Sunyoung Yang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies. She received her PhD from the Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, Canada, and her MA and BA from the Department of Sociology, Yonsei University, South Korea. Sunyoung’s research and teaching interests concentrate on the influence of new media and information & communication technologies on society with attention to youth, labor, and gender issues in Korea and East Asia. She is currently writing a book manuscript based on her PhD dissertation, “The Korean Internet Freak Community and Its Cultural Politics, 2002–2011” which examines the interwoven processes between Internet development and political-economic and socio-cultural changes in South Korea through the formation of new subjectivities of Internet users. Her current research project focuses on the emergence of extreme right-wing Internet politics in South Korea as well as in East Asia with comparative approaches. Sunyoung also participates in a university-wide collaborative and cross-disciplinary group of faculty to forge exciting research agendas in the area of Technology Enhanced Language Learning (TELL).
This course will focus on a thematic introduction to Korean films, which have received highly critical praise from film analysts in the international film festival circuits, and have put the South Korean film industry from an unknown to an unstoppable force in the past decade. The goals of the class are (1) to identify the main themes and issues in the most representative films; (2) to explore how these themes and issues relate to Korea's past; and (3) to develop a critical historical and cultural awareness of Korean visual culture in which each film is judged as a work of art in its own settings and theme. The Introduction to Korea through Films course will explore Korean films in broad (and at times narrow) cultural, social, historical, political and aesthetic contexts in order to investigate transnational media production and circulation, globalization, consumer culture, commercialization, and construction of national, ethnic and gender identities. Through this diverse nature of the course, students will learn more about specific issues pertaining to Korea and its people, as well as gain familiarity with some prominent filmmakers of Korea's past and present, such as Kang Je-Kyu, Im Kwon-Taek and Lee Chang-Dong, as well as paying special attention to genres of Korean film such as melodrama, action, and slapstick comedy, and romance.