Call For Papers: Korean Horror Cinema (Edinburgh University Press, 2012)

Abstracts are sought for a collection on Korean Horror Cinema to be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2012. Deadline for proposals: 1 December 2010.

South Korean cinema is of rapidly increasing international importance, and this collection offers an informative overview of its most appealing, culturally significant and critically fascinating genre: horror. Korean cinema was virtually unknown among Western audiences and academics until the release of cult hits like ‘Oldboy’ (Park Chan-wook, 2003) and ‘The Isle’ (Kim Ki-duk, 2000). This book will be a timely intervention, responsive to contemporary trends in both the production and circulation of Korean film. While this book will engage with contemporary films, it also seeks to illuminate the history of Korean horror, exploring a variety of postcolonial texts from South Korean cinema’s first ‘Golden Age’ in the 1960s.

One of the most valuable aspects of this book will be its scope, considering Korean horror beyond the limited canon constructed by European and American distributors, critics and fans. While the films covered will include some widely seen and well known contemporary Korean horror films (such as ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’ [Kim Ji-woon, 2003], ‘Phone’ [Ahn Byung-ki, 2002], and ‘R-Point’ [Kong Su-chang, 2004]), this collection will also consider classic films (such as ‘A Devilish Homicide’ [Lee Yong-min, 1965]), and some of the domestically significant horror films which have never seen theatrical or DVD release in the West (such as ‘The Nine-Tailed Fox’ [Park Heon-su, 1994] and ‘Shadows in the Palace’ [Kim Mee-jeung, 2007]). In collecting studies on a wide range of films, this book will be informative and educational, of value to researchers, teachers, students and cinephiles.

We have already obtained contributions from academics in the UK, USA, Japan and Korea for a significant number of the chapters in this volume; we are issuing this general CFP in order to obtain the best possible additional contributors and a diverse, international, collection of essays. We are therefore looking for a select number of final chapters that contribute new and original perspectives on Korean horror cinema.

Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • The place of Korean folklore in classic and/or contemporary horror
  • The cyclical and seasonal nature of Korean horror releases
  • The canonisation of Korean horror within different national contexts
  • Korean monster movies
  • North Korean horror films
  • The relationship between horror and melodrama
  • Flashbacks in Korean horror film
  • Remakes of horror, in Korea (e.g. ‘The Housemaid’) and/or in Hollywood (e.g. ‘The Uninvited’)
  • The mother in law as a figure of horror
  • The relationship between history and horror, e.g. Park Chung-hee’s military coup of 1961 and its impact upon the cinema industry / film aesthetics
  • War and horror
  • The representation of schools and education in Korean horror film
  • Gothic horror

Please send a 300 word abstract, working title, one page CV and contact details to BOTH AND by 1 December 2010. We will also be happy to answer any informal enquiries about the project.

You will be advised of a decision by 1 February 2011, and completed articles (5000 – 6000 words) are due for submission on 1 July 2011.

Dr Alison Peirse, Lecturer in Film and Television Studies
Department of Arts
University of Northumbria
Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 8ST

Dr Daniel Martin, Lecturer in Film Studies
School of Languages, Literatures and Performing Arts
Queen’s University Belfast
Belfast BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland

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