Organized Panel Session
This panel examines major discursive and cultural trends that have emerged through and around the same time of the “Feminist Reboot,” which often involves collective actions by women in their twenties and thirties in Korea. On the premise that these trends call for a historically-tuned close reading of the reconstruction of masculinities and the nascent destabilization of the regimes of heterosexuality and sexual “normality,” the panel purports to intervene in the current discussion of citizenship featuring agency that is genderless, de-gendered, and de-sexualized. It does so by examining a diverse range of literary, journalistic, and popular cultural texts. Hye Ryoung LEE and Jin Hee RYU, offer a conceptual and historical analysis of hannam, a pejorative refeence to Korean men at large, demonstrating that its coinage and spread reflect a crisis of the economic moral base of Korean masculinity. Hye Jin OH’s paper analyzes the Korean literary establishment’s recent inclusion of queer literature with a focus on the critics’ implicit insistence on normalizing the discourse on citizenship in their discussion of queer works. Highlighting a recent shift taking place within the public campaigns for solidarity with former “Comfort Women,” Yoon HEO critically takes up a disconcerting tendency arising within them such as their subjection to mass-scale temporary public consumption. Lastly, Kyeong-Hee CHOI examines para-performance online texts on and by BTS (Bangt’an sonyŏndan), arguing that part and parcel of this K-pop boy band’s appeal is its members’ alternative masculinities in the making and playful disruption of the conventional Korean hierarchical orders.