"From Ojŏk to Nakkomsu: Media and Satire in South Korean Democratization"

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Friday, December 1st, 2017

Friday, December 1, 20172:00PM - 4:00PM208N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place
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In 1970, the Park Chung Hee regime imprisoned Kim Chi-ha for publishing Ojŏk (Five Bandits), a lengthy satirical poem that dared to call the government a band of thieves. The poet on trial then turned the court into a stage for further dramatizing his resistance. Nearly half a century later, the “candlelight revolution” that brought down Park Chung Hee’s daughter from power turned the streets and social media into a fluid offline-online stage for a phenomenonal drama of resistance. But the candlelight revolution was preceded by what might be called a “podcast revolution,” launched in 2011 by the wildly parodic Nakkomsu (I am a petty cheat). Examining the role of political satire through Ojŏk and Nakkomsu, the talk will address the transformation and media-specific potency of “laughtivism” in South Korean democratization.

Professor Youngju Ryu is Associate Professor of Korean Literature and Director of the Korean Language Program in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. Professor Ryu specializes in modern Korean literature and her areas of research expertise include aesthetics of dissidence, cultures of authoritarianism, and philosophies of reconciliation in twentieth-century Korea. She is the author of Writers of the Winter Republic: Literature and Resistance in Park Chung Hee’s Korea (Columbia University Press, 2016).


Martina Mimica


Professor Youngju Ryu
Associate Professor, Korean Literature, University of Michigan

Hae Yeon Choo
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

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