Mark R. Plaice

Mark R Plaice

Lecturer in Korean Studies and East Asian Popular Cultures

School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies

Adelphi Building, AB147

+44 (0) 1772 89 5456

Subject Areas: Languages and International Studies, Media, TV, Film and Photography

Mark Plaice is a Lecturer in Korean Studies and East Asian Popular Cultures in the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies at UCLan. He leads modules on Korean Society and Culture, East Asian Cinemas, East Asian Popular Cultures, and Ab Initio Korean Language. Mark’s research focuses on South Korean genre film and TV drama, with particular interests in Korean gangster and queer film, and medical and political dramas. Mark also runs UCLan’s Asia Pacific Film Festival. 

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Full Profile

Mark Plaice is a lecturer (assistant professor) in Korean Studies and East Asian Popular Cultures. He joined UCLan’s growing Korean Studies team in 2017 as an associate lecturer specialising in Korean language teaching. Since 2018 he has worked as a lecturer and runs modules on twentieth century Korean society and culture, and contemporary East Asian popular cultures and cinemas. Mark welcomes applications from research students in Korean film and popular culture. 

Mark completed his PhD at in the Film Studies Department at King’s College, London, in 2017. He is currently rewriting his thesis, Korean Gangster Film and the Spaces of Modernity, for publication as a book. His doctoral research traces out the ways in which Korean gangster films adapted to changes in South Korean society through formula shifts associated with a proliferation of new spaces that emerge in the genre since 2001. In more recent research, Mark has extended this attention to screen space and place, and to the relation between genre and society. He has presented papers on Korean queer film and the city, the genre dynamics of Korean hospital dramas, and cinematic reactions to recent political and censorship scandals in South Korea at a number of international conferences. These papers all build towards three major projects that focus Mark’s on-going research: A genre studies approach to Korean TV drama; mapping the ways in which significant political events are processed through popular culture; and a history of diverse and changing ‘Others’ in South Korean cinema.

Prior to coming to UCLan, Mark taught Film Studies at Kings College London and lectured on Critical Media Theory at SOAS. He was also a visiting lecturer in the Film Theory Department at the Korean National University of the Arts. Mark’s teaching has encompassed modules on Film Theory, Chinese National Cinemas, Authorship and Creativity, Film and Architecture, and East Asian Action Film History.  Mark is committed to continually developing his teaching practise in innovative and evidence informed ways. Mark undertook a postgraduate diploma in Academic Practice in Higher Education at KCL. He is currently working on M.Ed. dissertation research, which involves partnering with students to co-design the curriculum on the core second year Korean society and cultures model and mapping student response to this collaborative process.  Mark is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and an active mentor for colleagues pursuing their HEA accreditations.

Mark lived in Seoul, South Korea, from 1995 to 2003, during which time he developed his love for Korean culture and film. He studied Korean language at the langue schools at Ehwa and Sogang Universities.

He holds the following qualifications:

  • BA (Hons), Humanities, Greenwich University, London, 1991.
  • MBA, International Business, Yonsei University, Seoul, 2002.
  • MA, Korean Studies, SOAS, London, 2008.
  • PG Dip., Academic Practice in Higher Education, King’s College, London, 2017.
  • Ph.D., Film Studies, King’s College, London, 2019.

Research Groups

  • International Institute of Korean Studies
  • World Literatures and Cinemas Research Group
  • Film, Media and Culture Research Group
  • Centre for Chinese Studies

Research Activities

Over the next three years, Mark is focusing on two individual research projects, and collaborating with international colleagues on a third project. He is currently re-writing his doctoral thesis on Korean Gangster Film and the Space of Modernity for publication as a book. His latest project is a history of ‘Others’ in South Korean Cinema. Mark is also pursuing collaborative research on the impact of blacklist censorship on South Korean Arts and media, with a guest edited section of the European Journal of Korean Studies forthcoming. Mark is also working on an edited collection on Korean TV drama following the successful symposium on this topic at UCLan in June 2019.

Future planned projects include work on Sino-Korean screen relations and intersectionality in Korean queer film. Mark is currently supervising research students working on constructions of ‘foreigners’ in Russian cinema,  and welcomes expressions of interest from postgrad/post-doc researchers in any area of Korean/Asia Pacific cinema and popular cultures.

Conferences Organised

The 8th Korean Screen Studies Conference, University of Central Lancashire, UK, 6th – 7th June, 2019

The K-Drama and TV Symposium, University of Central Lancashire, UK, 5th June 2019

The East Asian Screen Studies Symposium, King's College, London, UK, 16th May 2014

Papers presented

“It didn’t have to be this way!”: Unsettling Historical Narratives in South Korean Film: Paper presented as the Joint East Asian Studies Conference, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, 4th – 6th September 2019.

The Rural Korean Gangster Film: Reconstructing the Countryside:  Paper presented at the 13th Asian Cinema Studies Society Conference, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore, 24th – 26th June 2019.

Medial Drama: The Other’s critique of Korean Modernity:  Paper presented at the K-Drama and Korean Television Symposium, University of Central Lancashire, UK, June 2019.

Neoliberal Noir in a Post-Conspiracy Era: Prosecutors, police, & the politics of South Korean crime film since 2016: Paper presented at the 8th Korean Screen Cultures Conference, University of Central Lancashire, UK, June 2019.

The ‘Politics of Aesthetics’ in Backlist South Korea: Paper presented at the Association of Asian Studies conference, Denver, USA, March 2019.

Papers Presented (Cont.)

Neoliberal Noir in a Post-Conspiracy Era: Public prosecutors in South Korean crime film: Paper presented at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, Seattle, USA, March 2019.

The Political Power of Film?: How to get on the blacklist in South Korea: Paper presented at the MeCCSA annual conference, University of Stirling, Scotland, January 2019.

The Queer Spaces of Seoul: Heterotopias, tactics, and the Neoliberal subject in South Korean queer film: Paper presented at the 6th Yun Posun Memorial Symposium, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, October 2018.

Rural Space in Korean Gangster Film: The Countryside under South Korean Modernity: Paper presented at the 7th Korean Screen Cultures Conference, Helsinki University, Finland, May, 2018.

Fighting Form(s): Shifting Poetics of Violence in South Korean Gangster Film: Paper presented at the ‘Poetics of Asian Cinemas Conference' (12th Asian Cinema Studies Society Conference), Lancaster University, UK, 10th – 12th July 2017.

Papers Presented (Cont.)

Disruptive Ganglands: The urban conflict zones of South Korean modernity’: Paper presented at the 6th Korean Screen Studies Conference, Hamburg University, Germany, 16th – 17th June 2017.

Domesticating the Gangster? Introducing the Korean family drama gangster film: Paper presented at the 5th Korean Screen Studies Conference, King's College, London, UK, 2nd – 4th June 2016.

Teaching for Specific Learning Disabilities at King’s College London: Group poster presentation with Dr. Claudia Kathe, Dr. Steven Kiddle, & Dr. Fang Xiao, presented at the 9th Excellence in Teaching Conference, King's College, London, UK, 24th June 2015.

1990s Korean Gangster Films: Invited talk at the Film Studies Department, Korean National University of the Arts, Seoul, South Korea, 15th March 2013.

Limiting the Nation: South Korean images of North Korean men: Paper presented at the MESCCA PG Conference, Bournemouth University, UK, 7th – 9th July 2011.


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the British Association of Korean Studies
  • Member of the Association for Korean Studies in Europe
  • Member of Asian Cinema Studies Society
  • Member of the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies
  • Member of the Association of Asian Studies
  • Member of the Society of Cinema and Media Studies

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

This year Mark has a sabbatical in term 2, and will teach the following modules in term 1:

Korean Language & Society 2A (KO2001, Year 2) (Module Lead, tutor for Korean Society and Culture component)

Mark usually also teaches:

  • Korean Language & Society 2B (KO2003, Year 2) (Module Lead, tutor for Korean Society and Culture component)
  • East Asian Popular Cultures (AI1500, Year 1) (Module Leader)
  • Critical East Asian Cinemas (MA) (Module Lead)

External Activities