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Pure Feeling and Fantasy: Remembering Sunjŏng Manhwa in the Twenty-First Century

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Event Details:

This talk will explore the juvenile aesthetics and sensibilities of sunjŏng manhwa, a girls’ comics genre that flourished between the 1980s to early 2000s in South Korea. More specifically, the speaker examine how sunjŏng manhwa is remembered in the works of “Gen X” and “millennial” Korean writers, critics, and filmmakers, whose childhood and adolescence coincided with the heydays of sunjŏng manhwa. By close reading their work through an interdisciplinary methodology informed by queer theory and girls’ studies, the speaker demonstrates how sunjŏng manhwa functioned as a type of fantasy space where children and young adults of those generations dwelled in to escape the violence and poverty that plagued their day to day lives. In doing so, the speaker reframes “pure feeling” (sunjŏng) as a narrative and visual aesthetic that incubated the desires and aspirations of women, girls, and other minoritized subjects in late-authoritarian and neoliberalizing South Korea.

This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP here.

About the speaker:

Kyunghee Eo is Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale University. Her research is centered on modern Korean literature and culture, with a special interest in queer and feminist theory and Asian American studies. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Yonsei University and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.

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