News and Events

News and Events

The UCLan Confucius Institute provides activities that broaden the cultural flavour and landscape of Preston, and the larger Lancashire community, by staging cultural and educational events and activities.

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Sino-Korean Screen Relations Symposium

The UCLan CI is delighted to sponsor a one-day international conference on the topic of Sino-Korean Screen Relations. This event will be held at UCLan on 16th-17th January 2020. If you are interested in presenting a paper, please see the Call For Papers below:

Call for Papers

We invite papers on the topic of Sino-Korean Screen Relations for a symposium on 16-17th January 2020. The symposium will bring together scholars of Film, TV and Screen Media Studies to explore diverse and intricate relations between Sinophone and Korean-language screen media. It will take place at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK, which is located with easy transport links to the scenic Lake District and the vibrant urban and cultural centres of Manchester and Liverpool. Accommodation, lunch and refreshments will be provided for presenters, and some travel assistance will be offered to post-grad researchers. We particularly welcome papers from scholars from across the Sinophone and Koran-language cultural centres and diasporas.  Selected papers will be offered publication opportunities in an edited collection on the symposium theme.

‘Sino-Korean screen relations’ is a significant and under-studied research area. It includes relations between the two largest and most influential contemporary screen media spheres in the East Asian region. However, the emphasis on relations gestures beyond the concept of distinct Sinophone and Korean-language spheres of cultural (re)production, and beyond dominant national ideologies and nation-based media historiography. Instead, it re-conceptualises Sino-Korean screen media as intricately interlinked through diverse yet disjunctive webs of historical and contemporary relationships. These encompass Trans-Asian human, media, format, finance and technology flows; state, industrial, and (inter)textual relations of similarity, difference, collaboration and competition; and relations of connection, appropriation, exclusion and ‘othering’. Concomitantly, the formulation of ‘Sinophone’ and ‘Korean-language’ encompasses all media in Chinese dialects, as well as Korean-language media produced by North and South Koreans, Korean Chinese and other diasporic Korean cultures.

This symposium builds on growing body of literature around this Sino-Korean screen relations. Foremost, Chris Berry calls for a Sino-Korean screen media history project in his seminal 2016 article. For Berry, the significance of research tracing the history of disjunctive and discontinuous connections between Sino-Korean screen media would lay in its ability “to combat methodological and ideological nationalism, but without becoming complicit with globalization and its ideology.” Berry calls for a transnational cinema history capable of focusing on Korean filmmakers in colonial-era Shanghai; the reception of North Korean films in China; uneven (Sino-Korean) global flows; trans-border production; and issues of distribution and exhibition. In a similar vein, Soyoung Kim (2006) highlights Hong Kong-Korean location shooting practices in the 1960-70s, and Jinhee Choi (2010) raises questions about the influence of 1980s Hong Kong cinema on 1990s Korean film. Chua Beng Huat’s (2012) research on the Sinophone pop culture sphere that predates and facilitates the contemporary regional circulation of media products segues towards research on the Korean Wave, which has produced a strong body of work on reception issues in Sinophone cultures, (e.g. Chua and Iwabushi 2008). Turning to production contexts, Dal Yong Jin (2016) asks how designing for Chinese markets impacts Korean film and TV drama production. More recently, Chinese institutions facing the popularity of South Korean TV drams have imposed import restrictions and adapted local TV formats. The questions of convergence such responses raise are matched by divergence in other screen media, such as the differing uses to which similar Korean and Chinese mobile live-streaming technologies are put, such as the mokbang phenomenon in Korea (Hakimey and Yazdanifard 2015) and queer activism in China (Bao 2018).

As these research trajectories suggest, an extremely rich, complex and diverse set of relations have interconnected aspects of Sinophone and Korean-language screen media almost since the inception of modern screen media technologies in Asia. This symposium calls for a new research approach with an explicit focus on these relations and on the implications of such interconnectivities across the history of Sino-Korean screen media. It invites papers and panels on any relations between Sinophone and Korean-language media. These could include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The impact of Chinese markets on Korean screen media.
  • The impact of Korean screen media on Chinese media production.
  • Unequal flows of media, such as TV drams, between Sinophone and Korean-language spheres.
  • Constructions of Korean, Chinese and Korean Chinese people in Korean and Chinese screen media.
  • Korean Chinese film and screen media produced in China and Korea.
  • Images of Korean Chinese in Chinese and Korean media
  • Media by and/or about North Koreans in China
  • Unequal global image flows, such as the relatively greater number of images of Chinese people in South Korean films than of Koreans in Chinese films.
  • Trans-border production practices, such as Koreans working in 1960-70s Hong Kong
  • Reception issues, such as screenings of South Korean film in 1960s Taipei, or North Korean films in 1960-70s Beijing.
  • Korean-Language and Sinophone live-streaming media.
  • Queer screen cultures in the Korean-language and Sinophone spheres.
  • North/South Korean and Chinese memories of the Korean War in Film
  • The regional circulation of stars and idols from diverse Korean and Sinophone popular culture industries.
  • Sinophone/Korean TV formats.
  • Sino-Korean co-productions in any screen media.
  • Comparisons between ‘New Wave’ cinemas in different Korean/Sinophone cultures.
  • Constructions of local landscapes in Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin and Hokkien/Fujian films.
  • Manchuria in Chinese and Korean cinema history.
  • Representations of Japanese in North/South Korean and Sinophone cinemas.
  • Sino-Korean genre relations, especially in martial arts and gangster films.
  • Sinophone and Korean-language documentary practices.
  • Anime relations
  • Sino-Korean human relations in screen media production.
  • Imperial-era Sino-Korean ([Tang, Yuan, Ming, Qin]-[Choseon, Koryo, Shilla]) relations in Korean and Sinophone film.

Please send abstracts (250 words) and short bio (100 words) to (or by 7th November 2019. Selected papers will be informed by 15th November 2019. Full papers (max 6000 words Chicago Reference style) should be sent by 6th January 2020.

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Past Events

China Lecture Series

Wednesday 6th March 2019, Adelphi TVI, 1.30-4pm
The Dowager Empress Cixi (1835-1908): ‘Ruling from behind the Yellow Silk Screen’
by David Rosier

This lecture seeks to provide a balanced insight into the life and achievements of one of the most important women in Chinese Imperial history.

From relative obscurity as a low-ranking consort we explore the events that led to her confirmation as Dowager Empress Cixi in 1861. From a position of power, we will review her strategy to preserve, then revitalise, imperial rule after a series of humiliating military defeats by Western Colonial Powers plus several brutal ethnic uprisings.

With the assistance of recently available Imperial Records, plus contemporary evaluations of Cixi’s life, it is now possible to refute the ‘traditional’ view that the Dowager Empress was a cruel and calculating megalomaniac who hated foreigners, condoned corruption and resisted all attempts to modernize and industrialise China. Current evidence provides a far more balanced evaluation.

We will trace the cycles of Cixi’s power, as Emperors came and went, whilst the Dowager Empress moved periodically from a position of influence, to full authority, and then into times of enforced retirement.

Looking beyond Cixi’s desire to force China into the Modern World we will gain an insight into her life within her beloved Summer Palace with a focus on her passion for painting, embroidery, fashion design and her extensive gardens. A location where Cixi forged some extraordinarily close relationships with leading Western Women as she sought to understand the culture, politics and the role of women in the ‘West’

All welcome. Free.

Dowager Empress Cixi

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