Professors Hye Seung Chung and Scott Diffrient co-write new book

Professor Hye Seung Chung and Professor Scott Diffrient just returned from a year in Seoul, South Korea, where they were completing their prestigious Fulbright scholarship research project, “Beyond Anti-Communism and National Propaganda: Reevaluating South Korea’s State Film Censorship of the Cold War Era.” During their leave, Diffrient—who is also the programming director for the ACT Human Rights Film Festival—and Chung’s new book, Movie Minorities: Transnational Rights Advocacy and South Korean Cinema, was published by Rutgers University Press.

About the book:

Rights advocacy has become a prominent facet of South Book cover for "Movie Minorities"Korea’s increasingly transnational motion picture output, especially following the 1998 presidential inauguration of Kim Dae-jung, a former political prisoner and victim of human rights abuses who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000. Today it is not unusual to see a big-budget production about the pursuit of social justice or the protection of civil liberties contending for the top spot at the box office. With that cultural shift has come a diversification of film subjects, which range from undocumented workers’ rights to the sexual harassment experienced by women to high-school bullying to the struggles among people with disabilities to gain inclusion within a society that has transformed significantly since winning democratic freedoms three decades ago. Combining in-depth textual analyses of films such as Bleak NightOkjaPlanet of SnailRepatriation, and Silenced with broader historical contextualization, Movie Minorities offers the first English-language study of South Korean cinema’s role in helping to galvanize activist social movements across several identity-based categories.

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