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In Session: Understanding Transnational in Asian Media: Rebuilding Asian Subjectivity Through Trans-Asian Convergence of Media, Technology, Narrative, and Culture
3: The Korean Wave and the Fun of Translation
Friday, March 26, 2021
8:30am – 10:00am EDT
Bellevue College, United States
While much attention has been paid to the cross-border dissemination of Korean television dramas and popular music, much less ink has been spilled on Korean literature in translation, webtoon (Korean term for digital comics), and mukbang (eating and broadcasting), as well as their production and consumption within and beyond the national boundary of South Korea. This paper looks into these less-privileged areas in the transnationality of the Korean Wave and provides new insights on the convergence of narrative, media, and culture. Rather than focusing generally on South Korea’s cultural, social, and technological backgrounds and their impact on the Korean Wave, this paper takes an a posteriori approach and analyzes the specific ways in which these three forms of Korean popular culture are semiotically, technically, and culturally constituted and mediated. It also probes into how their respective media environments influence media recipients across borders cognitively, emotionally, and ethically. Through the close reading of three selective case studies and their receptions beyond Korea, this paper ultimately makes clear why and how these Korean popular media products work and engage media recipients regardless of their different national, cultural, and geographical backgrounds.