Textual Materiality in Korea: Premodern to Postmodern

March 2, 2021

April 16-17, 2021 

"Journal of Korean Studies" special issue workshop.

Co-edited by Olga Fedorenko and Ksenia Chizhova

“Textual Materiality in Korea, Premodern to Postmodern” special issue seeks to ground the study of Korea, past and present, in the materiality of writing, while refining its theorization and historicization. Technological developments of the recent decades have prompted renewed academic interest in inscriptional media, their innovation and negotiation, and we aim to explore when and how the medium becomes the message and shift the lens of critical inquiry from textual interpretation towards the infrastructure of textual transmission and the work of the body and the senses. Further, we wish to draw attention to how writing as material technology is implicated in power relations, whereby script enables language standardization, social control, and spatial claims. Finally, we are interested in the dynamics of remediation and intermediality: competition, symbiosis, and border-crossing among distinct mediums. 

We invite submissions that consider such theoretical problems at any point of Korean history from scholars of media, material culture, visual culture, literature, history, anthropology, and related fields. Moving beyond the discussion of cosmopolitan vs. vernacular developments in the literary culture of premodern Korea, can we identify the significance of performative aspects of writing (writing in blood, spirit writing, writing as self-harmful filial activity, etc)? How was writing affected by the proliferation of new media technologies, such as printing press, radio and television, in the context of colonial modernity and, later, post-colonial nation-building in two Koreas? How has the spread of the Internet and other new media technologies reconfigured textual materialities?


Materiality Poster - Chizhova