The Futures of Uri: Global Korean Screen Culture in Postsocialist China

The Futures of Uri: Global Korean Screen Culture in Postsocialist China

Tian Li - Postdoctoral Associate in East Asian Studies and Lecturer in East Asian Languages & Literatures

Wednesday, April 26, 2023 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Room 202, Rosenkranz Hall See map
115 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511

The cultural phenomenon known as Korean Wave (Hallyu) has flourished on the Chinese mainland since the 1990s, both officially and unofficially, despite looming political conflicts and cultural boycotts. Although the term Hallyu was initially coined in the Chinese context and the phenomenon has reshaped the contours of Chinese pop culture, the Sino-Korean entanglements in screen media have received little attention in English-language scholarship. Tian Li’s research theories the (re)localization of Korean screen culture in China through the concept of what she terms screen-capitalism—a system of audiovisual relations that foregrounds the negotiations of boundaries through affective and sensory co-experiences. This work analyzes these entanglements by scrutinizing Chinese remakes of Korean variety television programs, Sino-Korean film and television co-productions and co-consumptions, and the deployment of screen-capitalism in Chinese television programs after Hallyu has transformed to an Amnyu (undercurrent) in the Chinese context. This talk will show how Korean screen media has been transplanted into different cultural, ideological, and linguistic communities, through mimicked and incorporative modes. By demonstrating the compatibility of screen-capitalism’s logic with both capitalist and (post)socialist societies, she contends that this audiovisual mechanism, insofar as it is fluidly transplantable, ideologically permeable, and transnationally gendered, circulates a shifting cultural paradigm both on and off the screen.

Before joining Yale, Tian Li was a Korea Foundation-Korea Institute postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at Harvard University, and a lecturer on Asian screen culture at Stanford University. She was also awarded the Yvette and William Kirby Centennial in Chinese studies by the American Council of Learned Societies. Her teaching has earned a Teaching Excellence award from the Office of Undergraduate Education, Harvard University. She received her Ph.D. in East Asian Studies from the University of California, Irvine. She specializes in Korean and Chinese film, media, and cultural studies. Her articles appear in such journals as Telos, China Perspectives, and Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies. Her current book project Screen-capitalism: Transnational Korean Screen Culture in Postsocialist China investigates the shifting paradigms of cultural dynamics within Korean and Chinese screen media, at their intersection with affect, aesthetic, gender, and ideology.

China, Korea