Lecture: Ddakjibon and the Cultural Hybridity of the Korean Modern Age (by Kim Sung-hwa)

Date of event:   26/05/2021 − 26/05/2021

Title: Ddakjibon and the Cultural Hybridity of the Korean Modern Age
Format: Public lecture over Zoom (The lecture will be held in German)
Speaker: Prof. Dr. Kim Sung-hwa (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)
Date: 26 May 2021, 10:00–11:00 (Zurich / UTC+2)
Organized by: Institute of Art History (East Asian Art History), University of Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland

The “Ddakjibon” refers to a type of popular reading material in the Korean modern age, which appeared with colourful book covers after the introduction of modern printing technology around 1900. The Korean modern age, which began with the forced opening of the ports in 1876, was a field of cultural hegemony where different cultures met, clashed and merged: the cultural tradition from the Joseon period (1392-1910), the culture of the West introduced by missionaries since the end of the 19th century, and Japanese culture or Western culture received through Japan in the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945), all these joined to form a hybrid culture through absorption, mixing and exclusion.

As ‘a product of modernity’ and at the same time ‘a discourse on modernity’, the Ddakjibon articulates the cultural hybridity of Korean modernity in terms of materiality and narrativity. Under the technical and social conditions of the turn of the century around 1900, the publication, distribution, and consumption process of the Ddakjibon demonstrates the emergence of the modern reading public and the spread of a reading culture. In addition to various technical and social factors, the popularity of the Ddakjibon can be explained by the appeal of its specific linguistic-graphic narrative, which acted as a crucial motivation in reading: The genre-specific narrative patterns in romance novels, heroic novels, etc, and the colourful cover illustrations reflect the ideas, experiences and desires integrated into the Korean ‘modernity’.

About the author
Kim Sung-hwa, Ph.D.is a lecturer of German Literature and Media Studies atthe Department of German Language and Literature, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (Seoul, Republic of Korea). Her main areas of research are in literature and visual culture (graphic novels, caricatures, illustrations) and the adaptation of various media. Her current research includes the following publications: “Alles nichts als Karikatur.” Nicolas Mahlers Bernhard-Adaption Alte Meisterund die Anti-Mimesis-Kunst. Closure #5.5. June 2019; “Kafka und Graphic Novel.” Franz Kafka Studies 카프카연구. Vol. 41. June 2019; “Heidi in Korea.” Paper presented at the international symposium Heidi from Japan: Anime, Narratives, and Swiss Receptions (29.–31. August 2019). (expected publication in 2021); “Beethoven-Remix in Korea. Beethoven-Rezeption in populären Medien.” Paper for the Stadtmuseum Bonn. (expected publication in2021).

Zoom meeting details:
ID: 626 4335 5022
Passcode: 925589


For more information please see the flyer in PDF here, or visit the the website here.