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.
This course aims to allow students to learn about Korea using the three focuses of class, gender, and family. Reading ethnographic literature will be a tool to understand how class, gender, and family have been formed in Korea. Korea has transformed from one of the world's poorest agriculturally based countries to a postindustrial country in a very short time period. More than 80% of the entire population redefined itself as middle class, which shows Korean people's strong desire for upward mobility. Family has played an important role in realizing upward mobility and forming a middle-class identity. The gender-division of labor based on the separation between public and private spheres has functioned as an effective system for fast economic development while deepening gender discrimination. Marginalization of women has resulted in the abnormal growth of the private sphere where an extremely competitive education system and real estate speculation have been formed as family strategies for upward mobility. The particularity of Korean modernity can be found in the process of the interwoven formation of class, gender, and family.
Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of instruction and practice in actual service in a department, program, or discipline. Teaching formats may include seminars, in-depth studies, laboratory work and patient study.