Here’s Looking at You: Parasite (2019), Racism, and COVID-19

deadline for submissions: 
July 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
SWCAS (Southwest Conference on Asian Studies, AAS regional)
contact email: 

Seeking panelists for a roundtable as described below.  SWCAS (Southwest Conference on Asian Studies, AAS regional)  Oct 24, virtual conference: 

Here’s Looking at You: Parasite (2019), Racism, and COVID-19

Co-chairs: Dr. Moisés Park, Dr. Marcy Tanter

Abstract:  When the South Korean film Parasite won four Oscars this year, the excitement was almost tangible. In South Korea, citizens swelled with pride to see Director Bong and the film win awards no Korean film had won before. Outside Korea, fans of Bong’s work and fans of Korean cinema also rejoiced. Despite the historic wins, not all responses to them were positive or uplifting. Racist comments appeared on social media sites prior to the wins, and they increased after them. Almost concurrent with the Oscars, the Covid-19 outbreak started to become serious in the United States and that, too, resulted in a barrage of racist attacks on social media and in person. Many Korean-Americans were assaulted and made to fear for their lives as they were accused of being the source of the virus, even though it was completely untrue.

This roundtable will be a discussion of the racist responses to the film and the virus from a variety of perspectives. We invite panellists to consider: racist and anti-racist threads on social media sites; responses in popular media (including online journals); poems and art created in response to this racism; the ‘outing’ of racist attacks via personal videos posted on social media and in news media. Other views welcome.  Each panelist will speak for 8-15 minutes depending on the number of participants, followed by discussion. Audience participation will be encouraged. Abstracts of 100 words to moises_park@baylor.edu or tanter@tarleton.edu