Squid Game

Kyung Hyun Kim talks about the Netflix series Squid Game, its economic and political contexts, and its cultural potential. He also talks about his new book, Hegemonic Mimicry, out from Duke University Press.

Prof. Kyung Hyun Kim is a creative writer, a scholar, and a film producer, who is currently a professor in the Department of East Asian Studies, UC Irvine.  He has worked with internationally renowned directors such as Hong Sang-soo, Lee Chang-dong and Marty Scorsese, and also with American film producers Jason Blum and Steven Schneider. Prof. Kim is author of Virtual Hallyu: Korean Cinema of the Global EraThe Remasculinization of Korean CinemaHegemonic Mimicry: Korean Popular Culture of 21st Century, all of them published by Duke University Press, and a Korean-language novel entitled In Search of Lost G (Ireo beorin G-reul chajaso, 2014) about a Korean mother combing through the US in search of her missing son during his junior year in a Massachusetts prep school.  He has coproduced and co-scripted two award-winning feature films Never Forever (2007, Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Main Competition) and The Housemaid (2010, Cannes Film Festival Main Competition). He has recently written The Mask Debatehis first theatre screenplay, which premiered in February 2021 through UCI’s Illuminations: Chancellor’s Initiative in Arts and Drama YouTube channel.

Image: © 2021 Saronik Bosu

Music used in promotional material: ‘Horizon Mine’ by krackatoa

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Cognitive Cultural Studies

Torsa Ghosal talks about Cognitive Cultural Studies, a field that entails methodologies that situate the human mind in historical and cultural contexts, sometimes working against models of the mind proceeding from the Cognitive Sciences. This includes inquiries into how narratives mediate knowledge about cognition, the subject of her new book Out of Mind: Mode, Mediation, and Cognition in Twenty-First Century Narrative, from The Ohio State University Press.

Torsa Ghosal is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at the California State University, Sacramento. Her experimental novella, Open Couplets, was published by Yoda Press, India. Her shorter works of fiction as well as essays on literature and culture appear in magazines like Literary Hub, Michigan Quarterly Review Online, Necessary Fiction, Catapult, and elsewhere. She co-hosts the Narrative for Social Justice podcast. You can find more details about her work at her website and follow her on Twitter @TorsaG.

Image: © 2021 Saronik Bosu

Music used in promotional material: ‘Waves’ by Michael Korbin

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Heterotopia

Kim speaks with Amanda Caleb about Michel Foucault’s concept of heterotopia.

Amanda says that the classic definition of “heterotopia” is found in Foucault’s article “Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias” (Architecture /Mouvement/Continuité, October, 1984). She also mentions The Birth of the Clinic.

In comparison to Foucault’s heterotopia, we talk a bit about Mikhail Bakhtin’s concepts of the carnivalesque and the chronotope.

If you’re interested in reading more about heterotopias, check out Amanda’s article: “Contested Spaces: The Heterotopias of the Victorian Sickroom” in Humanities vol. 8 no. 2 (April 2019).

Amanda is a professor of English and Medical and Health Humanities at Misericordia University. She also runs a super cool podcast called the Health Humanist. She was kind enough to interview me about a crazy 1978 medical satire called House of God back in November 2020.

This week’s image is Gustave Caillebotte’s Les jardiners (1875). Below is a map of the “Gardens and Pleasure Grounds Baltimore Argyleshire” from The Art & Craft of Garden Making by Thomas Hayton Mawson (London : B.T. Batsford, 1900). We’re feeling gardens this week.

Music used in promotional material: ‘Floating Panther’ by Outrun

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