of numerous, often competing social forces, interwoven religious legacies, and spiritual desires that have been amplified by Christianity’s massive institutionalization.


Nicholas Harkness is the Modern Korean Economy and Society Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. He specializes in linguistic and semiotic approaches to sociocultural analysis. His research in South Korea has resulted in publications on various topics, including voice, language, music, religion, ritual, kinship, liquor, and the city of Seoul. His first book, Songs of Seoul: An Ethnography of Voice and Voicing in Christian South Korea (University of California Press, 2014), was awarded the Edward Sapir Book Prize by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology (Co-Winner, 2014, American Anthropological Association). Harkness's second book is titled Glossolalia and the Problem of Language (University of Chicago Press, 2021).

Talk 3: (film screening) Shusenjo: The Main Battlefield of the Comfort Women Problem followed by Q&A with director Miki Dezaki

22 April, 5 PM (online via KANOPY). Q&A from 7 PM.


The “comfort women” issue is perhaps Japan’s most contentious present-day diplomatic quandary.  Inside Japan, the issue is dividing the country across clear ideological lines. Supporters and detractors of “comfort women” are caught in a relentless battle over empirical evidence, the validity of oral testimony, the number of victims, the meaning of sexual slavery, and the definition of coercive recruitment. Credibility, legitimacy and influence serve as the rallying cry for all those involved in the battle. In addition, this largely domestic battleground has been shifted to the international arena, commanding the participation of various state and non-state actors and institutions from all over the world.  This film delves deep into the most contentious debates and uncovers the hidden intentions of the supporters and detractors of comfort women. Most importantly it finds answers to some of the biggest questions for Japanese and Koreans: Were comfort women prostitutes or sex slaves? Were they coercively recruited?  And, does Japan have a legal responsibility to apologize to the former comfort women?


Miki Dezaki is a graduate of the Graduate Program in Global Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo.  He worked for the Japan Exchange Teaching Program for five years in Yamanashi and Okinawa before becoming a Buddhist monk in Thailand for one year.  He is also known as "Medamasensei" on Youtube, where he has made comedy videos and videos on social issues in Japan. His most notable video is “Racism in Japan,” which led to numerous online attacks by Japanese neo-nationalists who attempted to deny the existence of racism and discrimination against Zainichi Koreans (Koreans with permanent residency in Japan) and Burakumin (historical outcasts still discriminated today). "Shusenjo" is his directorial debut.

Talk 2: Korean history and Cinema: Contrasting approaches

Assoc. Prof. Andrew David Jackson and Dr. Niall McMahon (Monash University)

21 April, 1-2 PM via Zoom

In this talk Dr Jackson and Dr McMahon present two contrasting approaches to the exploration of Korean history via cinema.

Cinephilia, Art Film and Art Houses in Post-dictatorship South Korea (Andrew David Jackson)

In this talk, Dr Jackson looks at cinema exhibition as social history. Between the late 1980s and late 1990s, young South Koreans embarked upon a period of frenetic consumption of foreign art film. This brief period of cinephilia boom resulted in the publication of influential film magazines KINO and Cine2,  the establishment of notable international film festivals, the opening of South Korea's first art houses, and inspired a generation of Korean filmgoers to consume film in innovative ways. Using historical approaches to cinema exhibition by Robert C. Allen, Annette Kuhn, and Barbara Wilinsky, this study explores the significance of early South Korean art film exhibition and consumption for our understanding of a generation of young South Koreans liberated from three decades of military dictatorship.

The Golden Age and the depiction of history in South Korean cinema post-Korean War (Niall McMahon)

In this talk, Dr McMahon examines the history of South Korean cinema post-Korean War. After the end of the war, South Korean cinema entered what is known as its “Golden Age” (1950s-1960s). These formative decades were heavily impacted by multiple factors such as the first removal and then reintroduction of film taxation, intrusive film laws such as the Screen Quota System as well as socio-political factors such as the National Security Law and the country’s intense anti-communist stance in all avenues of their culture. Using the 1961 Korean War film Five Marines as a key example, this study will examine how the developments and ideological precepts of the Golden Age directly affected film production and how the depiction of South Korean history was altered as a result.


Dr Andrew David Jackson is currently Associate Professor of Korean Studies at Monash University. He obtained his PhD in Korean history from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 2011.  As well as pre-modern history, Andrew is interested in modern Korean history and society, South and North Korean film, and theories of rebellion and revolution.

Dr Niall McMahon is a Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow working in Perth, Western Australia. His main research interests are South Korean cinema, the historical film genre and the war film genre, with a specific focus on films that depict the Japanese colonial period and the Korean War.

Talk 1: ATS3321 Korean Research Project and Translating Interviews with North Korean Defectors

Dr. Adam Zulawnik, Ben (Taehee) Kim, and Sneha Karri

17 March, 1-2 PM via Zoom



With the growing popularity in Korean translation and recent expansion of Translation Studies units to include Korean streams at both undergraduate and graduate levels at Monash University, I designed a new undergraduate student research-focused unit titled Korean Research Project (ATS3321). The unit, which commenced in Semester 2 2020, is an elite third-year unit which allows for Korean Studies researchers at Monash to engage with advanced Korean Studies students in a research project focusing on various subfields in Korean Studies. The inaugural run, which I coordinated, focused on the critically annotated translation of Talbuk Yeongung samsibsamin teukbyeol inteobyu (Interviews with North Korean Defectors). The book will be published with Routledge this coming June and is a fine example of the potential for undergraduate research output. This presentation is a summary of the unit as well as an introduction to the final product (Interviews with North Korean Defectors), followed by a presentation about learning experiences from Sneha and Ben, two students who completed the unit in 2020.


Adam is an Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Monash. Adam's research interests include translation theory, Korean/Japanese Studies, East Asia relations, history, politics, and language. His doctorate (2018) focused on the theoretical and functional issues behind the translation of controversial documents juxtaposed against Korea-Japan relations. Adam is part of the Monash University Korean Studies team working to expand a Korean Studies nexus in Australia through funding from the AKS and has taught introductory and proficient levels of Korean as well as Korean translation. His most recent publication is “Death to the translator!” – a case study on risk in translation (AALITRA Review, 2020).

Sneha Karri and Taehee (Ben) Kim are Korean Studies students who completed ATS3321 Korean Research project in 2020 with High Distinction. They are interested in Translation of Korean into English (and vice versa) and hope to continue their academic journeys in Korean and Translation Studies.

The Melbourne Metropolitan Korean Studies Seminar Series 2020 events

'Idol shipping culture: Exploring queer sexuality among fans of K-pop'

Dr Thomas Baudinette (Macquarie University)

Date: Friday, 21 August, 3:30~5:00


The practice of imagining idols within romantic and sexual relationships known as “shipping” is central to the global fandom of K-pop, allowing fans to develop affective relationships with their favorite celebrities through creative practices such as the writing of fan fiction. In particular, shipping practices that reimagine the members of popular boy groups such as EXO and BTS within homoerotic relationships are especially common among both heterosexual female fans and fans who express queer sexualities as a method of both affectively articulating their fandom as well as exploring their broader sexual desires via K-pop consumption. This chapter explores the homoerotic practice of shipping idols as a lens into the broader study of gender and sexuality in relation to K-pop idols, demonstrating the importance of fans’ sexual desires and attraction to K-pop fandom culture. The chapter begins by charting the emergence of shipping practices within Korean fandom, exploring how K-pop production companies strategically drew upon Japanese yaoi culture to encourage young women to consume K-pop, thus producing spaces within Korea’s patriarchal society where women’s sexual desires can be safely explored. The chapter then turns to an analysis of international shipping practices, presenting a comparative case study of BTS shipping within Japanese and Anglophone fandom spaces. This comparative analysis reveals that while BTS shipping in Japan tends to draw upon rigid logics derived from yaoi culture that conceptualize homoerotic relationships between men via sexual practices and behaviors divorced from identity, Anglophone shipping tends to instead overtly deploy North American LGBT identity politics. Nevertheless, the chapter argues that both practices possess queer potentials that allow fans to affectively explore their sexuality, affirming their sexual desires for K-pop idols. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the role of shipping in affirming the presence of queer fans within global K-pop culture.

Biography: Thomas Baudinette is Lecturer in International Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney. To date, his research has drawn upon the ethnographic tradition to investigate Japanese queer popular culture, including its spread throughout East and Southeast Asia. His first book, Regimes of Desire: Young Gay Men and Masculinity in Japan,is forthcoming with University of Michigan Press. He is currently conducting research on K-pop consumption amongst queer communities in Australia, Japan and the Philippines and writing a second book entitled Boys Love Media in Thailand: Celebrity, Fandom and Queer Popular Culture. He was awarded the 2016 Ian Nish Prize by the British Association of Japanese Studies. More information about Thomas’s research can be found at

'Working for Korean Companies, Working with Korea: Tips for Students.'

Liz Griffin (Executive Director of the Australian Korean Business Council)

Date: Friday August 14, 4-5pm

'The Body, Cosmetic Surgery and the Discourse of ‘Westernisation of Korean Bodies’

Dr Jo Elfving-Hwang (UWA)

Date: Friday August,7, 3-5pm


In this presentation I will discuss some key meanings attached to aesthetic surgical practice and other biomedical technologies of the body that influence attitudes and uptake of cosmetic surgery practices in South Korea. However, rather than presenting an exhaustive set of motivations that might explain why individuals feel compelled to surgically alter their bodies, I take the body as a lens through which to illustrate some wider social and biomedical discourses that construct socio-somatic subjectivities (that is, how individuals relate to and experience their subjectivities through the body) in contemporary South Korea. In doing so, I seek to question the notion that the high uptake of cosmetic surgery can be explained in reference to nebulous concepts such as collectivism, or indeed desires for Westernising the body, as key motivations in decision-making. In particular, and drawing on Nikolas Rose’s work on biomedicine, power and subjectivity, I will show how individuals in Korea are positioned within broader discourses of modernity in ways that may prompt them to engage with aesthetic beauty and surgical procedures more readily than individuals in other socio-cultural contexts (such as Australia or the UK), where neoliberal discourses of investing in self may be less centred on the somatic aspects of individual subjectivity. Aside from the broad discourses of the body and society, I draw on Erving Goffman’s work on the presentation of self to illustrate how beauty interconnects with social status and everyday social etiquette in ways that draw on pre-industrial notions of interpersonal encounters and proper decorum (1959). I therefore locate the high uptake of cosmetic procedures in the intersection of individual desire, culturally contingent social etiquette and the growth of the aesthetic plastic surgery industries to illustrate some of the key discourses that inform individuals’ decisions about the way in which bodies are performed, managed and experienced.


Jo Elfving-Hwang (PhD, The University of Sheffield) is an Associate Professor of Korean Studies and Director of Korea Research Centre at the University of Western Australia. She has published in Korean beauty cultures, gender, ageing and cosmetic surgery in South Korea and is currently working on a monograph tentatively titled Beauty Matters: Beauty, Cosmetic Surgery and the Body in Korea.

2020 Melbourne Metropolitan Korean Studies Biennial Meeting

Date:17th July, 2020

10:30 - 12:00: Opening and research presentations 1

Opening remarks: Dr. Adam Antoni Zulawnik (Monash University)

  1. Dr. Adam Antoni Zulawnik (Monash University)

    New Publication Focused Student Research Unit at Monash University

  2. Dr. Danielle Chubb and Dr. Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings (Deakin University)

    Human rights and humanitarianism in North Korea: disability rights and the quest for common ground

  3. Dr. Ryan Gustafsson (University of Melbourne)

    Adopted Koreans Living in Korea Project: Notes and Preliminary Findings

    12:00 – 12:30: Break

    12:30 – 1:30: Monash University Library Update

    Ms. Jung-Sim Kim (Monash University)

    Korean Databases at the Monash University Library

    Ms. Anita Dewi (Monash University)

    Developing Monash University Korean Studies students’ employability skills through a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) internship program in the library

    1:30 – 3:00: Research presentations 2

  4. Assoc. Prof. Andrew David Jackson (Monash University)

    The 1990s Art-house Film Boom and the Dongsung Cinematheque

  5. Dr. Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings (Centre for Humanitarian Leadership)

    North Korea’s Approach to International Assistance in Words and Practice

  6. Dr. Lucien Brown (Monash University) & Dr. Soung-U Kim (SOAS, University of London)

    A Qualitative Study of Korean Politeness Metaconcepts

    3:00 - 3:30: Break

    3:30 - 5:00: Research presentations 3 and Conclusion

  7. Mr. Christian Caiconte (University of Sydney)

    The Enjoyment of Being a Leader: Fantasy and Misrecognition in Korea’s Saemaul (New Village) Movement

  8. Dr. Niall McMahon (Monash University)

Invisible targets: Kang Je-kyu’s My Way (2011) and the representation of World War II in the South Korean historical film


New Publication Focused Student Research Unit at Monash University

Dr. Adam Antoni Zulawnik (Monash University)

With the growing popularity in Korean Translation and recent expansion of Translation Focused units to include Korean streams at both undergraduate and graduate levels at Monash University, Monash Korean Studies is pleased to announce the creation of a new student research-focused unit titled Korean Research Project (ATS3321). Set to commence in semester 2, 2020, this elite third-year unit will allow for Korean Studies researchers at Monash to engage with advanced Korean Studies students in a research project focusing on various subfields in Korean Studies. The inaugural run, which I will be supervising, will focus on the translation of the highly-regarded book Talbuk Yeongung samsibsamin teukbyeol inteobyu (tentative English title: Exclusive Interviews with 33 North Korean Defector Heroes (Bybooks, 2019). This presentation is aimed at introducing the text and the primary pedagogical objectives and structure of the unit.


Adam is an Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Monash. Adam's research interests include translation theory, Korean/Japanese Studies, East Asia relations, history, politics, and language. His doctorate (2018) focused on the theoretical and functional issues behind the translation of controversial documents juxtaposed against Korea-Japan relations. Adam is part of the Monash University Korean Studies team working to expand a Korean Studies nexus in Australia through funding from the AKS and has taught introductory and proficient levels of Korean as well as Korean translation. His most recent publication is “Death to the translator!” – a case study on risk in translation (AALITRA Review, 2020, forthcoming).

Human rights and humanitarianism in North Korea: disability rights and the quest for common ground

Dr. Danielle Chubb (Deakin University) & Dr. Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings

Human rights activists and humanitarian aid agencies have taken different and often competing approaches to human security in the DPRK. This paper examines this division from the perspective of engagement with people with disabilities, on which issue the international community and the DPRK have opened up a rare dialogue, and considers whether disability advocacy represents a potential cooperative space between human rights activists and humanitarians. The paper draws on insights from the disability rights literature and from debates over the role of the SDG agenda in facilitating specific discourses on human security. Insights from interviews with human rights and humanitarian actors working on North Korea are then considered in the light of this body of scholarship. The findings of this paper will have implications for scholars and practitioners interested in the potential for certain rights issues to become spaces for engagement rather than contestation.


Dr Danielle Chubb is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University and a founding member of the POLIS group in the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University. Her research interests include the interplay of human rights, peace and security norms (particularly on the Korean peninsula), the role that transnational activists play in shaping normative and policy agendas and creating change, and Australian foreign policy and public opinion.

Dr. Ryan Gustafsson (University of Melbourne)

Adopted Koreans Living in Korea Project: Notes and Preliminary Findings

This paper will provide an overview of my ongoing project investigating the experiences of adopted Koreans who have decided to return to Korea to live. It is estimated that 3-5,000 adopted Koreans return to Korea each year; a small portion decide to stay for extended periods of time. In this interview and fieldwork-based project, I focus on three dimensions of these adopted Koreans’ experiences: racial embodiment, ‘adoptee identity,’ and sense of community. In this presentation, I will share some preliminary findings and methodological challenges that have arisen during this project.


Dr. Ryan Gustafsson is an Honorary Fellow at the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne. Trained in social theory and continental philosophy, they currently conduct research on Korean transnational adoption, with a focus on racial embodiment and subjectivity. Their most recent publication is a co-edited book, Philosophies of Difference: Nature, Racism, and Sexuate Difference (Routledge, 2018). Their other research interests include philosophies of nature, phenomenology of race, and trans studies.

Korean Databases at the Monash University Library

Ms. Jung-Sim Kim (Monash University)

The Monash University Library provides more than ten Korean databases. For those who didn’t know about it, I will explore Korean databases page from the Korean Studies Library Guide at Monash University. Then, I will select two or three databases and will demonstrate how to search and retrieve Korean articles from the selected databases effectively for users’ research and teaching. To use full-text articles are only for Monash University staff and students or visitors who are using the visitors’ PC in the Library. Non-Monash users can also search Korean databases for references, even though they cannot get the full-text articles.


Jung-Sim Kim is the Korean Studies Librarian at Monash University in Australia who works with researchers, and academics on the effective use of Korea-related resources. Her role is providing research and learning support on Korea at Monash University as well as in Australia.

Ms. Anita Dewi (Monash University)

Developing Monash University Korean Studies students’ employability skills through a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) internship program in the library

This paper elaborates a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) library internship program for Monash University Korean Studies students. The internship is a collaboration between Korean Studies - Faculty of Arts and the Library, which aim is to enhance the employability skills of Korean Studies students. It takes place as a six credit-point WIL unit, offered to undergraduate students who are taking or have taken at least one Korean Language or Korean Studies unit, either as a major or as an elective. The AKS grant has also enabled interns to attend relevant professional development training sessions as identified by host-supervisors in the library.


Anita Dewi is a Research and Learning Coordinator, the Library Arts Team leader, and Learning Skills Adviser for Asian Studies and languages at Monash University Library. Her responsibilities include overseeing the Asian Collections and coordinating library research and learning initiatives and activities related to them. Her research interests include work integrated learning, language, identity and culture

The 1990s Art-house Film Boom and the Dongsung Cinematheque

Assoc. Prof. Andrew David Jackson (Monash University)

The years 1994-1998 saw a brief art-house film boom in South Korea that is unprecedented in its cinematic history. At the centre of this boom were the activities of Lee Kwang-mo, who is also known for directing the film Spring in my Hometown (1999). Lee founded the art-house film import and distribution company Baekdudaegan and the Dongsung Cinematheque – a cinema that went on to gain official state-sanctioned status as the first art-house film specialist theatre. The cinema attempted to transform viewing practices and establish a new relationship with film consumers. This paper looks into these transformations in film programming, screening and education carried out at the Dongsung Cinematheque. It also investigates the impact of the Dongsung Cinematheque on the art-house film boom in South Korea.


Andrew David Jackson is currently Associate Professor of Korean Studies at Monash University, Melbourne, where he has worked since 2017. Prior to this, he taught Korean Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He obtained his PhD in Korean history from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 2011, and he wrote a dissertation on the Musin rebellion of 1728. As well as premodern history, Andrew is interested in modern Korean history and society, South Korean film, and theories of rebellion and revolution.

North Korea’s Approach to International Assistance in Words and Practice

Dr. Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings (Centre for Humanitarian Leadership)

Although North Korea was a long-term recipient of assistance from socialist states before the 1990s, becoming a partner to the international aid system required a steep learning curve. This project will investigate how North Korea communicates to international audiences about aid cooperation, using English-language sources of North Korean media. While it is important to note that the data draws from North Korean sources intended for an outside audience and cannot be mistaken for domestic dialogue or messages intended for mass consumption inside the country, the research provides an avenue for discerning how North Korea communicates its interests to the rest of the world.


I am a lecturer in humanitarian studies and associate director for research at the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership, a Deakin University/Save the Children partnership. My research is focused on humanitarian aid in North Korea. I teach on a Master's of humanitarian assistance and enjoy critical reflection on the humanitarian aid sector.

A Qualitative Study of Korean Politeness Metaconcepts

Dr. Lucien Brown (Monash University) & Dr. Soung-U Kim (SOAS, University of London)

This study uses qualitative interview data to investigate the ways that Korean speakers conceptualize linguistic politeness. In contrast to previous studies that offer impressionistic accounts of concepts such as kongson ‘civility’ and yeyuy ‘etiquette’, our investigation shows that Korean speakers conceptualize politeness not only in terms of following social rules, but moreover in showing consideration (paylye) for others and not hurting their feelings (kipwun). In addition to using recognized politeness-related lexemes such as yeyuy ‘etiquette’ and concwung ‘respect’, participants talked about politeness in terms of feeling (un)comfortable ((pwul)phyenhata), revealing hitherto unexplored emic ways that Korean speakers conceptualize politeness.


Lucien Brown is Senior Lecturer in Korean Studies at Monash University. His research is in Korean linguistics, focussing on the usage, social meaning and multimodal manifestation of honorifics and other politeness-related phenomena. He is the author of Korean Honorifics and Politeness in Second Language Learning (John Benjamins), co-author of Korean: A Comprehensive Grammar (Routledge) and co-editor of The Handbook of Korean Linguistics (Wiley). He also serves as Editor for Korean Linguistics and Associate Editor for Journal of Pragmatics.

Invisible targets: Kang Je-kyu’s My Way (2011) and the representation of World War II in the South Korean historical film

Dr. Niall McMahon (Monash University)

The combat sequence is often considered the dramatic core of the war film genre. Kang Je-kyu’s My Way (2011) demonstrates this ideal by utilizing its depiction of battle to develop its central theme, namely, the Korean cultural concept of han. The narrative and formal construction of combat, specifically the use of its central characters, evokes han to simultaneously depict Korea’s historical oppression during World War II alongside the chance of a brighter future for the nation outside of Japanese rule. This paper examines My Way’s key combat sequences to explore how and why their narrative and formal construction evokes han.


Niall McMahon is a Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow operating at Monash University, Victoria, and is a dedicated scholar of film studies and Korean studies. His work specialises in South Korean cinema and the historical film genre, specifically the films that that depict Korean geopolitical conflict in the 20th Century.

The Enjoyment of Being a Leader: Fantasy and Misrecognition in Korea’s Saemaul (New Village) Movement

Mr. Christian Caiconte (University of Sydney)

Despite their relevance to the success of the Park Chung Hee regime, the role played by the state-appointed leaders of the Saemaul (New Village) Movement has been obscured by approaches such as the developmental state theory that emphasise the power of the Korean state over a “weak” Korean labour. Drawing on the Lacanian psychoanalytic concepts of surplus enjoyment, misrecognition, and fantasy, this paper argues that the debate on Korea’s late development is incomplete without a theorisation of the agency of these half-bureaucrat and half-peasant subjects who agreed with and willingly worked for the regime.


Christian Caiconte is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney, and a Korea Foundation Fellowship for Graduate Studies recipient. His research interests are at the intersection of political economy, psychoanalysis, and development studies. His doctoral thesis articulates a Marxist-psychoanalytic critique of capitalist development in South Korea.

The Melbourne Metropolitan Korean Studies Seminar Series 2019 events

'Adapting to environmental shocks in North Korea: Networks, geography and resilience'

Dr Ben Habib (LaTrobe University)

Date: Wednesday 9th October 1-2pm


The geography of North Korea influences the degree to which different parts of the country are linked together with infrastructure networks.  If we divide the DPRK along a northwest-southeast axis between Kanggye and Hamhung, we see that the area south of this axis is more heavily networked with roads, rail and electricity connections, has greater concentrations of population, and has flatter geography.  The opposite is the case north of the axis.  This difference in the level of networked connections between the northeast and the southwest has implications for local-level adaptive capacity and resilience against environmental shock events.  This study explores some of the key political implications of this regional variation in adaptive capacities by overlaying key infrastructure networks with damage reports from DPRK state media related to typhoons that have tracked over or near the Korean Peninsula since 1995.


Dr. Ben Habib is a Lecturer in International Relations at La Trobe University. He is an internationally published scholar researching the relationships between grassroots sustainability projects, environmental movements and international climate politics, in addition to his long-standing research interest in North Korean security. Ben is a regular visitor to Korea and in 2017 led an environment and sustainability-themed student study tour to Seoul for La Trobe University undergraduate students.  Ben also teaches into the Permaculture Design Course at CERES Community Environment Park in Melbourne, focusing on the application of permaculture design principles to socio-economic systems.

'Webtoons Korean and Creative Innovation in a New Digital Economy'

Dr. Brian Yecies (University of Wollongong)

Date: Wednesday 11 September 2019, 4.00-6.00pm 4-5.00 pm


Webtoons (aka digital comics) are now an integral part of the world’s expanding digital media industries. The major South Korean Internet and mobile broadband portal Naver has developed a domineering webtoon platform that is accessible across multiple markets and in multiple languages. This talk demonstrates how one of Naver’s most significant yet overlooked contributions to this thriving digital environment is the amateur user-translation infrastructure on, which localizes content across 31 different languages. Seeking to explain how this transnational cultural practice is undergoing rapid transformation, the talk first examines how a coterie of volunteer translators are generating value for Naver and the webtoon industry more broadly through their innovative digital “transcreation” activities. The study focuses in detail on the cultural intermediaries across the globe who are relaying a variety of Korean webtoon genres for fans spread throughout the world. This case study demonstrates how developments in the webtoon industry are contributing symbiotically to the continued expansion of the Korean digital wave and the so-called platform economy in inconspicuous and uneven ways.


Brian Yecies is an Associate Professor in Communication and Media at the University of Wollongong, where he teaches and researches on film and digital media, creative industries and cultural policy, as well as Big Data and digital humanities research methods. His books include: Korea’s Occupied Cinemas, 1893-1948 (Routledge, 2011), The Changing Face of Korean Cinema, 1960-2015 (Routledge, 2016), and South Korea's Immersive Webtooniverse and the New Media Revolution (Rowman and Littlefield, forthcoming) – co-authored with Ae-Gyung Shim. Professor Michael Keane, Brian Yecies and Terry Flew have also published the edited book: Willing Collaborators: Foreign Partners in Chinese Media (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018). He is a chief investigator on two major Australian Research Council Discovery Projects: “Mobile Webtoons: Creative Innovation in a New Digital Economy” (2018-2020), and “Digital China: from cultural presence to innovative nation” (2017-2019). Brian’s peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters appear in numerous publications, including high-profile Chinese-language books such as Blue Book of Film: Development Report on Global Film Industry (2018, Beijing Film Academy); Reviews on the International Cultural Markets (2016, Beijing Capital University of Economics & Business); and Creative Media in China (2014, China Social Sciences Academic Press). Additionally, Dr. Yecies is a past Isaac Manasseh Meyer Fellow in the communications and new media programme at the National University of Singapore, and Korea Foundation Research Fellow, as well as a recipient of grants from the Academy of Korean Studies, the Asia Research Fund, and the Australia–Korea Foundation.

Monash University Korea week

A week-long event of daily activities celebrating Korean culture co-organised by Monash Korean Studies and KASA.


Event: Korean Traditional Music Concert:


The Korean Culture Club 'SORI' Concert. A ten-person troupe that will be performing traditional Korean music and dance including: Nanta, Jang-gu dance, Samul-nori.

Time: 330-430pm

Location: Venue MPavilion (26 Ancora Imparo Way, Clayton VIC 3800, between Learning and Teaching Building and new Car park) or if raining, Level 1, Room G36, Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music (Performing Arts Centre), Monash University, opposite Robert Blackwood Hall, 55 Scenic Boulevard, Clayton, Monash University VIC 3800

No Registration Required

For further details please contact: Adam Zulawnik –


Event: Taekwondo Workshop

Details: Gold coin entry ($1 or $2only for NON Monash University Taekwondo club members)

Time: 4-6PM

Location: Monash Sport Centre (Clayton Campus)

No registration required

For further details please contact: Ruiz Binghay -


Event: KPOP Random Play Dance

Time: 5-6pm

Location: Monash Clayton (WILL CONFIRM CLOSER TO DATE)

For further details please contact: Ruiz Binghay -


Event: Free Korean lessonFor TOTAL Begninners, Learn Hangul in an hour!

Details: The Korean script, Hangul, is often described as the easiest writing system to learn. In this free and fun session, we'll put this to the test. We'll take you through the basics of Hangul and by the end of the hour you will be able to decipher Korean words appearing in authentic contexts. The session is ONLY OPEN TO THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER LEARNED HANGUL BEFORE and will be led by our own resident Korean linguist, Dr. Lucien Brown.

Time: 3-4pm,

Location: E561 (fifth floor, East Wing, room 561), Menzies Building, 20 Chancellors Walk, Monash University,

Registration required

For further details please contact: Adam Zulawnik –


Event: Kimchi Preparation Lessonand Korean food tasting!,

Details: Registration required, numbers limited! 20 kimchi making participants and 10 spectators!

Time: 4-6pm

Location: E561 (fifth floor, East Wing, room 561), Menzies Building, 20 Chancellors Walk, Monash University, Clayton Campus,

For further details please contact: Adam Zulawnik –


Event: Weekly Korean Conversation Circle


Time: 4-5pm

No Registration Required

Location: CL_20Chn/E353

For further details please contact: Ruiz Binghay -


Event: Korean Film Screening (Swing Kids)


Time: 5-7pm

No registration required

Location: 21Rain Forest Walk, Room S7, Clayton Campus, Victoria 3800

For further details please contact: Ruiz Binghay -


Event:  PC BANG w/ MEGA

Details: A fundraiser, all participants must bring laptops

Time: 6-9pm

No registration required

Location: Learning and Teaching Building, Clayton Campus, room to be confirmed

For further details please contact: Ruiz Binghay -


Event: Running Man: Cops Vs Mafia

Details: Registration in Week 5; $5 KASA MEMBERS / $7 NON MEMBERS

Time: 1-3pm

Location: Monash Clayton

‘Emulating One’s Other: Tracing the Local and Foreign Origins of K-pop’

Assoc. Prof. Roald Maliangkay (Australian National University)

Date: 22 August 2019 5-6:30 PM


K-pop is often believed to derive from the boy band formation Seo Taiji and Boys, which arrived on the scene in the early 1990s. Borrowing heavily from American hip hop, it offered a unique blend of melodic tunes, short rap and synchronic dance sequences presented in a style that appeared to take inspiration from hip hop, rock and disco. The hugely successful trio transformed Korean mainstream music and fashion and impacted significantly on young Koreans’ sense of national pride. They also served as the blueprint for later K-pop idol and “talent” formations. It is nevertheless possible to find traces of the business model as far back as the 1950s, and even the 1930s. During these earlier decades, groups of Korean talents were also groomed to serve a wide range of audiences, with good looks and showmanship often taking precedency over musical skill. Expected to draw heavily on foreign examples, the performers managed to nurture their own unique performing skills using talent shows and auditions to land contracts with record companies and the media. What types of music and dance did the early Korean idol groups perform, and which celebrities were they expected to emulate? And what other aspects of the earlier music scenes may be associated with K-pop operations today?


Roald Maliangkay is Assoc. Professor in Korean studies at the Australian National University, where he analyses cultural industries and consumerism in Korea from the early twentieth century to the present. He is author of Broken Voices: Postcolonial Entanglements and the Preservation of Korea’s Central Folksong Traditions (Univ. of Hawaii Press, 2017), and co-editor of K-pop: The International Rise of the Korean Music Industry (Routledge, 2015).

‘Celebrities, Netizens and Nationalism in East Asia’

Dr Stephen Epstein (Victoria University of Wellington)

(In collaboration with Deakin University)

Date: 11 July 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Level 2, Building BC, Burwood campus, WP: KA4.622, VMP 54629


On August 14, 2016, Liberation Day in South Korea, American born Tiffany of K-pop icons Girls’ Generation uploaded a picture to her Instagram account that paid tribute to the group’s concert the previous night: applying a filter available in the social media platform, she added the locale “Tokyo, Japan” to caption the photo in a font style that recalled Japan’s rising sun flag. Netizen reaction was swift and harsh in condemning the “ignorant” action of the star, and her gaffe ultimately led to her dismissal from a popular Korean TV show. Tiffany, however, was far from the first star to be attacked for the display, almost always unwitting, of another nation’s symbols in East Asia’s highly sensitive internet environment. In this talk, Epstein will address such incidents in order to underline how nationalism intersects with the process of increasing mediatisation, personalisation and commodification of celebrity as well as media consumption, democratised fan production and evolving relations between fans and celebrities.

ICKL 2019: The 21st Meeting of the International Circle of Korean Linguistics

Date: July 10-12, 2019

The 21st Biennial Meeting of the International Circle of Korean Linguistics (ICKL21) will be held at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia on 10-12 July 2019 (arrival and banquet on 10 July; conference presentations on 11-12). This will be the second international conference since the merger of the Harvard-ISOKL (Harvard International Symposium on Korean Linguistics) into the ICKL (International Circle of Korean Linguistics).

By holding the conference in Melbourne, ICKL will return to Australia for the first time in 23 years, and this will be only the second ICKL conference in the Southern Hemisphere. We will celebrate the relaunch of the Korean Studies program at Monash University.

Red Glamour: Korea’s Early Communist Women

Assoc. Prof. Ruth Barraclough (ANU)

Date: Friday, 17 May 2019,  4.00- 6.00 pm


In the 1920s some of Korea’s most famous communists were young women. Suppression and exile obliged them to be transnational and multi-lingual as they moved between colonial Korea, Manchuria, Japan, the United States and the Soviet Union. Products of both the sex-positive socialism of the early 1920s and a relatively self-governing leftist movement scattered throughout North East Asia, they became celebrities who turned exile into cruise travel and prison experience into sensational novels. With the founding of North Korea in 1948 many of them returned as cabinet ministers, political officers and leaders of state organisations. This talk traces the rise and fall of North Korea’s early communist women.


Associate Professor Ruth Barraclough teaches at the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University. She researches contemporary Korean history, gender studies and literature, and is a translator of Korean literary fiction. Ruth’s second book Factory Girl Literature was translated into Korean in 2017 and spent 20 weeks on the history bestseller list, receiving numerous recommendations: nominated for the President's summer reading list by South Korea's leading book and newspaper editors and named one of the top ten books of 2017 by Kyunghyang Shinmun. Ruth has studied and worked in South Korea, Australia and the United States. Her new project is a book, co-authored with Professor Jiseung Roh, on North Korea’s glamorous early communist women. Ruth grew up in Queensland and first visited South Korea in the 1980s on a student exchange program.

The Second Annual Korean Speech Contest 2019


DATE: Friday May 10, 2019, 5:30-9pm

‘Working for Korean Companies, Working with Korea: Tips for Students’

Liz Griffin, The Executive Director of the AKBC (Australia Korea Business Council)

Date: Wed 1 May 2019, Time: 4:00-5:15pm

Liz has been working as the Executive Director of the Australia-Korea Business Council (AKBC) for 3 and a half years. The AKBC is the peak industry body focussed on promoting two-way trade and investment between Australia and the Republic of Korea.  The AKBC is a member-based organisation that provides its members with a forum for the exchange of the latest information on economic, financial and commercial developments in Korea and Australia. Liz first commenced studying Korean language at school and completed Korean as a second language in VCE. She then continued with her language study at University, completing a Diploma in languages (Korean). Liz has spent approximately two and a half years working and studying in Korea. She worked at POSCO (Australia’s single largest export customer) in investor relations, and has also studied at some of Korea’s top Universities including Seoul National University (as part of a Hamer Scholarship) and Yonsei University.

During her talk, Liz will share her journey and provide advice around job opportunities related to Australia-Korea business including:

-increasing trade relations between Australia-South Korea

-the kind of skills employees are looking for

-what kind of jobs Korean Studies/language students can apply for and prospects

-how Korean Studies/language students can use their knowledge and Korean skills to their advantage.

'Challenges of maintaining the mother’s language: Southeast Asian marriage-migrants and their mixed-heritage children in South Korea'

Dr. Park Mi Yung (The University of Auckland)

Date: Monday, 15 April, 2019 4.00 -6. 00pm


This talk will examine the language use of Southeast Asian marriage-migrant mothers in rural South Korea with their mixed-heritage children, and the challenges related to heritage language (HL) transmission. Drawing on in-depth interviews with ten women, the study finds that they encountered multiple obstacles when attempting to teach the HL to their children due to conflicting language practices and ideologies within their three-generation families. The Korean family members regarded HL learning as a barrier to the children’s success and discouraged the development of their bilingual and bicultural identities. Moreover, the migrant women viewed themselves as incapable mothers when they felt they could not support their children academically. The mothers’ emphasis on the children’s academic and social success led them to promote Korean at home. Implications for HL education will be discussed.


Dr Mi Yung Park is Senior Lecturer in Korean Studies at the University of Auckland. Her research interests include heritage language maintenance, language and identity, and migration and multilingualism. She has published her work in such journals as International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Language and Education, Language and Intercultural Communication, Journal of Pragmatics, and Classroom Discourse.

'Transformation of Korean Business Groups (Chaebols): Economic and Socio-Political Implications'

Dr. Chinmay Pattnaik (The University of Sydney Business School)

Date: Thursday, 28 March, 2019,  4.00 -6.00pm


Family controlled business groups (chaebols) dominate the corporate landscape of Korea. The concentration of economic activities in the hands of few chaebols has substantial influence on the socio-political and economic activities. While the concentration of chaebols leads to certain positive outcomes for Korean economy, it imposes costs beyond the economic and corporate sphere. Successive governments after the Asian economic crisis in 1997 have attempted to reform the structure and management of chaebols to restrict the negative impact. This presentation will provide a comprehensive understanding of the role of chaebols in Korean economy and society, the benefits and costs associated with chaebol structure and the transformation of chaebols in last two decades. By focusing on the transformation of the structure and management of chaebols, it will identify the future implications of such transformation for Korean economy and society.


Chinmay Pattnaik is the Deputy Head of Discipline and Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of International Business at the University of Sydney Business School. He is the reviewing editor of Asia Pacific Journal of Management.

Chinmay received his PhD in Business Administration from Seoul National University. His research focuses on the corporate and global strategies of firms from emerging market economies. He is interested in studying the determinants and consequences of corporate diversification and international strategies of firms in different institutional contexts including India, China and Korea. He critically evaluates and enriches existing theories by applying them to different institutional contexts. His research has been published by Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Business Ethics, Management International Review, Asia Pacific Journal of Management and Journal of Business Research among other leading management journals. His co-edited book ‘Emerging Market Firms in Global Economy’ is published by Emerald Publishing UK.

Chinmay was the representative-at-large for the Asia Academy of Management (AAoM) (2016-2017) and the nominated Chair of Paper Development Workshop (PDW) of the Academy of Management (AoM) 2018 conference for the AAoM division. He is on the Editorial Review Board of Journal of World Business and Asia Pacific Journal of Management.

'Multimodal dimensions of linguistic politeness in Korean and Japanese'

Dr Lucien Brown (Monash University)

Date: 13 March 2019, 1-2pm

Korean and Japanese are known to have elaborate systems of honorifics that characterise the expression of politeness in these languages. In this talk, I will look at how honorific speech is also different to non-honorific speech in terms of acoustic and visual dimensions. When using honorific speech, speakers do not only use verbal honorifics, but also change the way that their speech sounds, the size and iconicity of the gestures that they use, and the way they coordinate their bodily movements with the interlocutor.


Lucien Brown is Senior Lecturer in Korean Studies at Monash University. An applied linguist by training, his research looks at how speakers of Korean use verbal language and other modalities to communicate social meanings, including politeness, sarcasm, and identity.

The Melbourne Metropolitan Korean Studies Seminar Series 2018 events

'The Civilian Side of Denuclearization: Energy Policy on the Korean Peninsula Seminar'

Dr Heike Hermanns

Gyeongsang National University

Date: 26th July 2018

The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is the topic of negotiations between North Korea, South Korean and the United States, with a focus on nuclear weapons. The non-military use of nuclear technology gathers far less attention. South Korea has long expanded the number of nuclear power plants which currently contribute about one third of the energy needs but in 2017, newly-elected President Moon Jae-in announced the phasing out of nuclear power and an expansion of renewable energy. The presentation explores the development of nuclear energy in South Korea, the resistance against nuclear power plants and the background to the recent policy change. The presentation also briefly covers nuclear power in North Korea and the potential of inter-Korean cooperation in energy matters.


Heike Hermanns is Associate Professor in Political Science at Gyeongsang National University in Jinju, South Korea. Her main research area is South Korean politics, in particular issues related to the development of democracy in the country. Currently, her special focus is on environmental policies and the role of civil society in the policy-making process, lining up with a personal interest in environmental protection. Professor Hermanns has studied in Germany and the UK, and held university research positions in the UK and Australia prior to coming to South Korea in 2007. She has published  widely in Korea and internationally, including in the Pacific Focus, Asian Women, and Asian Policy and Politics.

'“Korean Wave” Still Matters?  Present and Future Directions' International Conference

Date: 7-8 June 2018

Monash Asia Institute (MAI), Asian Cultural and Media Studies Research Cluster (ACMSRC) and Korean Studies Program of Monash University are pleased to welcome submissions of paper abstracts for the conference, “Korean Wave” Still Matters? Present and Future Directions”, which will be held on 7 & 8 June 2018.

Since its initial appearance in Taiwanese and Chinese media in 1997, the term Hallyu has meant different things to different people. It proved to be an effective nationalistic marketing and soft power strategy for the South Korean government and entertainment industries while many fans and casual users alike consumed South Korean cultural contents without any conscious regard for the interests of the state. It also has been received in diverse ways by a wide range of followers in terms of regions, gender, sexuality, ethnicity. As such, Korean Wave has been attracting scholarly interests of many researchers of diverse disciplines across and beyond Asian regions.

Acknowledging the recent vicennial of the Korean Wave, we welcome papers that revisit studies of the Korean Wave and discuss its present and future directions both in and outside of South Korea and Asian regions. Topics of interest include but are not limited to whether or how the discourse of Korean Wave or Hallyu remains relevant today and to whom, new and old sociocultural issues to be explored, South Korean popular culture’s interaction with other national/regional popular cultures and cultural industries such as Indonesian pop or the hip hop culture in China, global implications for the critical study of popular culture in a digital age.

Any enquiries should be directed to

'The South Korean Film Industry Seminar'

Dr Sangjoon Lee (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

Date: Thursday 10 May 2018, 4pm-6pm,

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.


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.

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

Dr Sangjoon Lee (Nanyang Technological University)

Date: Wednesday 9 May 2018  2-2:30pm


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.


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.

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

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


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.

‘Myanmar and North Korea: Divergent Paths’ Seminar

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:


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.

‘Sanctions and Staying Power: North Korea in 2018’ Seminar

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).


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.


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.

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

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)


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.


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 2017 events

“Fish, Forests and Fungus: Vibrant matter(s) in the Environmental and Political Histories of North Korea” Seminar

Dr Robert Winstanley-Chesters
(Australian National University, Canberra)

Date: Wednesday 18th October 2017
Time: 13:00-14:30pm
Location: Japanese Studies Centre

Abstract:From Pyongyang’s urban landscape to sacred political architectures of Mt Paektu, North Korea’s topographies are harnessed in support of its politics. While the nation’s coastlines, mountains and forests are by their nature more liminal and diffuse than its monolithic urban/political terrains, North Korean natures and wildernesses have long served its politico-developmental narratives, forging new ‘socialist’ landscapes and geo-political connections. These terrains are also almost entirely human in focus with little consideration given to a wider ‘web of life.’ Even though the narratives which co-produce the terrain of North Korea’s politics make enormous use of topography and environmental features, they do not for the most part include non-human or non-sentient residents or participants on/on the peninsula.

In this presentation Robert Winstanley-Chesters considers North Korean physical and cultural topography as an assemblage of actors and participants, from what has been termed a ‘more than human perspective.’ With what Jane Bennett has termed ‘vibrant’ or ‘lively’ matter in mind he reviews North Korea’s environmental history and its intersection with the politics and ideology of Pyongyang. In particular Robert addresses the role of forests and timber resources in the formation of North Korean nationalism following the Japanese colonial period and the entwining of fungus and mycorrhizal matters with Pyongyang’s diplomatic efforts in the 1990s and early 2000s. Finally Robert considers fish and fishing infrastructure in North Korea, specifically focusing on communities on Sindo Island at the mouth of the Amnok/Yalu River. In conventional, common discourse North Korea’s relationship with environmental and natural resources has, since the early 1990s become fractious and difficult, beset and characterised by lack, degradation and denudation. However an alternative reading might indicate that in these absences and declines North Korea’s environment has become ‘lively’, ‘vibrant’ and active in the present. Robert within this presentation suggests that such a reading might indeed contribute to a deeper sense of how North Korea citizens, both human and non-human engaged in developmental and environmental processes, conceive of and negotiate their places at geo-political, regional and local scales, (re)constructing new forms of ‘informal life politics’ and ‘vibrant matter’ in a North Korea of transitions.


Robert Winstanley-Chesters is a geographer and Research Fellow at Australian National University. Previously Robert was a Post-Doctoral Fellow of Cambridge University (Beyond the Korean War). Robert obtained his doctorate from the University of Leeds with a thesis later published as “Environment, Politics and Ideology in North Korea: Landscape as Political Project” in 2014 by LexingtonRobert was also a co-editor of the edited volume “Change and Continuity in North Korean Politics” (Routledge) in 2016. Robert’s second monograph “New Goddesses of Mt Paektu: Gender, Violence, Myth and Transformation in Korean Landscapes” will be published in summer 2017/2018 by Lexington. Robert is co-author of the forthcoming monograph “Transformation of Korean Mountain Culture” which will be published in December 2018 by Lexington and is working on a third monograph entitled “Vibrant matter(s), Fish, Fishing, Conservation and Community in North Korea and its neighbours” for publication by Springer in summer 2019. Robert has also published in academic journals such as S/N Korean HumanitiesCapitalism Nature SocialismAsian Perspective and North Korean Review. Robert is currently researching leisure geographies, fishing and animal/creaturely geographies in North Korea and the colonial mineralogical and forest inheritances of the Korean peninsula.

“20 Year’s Evolution of North Korean Migration” Seminar

Dr Jiyoung (Jay) Song
(Asia Institute, University of Melbourne)

Date: Thursday 5th October 2017

Biography:Dr Jiyoung (Jay) Song is a Senior Lecturer in Korean Studies at the Asia Institute of the University of Melbourne. She is also a Global Ethics Fellow of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York. Prior to the current positions, Jay was a Director of Migration at the Sydney-based Lowy Institute and Assistant Professor in Political Science at the Singapore Management University.


Over the past two decades, there have been notable changes in North Korean migration: from forced migration to trafficking in women, from heroic underground railways to people smuggling by Christian missionaries. The migration has taken mixed forms of asylum seeking, human trafficking, undocumented labour migration and people smuggling. The author follows the footsteps of North Korean migrants from China through Southeast Asia to South Korea, and from there to the United Kingdom, to see the dynamic correlation between human (in)security and irregular migration. She analyses how individual migrant’s agency interacts with other key actors in the migration system and eventually brings about emerging patterns of four distinc- tive forms of irregular migration in a macro level. It uses human security as its conceptual framework that is a people-centred, rather than state- or national security-centric approach to irregular migration.

“Hardworking Women: Embodying the Nation in a Jeju Dive Fishery”

Josephine Wright
(Independent Scholar)

Biography:Josephine Wright undertook twelve months’ ethnographic Fieldwork with Jeju people in South Korea in 2000 and 2001. She acknowledges the generosity and support of the Department of Anthropology in the College of Asia and the Pacific (then RSPAS) at the  ANU, Australian Postgraduate Award, Korea Foundation, NIIED, and Pusan, Cheju and Monash Universities.

Abstract:A talk with maps and images. This informal talk shows how gender roles have changed with the introduction of mass media, with this exposure to national representations of gender intensifying a local self-consciousness that Jeju men and women played different roles to mainland people. While young Jeju people in the year 2000 identified with mainland South Korean gendered identities, they also proudly reproduced Jeju nationalist narratives about the singularity of Jeju women’s physical and emotional strength, their loud voices, diving and farming skills and muscular builds, and the kindness and gentle faces of their scholarly, sedentary Jeju men. These nostalgic representations of a differently gendered Jeju past were both intensely felt by locals and reproduced for tourism and South Korean television shows like “Our Hometown”, important media for a nationalism wherein Jeju people continue to occupy a place as an Other within- both included in and excluded from the national imaginary. 

Korean Film Showing

Short introductory talk “Train to Busan and the Korean War” by Andrew Jackson (Monash University)

Followed by a screening of Train To Busan

Date: 4th September 2017