Organized Panel Session
After decades of economic growth, East Asian urban environments have changed dramatically, and these shifts have thrown into question what a city should be and whom it should serve. As urban redevelopment campaigns displace marginalized groups and cities reconsider their identity, film texts and policy documents offer contradictory conceptions of the histories and futures of urban life.
This panel takes an interdisciplinary and transregional approach to the common question of how East Asian urban space, particularly in Mainland China and South Korea, and its residents are envisioned, regulated, and challenged. Matt Van Duyn focuses on historical repetition and erasure in Shanghai city planning documentation. Ungsan Kim approaches historical, or rather ghostly, visions of urban space through a South Korean independent documentary that challenges such official visions of urban regeneration through the perspective of those left out of history and pushed to the margins of urban space. Katherine Morrow analyzes another kind of urban marginalization through a recent Mainland Chinese art film that depicts urban space and the migrant workers physically and psychologically stuck between rural and urban. Yeoul Jung argues for the importance of the urban ‘non-place’ for young, female victims of trauma in South Korean narrative cinema. Together, this panel offers a reconsideration of East Asian urban narratives, both in spatial and historical terms.