Counter-intelligibility in Recent South Korean Film

Dr. Hanscom will explore the possibility of understanding contemporary South Korean cultural production outside of a nationalist or culturalist framework of interpretation.  A reading of two recent films provides an opportunity to consider how art can formally convey a content that reflects or stems from its situation and at the same time can exceed the realist imperative to reproduce sameness.  He will examine two normalizing discourses in particular — the medical and the national — that claim a certain authority to establish and police frameworks of knowledge under which truth is arbitrated.  In both form and content, these films transgress the division between intelligibility and unintelligibility (or truth and error) by violating norms of narrative genre, working toward a new site of community in an already global or post-national situation.

Bio: Dr. Hanscom is an Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA. He is the author of The Real Modern: Literary Modernism and the Crisis of Representation in Colonial Korea (2013), and co-editor of The Affect of Difference: Representations of Race in East Asian Empire (2016) and of Imperatives of Culture: Selected Essays on Korean History, Literature, and Society from the Japanese Colonial Era (2013). His research has dealt with the relationship between social and aesthetic forms, questions of colonial literature, issues of race and empire, and the relationship between scientific thinking and literature in the modern period. Dr. Hanscom received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA, and his B.A. in English Literature from Cornell University.  He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, and has also taught at Dartmouth College.