Understanding Hallyu : The Korean Wave Through Literature, Webtoon, and Mukbang book cover
1st Edition

Understanding Hallyu
The Korean Wave Through Literature, Webtoon, and Mukbang

ISBN 9780367143589
Published December 11, 2020 by Routledge India
108 Pages

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Book Description

This book sheds light on aspects of the Korean Wave and Korean media products that are less discussed—Korean literature, webtoon, and mukbang. It explores the making of these Korean popular cultural products and how they work and engage media recipients regardless of their different national, cultural, and geographical backgrounds.

Drawing on narrative theory and cultural studies, the book makes a compelling argument about how to analyze the production and consumption of Korean media within and beyond its national boundary with critical eyes. The author shows how transmedial narrative studies (narrative studies across media) offers analytical and theoretical lenses through which one can interpret new and emerging media forms and contents. Furthermore, she explores how these forms and contents can be better understood when they are contextualized within specific time and place using the cultural, social, and political concepts and precepts of the region. 

The volume will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of Asian Studies, popular culture, contemporary cyberculture, media and culture studies, and literary theory.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Korean Literature Wave: Transcultural and Transnational Reading of The Vegetarian and Bad Friend 2. Korean Webtoon Wave: Narratological, Technological, and Medial Innovations of Korean Digital Comics 3. Korean Mukbang Wave: Making Sense of Eating and Broadcasting and Its Techno-Mediated Narrative Environment

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Hyesu Park received her PhD in English from Ohio State University in 2014 and is currently an associate professor of English at Bellevue College, Bellevue, WA. In 2015 and 2016, she was a visiting professor at FLAME University, Pune, India. Her research interests include American and Asian-American literatures, narrative theory, media studies, and South Korean literature and popular culture. Her articles have appeared in Image and Narrative, Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature, and American Book Review. Most recently, she edited Media Culture in Transnational Asia: Convergences and Divergences. Currently, she is working on a monograph, Narrating Other Minds: Alterity and Empathy in Post-1945 Asian American Literature (forthcoming).


“Hyesu Park presents innovative and distinctive approaches in understanding less-privileged areas in the transnationality of the Korean Wave. By uniquely positioning herself as literary scholar, she aptly analyzes three different forms of popular culture, literature, webtoon, and mukbang within the genealogy of Korean literature. Her unique and rich research provides new insights on the convergence of narrative, media, and Korea, which is rare, but makes the book valuable and enjoyable.” — Dal Yong Jin, Distinguished SFU Professor at Simon Fraser University, Canada

“The export of Korean culture around the world is one of the most salient transmedial influences in the 21st century. In this path-breaking work, Dr. Park examines digital and cultural forces that have shaped and filtered the rise of the Korean Wave. Through a novel application of narrative theory, she examines webtoons, graphic narratives, fiction and mukbang videos to display how global audiences have come to feel, imagine, think and identify with Korean popular culture. By using semiotic and technical approaches, Dr. Park demonstrates how the digital circulation and remix culture of Korean media has produced inclusive storyworlds for a global audience. Understanding Hallyu: The Korean Wave Through Literature, Webtoon, and Mukbang provides a perceptive account of the network effect of a dramatic new addition to Asian cultural studies.” — Maya Dodd, Assistant Dean of Teaching, Learning, and Engagement at FLAME University, India