My doctoral dissertation, titled, (Beyond) Propaganda: Biopolitics and the Mode of Fantasy in South Korean and Japanese Film During and After the U.S. Occupation Period (1945-1979), examines the generic formation of melodrama and documentary film in Korea and Japan under postwar U.S. Occupation in relation to American liberalism, capitalist modernity and neo- colonialism in East Asia. Drawing on approaches articulated in modern history and media theory, I take up the prominent theoretical issues of biopolitics, (post) coloniality and gender politics within the historical field of postwar Korea and Japan. I consider how postwar Korean and Japanese melodrama under the Motion Picture Association of Korea and Civil Information and Education in Japan controlled by U.S. Amy military government played a role in making “American-style democracy,” which was based on a dominant biopolitical fiction concerning gender. I also discuss how propagandistic documentary films censored by the United States Information Service in Korea and CIE in Japan contributed to the formation of “postwar liberalism” as a technique of governmentality. I also explore the way that contemporaneous cinematic practices were employed in Korea and Japan to counter U.S. occupation policies. I explore how these practices, such as the melodramatic mode, social realism, and “sub-realism” and “magical realism,” as well as direct cinema and cinema verité style, all transformed dominant auteurism of (neo) realism, surrealism and Griersonian documentary style. On this basis, I assert that it is possible to differentiate films of the period into self-reflexive modes of genre and modes of heterogeneous fantasy that open up visions of an alternative to the capitalist biopolitical modernity imposed under both the U.S. occupation in Japan and Japanese colonial legacies in Korea.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2016. Major: Asian Literature, Culture & Media. Advisors: Travis Workman, Chirstine Marran. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 171 pages.
(Beyond) Propaganda: Biopolitics and the Mode of Fantasy in South Korean and Japanese Film During and After the U.S. Occupation Period (1945-1979).
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