Thinking through the Local: New Directions in Korean Aesthetics (ACLA 2021, Virtually held from April 8 to 11)

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Hyeryung Hwang
contact email: 

Thinking through the Local: New Directions in Korean Aesthetics 

Session Chairs: Dr. Hyeryung Hwang (Cal Poly Pomona) & Dr. Na-rae Kim (U of Connecticut) 

Panel Description: 

Earlier this year, the director and co-screenwriter of <Parasites> (2019) Bong Joon-Ho remarked that the Oscars is “very local.” This statement and various responses to it brought to surface unease that follows the critique of the universalizing tendency of the American film scene. This seminar takes Korean aesthetics as the lens to explore the relationalities between the center and the periphery in art. The curious place of Korean art in the world, especially with its rise in the 21st century that is simultaneously celebrated and dismissed, reveals the complex dynamics of core-periphery networks. Moreover, the intertwined history of (post-)colonialism and imperialism continues to generate borrowings, disavowals, and desires that shape Korean texts vis-a-vis others.

With this in mind, we seek papers that examine the particularities of Korean aesthetics and its place in the world. What are some possibilities for new directions in Korean aesthetics? How does Korean aesthetics negotiate the conflicting desire to be responsive to Western expectations of peripheral aesthetics, on the one hand, and to be liberated from its desire for recognition, on the other? One particular interest of this seminar concerns how Korea and Korean America relate, as this inquiry complicates our understanding of the core/periphery model. How do Korean and Korean American artistic endeavors converge or diverge? How does this blur or reinforce various divides such as nation, genre, context, and form?

Please send a 300 word abstract and a short bio through the ACLA portal. The paper submission portal will remain open until 11:59pm EST on October 31st.

If you have any questions about this seminar, please feel free to contact Dr. Hyeryung Hwang ( or Dr. Na-rae Kim ( 


Here is how to submit a paper to our fully virtual conference (from the ACLA e- mail):

1.) You can reach the virtual conference platform on the following page by clicking the button reading "Access Virtual Conference

2.) You will be prompted to log in using your ACLA account information. If you do not currently have an account you will be able to create one at that time.

3.) After logging in you will reach the Home page for the ACLA 2021 conference shown in the screenshot below. All conference information is displayed on this page. In order to view the seminars, click the menu for "View Seminars" at the top of the screen.

4.) You can scroll through the seminars or use the keyword search tool on the right side of the screen to find a particular seminar. Once you are ready to apply, click the button beneath the seminar title reading "Apply to this Seminar" (see screenshot below). Follow the steps to submityour paper abstract.