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2016, Vol.42, No.

  • 1.

    A Study on Chinese Utopia Literature - TaohuaYuanji & Renmiantaohua

    Kim Kyung Seog | 2016, 42() | pp.7~22 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    Since the Taoyuanming of Confucius an Arcadia (Taohuayuan), utopia imagined in China has continued to this day. Such utopian imagination has been shaped by a variety of literary texts. These works depict the human desires and frustrations that form the utopian imagination. Typically, an Arcadia (Taohuayuan) has been recognized as a symbol of East Asian utopia. An Arcadia (Taohuayuan) anarchism is the utopian character of this small country, based on sensitization of the Lao strong. An Arcadia (Taohuayuan) world ruling class does not exist. But Confucius thought a utopian world is possible to imagine on the premise of ‘Virtuous Policy’ (德治). By the late Qing Dynasty (淸末), Kangyouwei (康有爲) had written and presented a utopia realized through the system of the “East-West stand.” The literary text on utopia information in continued to experiment with implementation of the ‘imagined’ in the literature as “reality” of everyday life, immediately following the 1911 revolution in the People’s Republic of China. As an Avant garde writer, Gefei`s 「Renmiantaohua」 was influenced by the reflexive nature of the report on the point of the experiment. Gefei`s 「Renmiantaohua」 has been rated as an outstanding work depicting the implementation process and the frustration of the utopian imagination. He is an inspiration to vanguard artists who focus on the desire and the frustration of the utopian imagination through the 「Renmiantaohua」 myths and stories that are comparable to the Sijipuseu story, which in itself perpetuates utopia in literature. In this paper, we explored the trails to implementation of a utopian imagination that has persisted since the ancient Chinese in current literary text. An Arcadia (Taohuayuan) of Confucius and Taoyuanming accompanied Gefei in the 21st century in describing the process of desire and frustration to realize utopia through a variety of traditional shape figures among other favorites. The author interprets those frustrations and desires of the human life course as just utopian imagination.
  • 2.

    Heterotopia, Strange Stories, and Modern Anxiety in the Colonial Era

    Jura Lee | 2016, 42() | pp.23~46 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    This article focused on heterotopian spaces of modern Korea in the colonial era. This paper attempted to understand the features of heterotopia in the era. Heterotopia was slightly grotesque in modernity, but in the colonial era, people expected to realize the hope of contemporary society. Also, while analyzing discourses on heterotopia, this study identified another point of view on modernity in the era,. Pagoda Park, where March First Independence Movement was conducted and the psychiatric hospital East Ward Eighth, were heterotopian spaces at the times. Those spaces are represented as failure of modernity. Nevertheless, those spaces functioned as utopia, where people could speak freely on ‘the independence’. But the governing system considered such speech as deceptive strange stories. Strange stories that inexplicably, revealed imperfection of the governing system and caused anxiety about the foundation of daily life. In conclusion, this article could provide understanding of another side of acceptance of modernity in the colonial era i.e., anxiety. It was revealed through the finding of heterotopia and analyzing discourses on heterotopia in the colonial Korea.
  • 3.

    The Ecological Utopia of the World in Mayan Popol Vuh.

    Yonggab Jeon | Hwang Soo Hyun | 2016, 42() | pp.47~68 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    This paper closely examines Popol Vuh, regarded as the Bible of the Mayans, from the perspective of the Deep Ecology. Deep ecology is a concept born out of the criticisms on the existing environmental movements as superficial, and encourages the moral and ethical change of the man’s attitude towards the nature, inevitably becoming "metaphysical" in character. As such the Deep ecology advocates the break away from the anthropocentricism, the dichotomous thinking and the rationalism of the modern times. Popol Vuh is a text that contains such concepts and it requires an analysis from the Deep ecological perspective beyond the existing framework of the study that simply focuses on mythological elements.
  • 4.

    A Life-History Approach to the Practice of Early Marriage in Ethiopia

    Byung-Soo Seol | 2016, 42() | pp.69~106 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    Early marriage in contemporary society has brought about many problems. The practice is encouraged by gender inequality, poverty and social norms. It reproduces social power imbalances including increased economic vulnerability of women, low educational attainment of girls, gender inequality at home and in the labor market, physical and sexual violence against women and their health problems. The Ethiopian government increased the minimum legal age of marriage for women from 15 to 18 years, by revising its family code in 2000 and newly adopting a criminal law in 2005 that includes punishment against any harmful tradition. Nonetheless, early marriage is still widely practiced in many parts of rural Ethiopia. This is because the practice has long been embedded and deeply rooted in the lives of the people. Earlier literature on early marriage in Ethiopia tends to focus only on women’s experiences and regard that all early-married people, particularly women, are unhappy with their lives. This paper attempts to explore the issue of early marriage through voices of people with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, in order to address the limitations of the previous literature. This article aims at examining why early marriage has occurred in Ethiopia and how it has affected family life and women’s educational attainment, focusing on the case of Meki town. As seen from this study, it is true that early marriage generally had negative influences on the lives of women. However, it is equally true that some men are also victims of the practice while some women have improved their lives by means of it. This implies that we need to listen to the voices of diverse people when we examine early marriage.
  • 5.

    Ngugi wa Thiong‘o’s Pan - Africanism: People’s Memory and Alliance to Overcome Postcolonial Nations

    Lee, Hyoseok | 2016, 42() | pp.107~129 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    In modern history, there have been several kinds of continental unions or supranational politico-economic unions in the world, such as the United Nations, the European Union, the Union of South American Nations, the African Union, etc. Modern thinkers proposed many pan-isms on their continental base, for example, Pan-Arabism, Pan-Latin Americanism, Pan-Asianism, Pan-Celtism, etc. What is the most common in these pan-isms is that a continental union would be a politico-economic system to overcome the limits of the modern state-nation and to realize a long and happy relationship between member nations and continents. However, the concept of a supranational union differs from that of cosmopolitanism, in that the former presupposes the common cultural and historical heritage in the concerned region or continent. Ngugi wa Thinog’o’ Pan-Africanism implies two keywords that are connected to his concepts such as ‘decentralization’ and ‘African languages.’ Pan-Africanism supposes that Africa may gain benefits from the union of African nations under the umbrella of anti-colonial efforts to down size the Euro-American influences. Moreover, using African languages enhances self-reliance and self-imagination among the African people. For in the former colonial regimes, the European colonial languages, such as English, French, or Portuguese, were central to the dissemination of European culture and modernity. Ngugi asserts that the African peripheralized languages could reinstate the African cultural heritage and propose an alternative to the Western modernity.
  • 6.

    A Study on the Migration of the Berbers in France and their Current Status

    Gi-Dae LIM | 2016, 42() | pp.131~163 | number of Cited : 7
    Abstract PDF
    The issue of migrants has always been a social problem in France. Particularly, migration issues from the Maghreb region to multicultural France are recognized as topics of confrontation and conflict. One of the many reasons would be that the Maghreb migrant issue is interpreted with a hostile or conflicting ‘Arab-Islam’ meaning in the West. Therefore, the naming of natives from this region as ‘Arab-Maghrebis’ has become a common phenomenon. However, deeper understanding of the Maghreb region will explain that such naming could produce a number of problems. This is because the native Maghrebis, not only in the Maghreb region but also in France, are Berbers. Among the various Berbers, the Kabyles are in many ways different from the Arabs in their language, culture, and way of thinking. Apart from the difference in their lifestyle, there is a deep anti-Arab sentiment within them that represents their resistance against the hundreds-of-years Arab domination. This feature has also been used as France’s tool of colonial division policy during the colonization period. The purpose of this study is to discuss the settlement process of the Kabyles in France by paying attention to their features. The Kabyles were the first to migrate to France among the natives of the Maghreb region. This study focuses on the process of their migration and search for identity, as well as how they continued to form community and the Berber’s cultural movement. Through these series of processes, it is possible to point out the fictitious claim in France and in Korea that Maghrebis are Arab-Muslims. Lastly, the current use of Berber language in France and Algeria is not a coincidental phenomenon, rather it has a connection with the prolonged cultural movement and the settlement process of the migrants in France.
  • 7.

    A New Viewpoint Drowned Repetitive Cycle of Flow vs Float Regulating History of Pansory and Floating Possibility of Lost Pansori in Age of Image Media

    DO KYUNG KWON | 2016, 42() | pp.165~203 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    This study attempted to reconsider the existing viewpoint on the history of Pansori transmission and suggested a new viewpoint on lostPansori transmission. Untill now, lost seven songs have been criticized for failure in Pansory’s transmission history because it ceased to satirize negativity of abnormal character without creating a bearer of new value goals in the new age this paper resulted in another conclusion which extends Pansori history’s process to modern times in the point of succession and duration of Pansori esthetics. Currently the above reason creats a problem ofcomplete nonmention that confront Pansori’s twelve songs which does not apply to lost seven songs. If the evaluation standard of literary history used for lost seven songs is applied to inherited five songs, The inherited five songs also failed in the esthetic cultural history of present times. To resolve this issue, this study suggested a new viewpoint to replace the existing viewpoint that label Pansori’s history as a historical structure consisting of success of inherited five songs and failure of lost seven songs repetitive replacement cycle of float and flow. This study provided constructive on lost Pansory of premodern times and presented entire Pansori as a flowing state. This paper futher identified the stages of decline the lost seven songs since the 20thcentury but sets the stage or finding a new qualitative possibility. This new theory was suggested through extant aspects of the movie <Gwanghae> that was a reproduction of <Onggojipcheon> in the present media age.
  • 8.

    A Comparative Study on the Symbolism of the Combination of Animals One Another in East Asian Comedic Stories and Proverbs

    keumyoungjin | 2016, 42() | pp.205~240 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The combination of animals has been developed in each of the cultural spheres as a method of metaphor and symbolism of the cultural code. However, its symbolism is not a fixed constant, but a variable and relative constant. This work focused on its features in comparison with East Asian cultural spheres comedic stories and proverbs. Consequently, several features were identified. First, the combinations of animals in similar comedic stories and proverbs among Korea, Japan and China show a difference in point of view. Korean focuses on the difference of the two animals, but Chinese and Japanese focus on the differences in value and level. Second, the method of anthropomorphization is relatively more developed in China and Japan than Korea. The combinations of animals of Chinese comedic stories and proverbs particularly in the field of anthropomorphization, are most focused on age and sex of the animal. The animal's age or sex remains mostly undetermined in Korean animal's proverbs, unlike Chinese proverbs. On the other hand, two animals in Japanese comedic stories and proverbs are usually of the male and female gender from. Third, the combinations of animals of Chinese and Japanese focus on the animal's body and its characteristics of action. Chinese and Japanese combine the characteristics of the two animal's bodies and actions. This feature apparently caused the resultant combinations of the animal's body parts, for example, the Dragon. Understanding of the combinations of two animals is a good portal into the features of East Asian culture sphere.
  • 9.

    A Study on Phenomenon ‘Play of Words’ in Modern Russian Advertising Language

    Kim Sung Wan | 2016, 42() | pp.241~260 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this article is to represent the types of advertising in the modern Russian language as ‘Play of Words’ (игра слов). The causal reason for this phenomenon is studied from the result of certain characteristics of advertising. The definition and characteristics of the language of the advertisement are analyzed in achieving the goal, as these factors reveal how language is used to maximize the effectiveness of the advertising. Academic research is needed in the collaborative fields of linguistics, psychology, economics, sociology, marketing, literature, art, and music. Modern advertisement is mixed with semiotic objects that consist of display, sound, and texts. While this study is not complete, the acknowledgement of the phenomenon ‘Play of Words’ between the creators of advertising and the consumer is undeniable. On one hand, advertising is recognized by linguists as the main factor that destroys the literary language. It represents the distortion of a standard language norm, as opposed to formal linguistic means used in advertising. In this research, we pay attention to the frequent use of foreign language borrowings and incorrect representation of foreign words, slang and jargon, that occur in misspelled usage of literary norms. The features that are revealed in this article are helpful to understand the purpose of advertising.
  • 10.

    A Study on the Learning of Polite Expressions Using M-learning

    Kim Hye Jeong | 2016, 42() | pp.261~283 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    The aim of this study is to consider the possibility of learning polite expressions of English using the mobile application Naver Band. To improve communicative competence, students need to develop sociolinguistic competence as well as grammatical and discourse competence. To be accordant to social context, the roles of the participants, and the purpose of the interaction, students have to make an appropriate utterance. When a hearer has a higher social status and is older than a speaker, or have low levels of familiarity, Korean native speaker tends to use polite expressions. Students need to learn polite expressions of English because English has a different honorific system from Korean. To realize the characteristics and function of polite language is one thing, but to learn it in a real classroom is another. This study attempts to apply the use of a mobile application, which is considered a user-friendly tool for students, into learning polite language using the UK historical drama, Downton Abbey. Two tests were administered to an experimental group that used the mobile application and a control group that used group work. The results of the two tests show that the use of the mobile application has a positive effect on learning polite expressions and is effective as an after-school activity. In an open-ended questionnaire, students tend to identify polite expressions as superior or high-level language forms and separate these forms from practical expressions. It should be noted as well that teachers need to consider instructing in modern English when using a historical drama in the teaching and learning of polite expressions.
  • 11.

    Abandoning Imagination: The Genealogical Aberration in Magical/Realism and Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange

    SEONJOO PARK | 2016, 42() | pp.285~311 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    This paper examines the constitutive relationship between realism and magical realism using a genealogical approach. Georg Lukács’s The Theory of Novel and Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, as two founding texts of each genealogy, meet each other obliquely, sharing the most essential features. Even if realism and magical realism appear in opposition to each other in their political, cultural, epistemological outlooks, they in fact constitute the same truth regime in two different guises. Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange interrogates this discursive regime of magical/realism, refusing to be contained within it. Her novel de-emphasizes the current idea of solidarity based on identity politics because it cannot resist effectively against the all-reifying power of globalization. Instead, she abandons the idea of imagination itself, and thus, tries to cease the dominant operative of magical/realism. On the temporary vacuum caused from such a conscious act of abandoning imagination, Tropic of Orange posits the urgent need to rethink ‘solitude’ and ‘community’, which already have been hopelessly compromised in the history of literary imagination as a global governmentality.
  • 12.

    A Study on the Historical Transformation of Guanyu’ Deification from Political Perspective

    Bae Kuy-Beom | Min, Kwan Dong | 2016, 42() | pp.313~342 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    This paper is an attempt to look up the life of Guanyu who was a sainted warrior of Shu Han(蜀漢) and later, was revered as God, especially focusing on the Political perspective of Chinese Dynasty. People represented Guanyu as the general during the Wei Jin Southern and Northern Dynasties(魏晉南北朝), however, throughout the Su-Dang Dynasty(隋唐), Guanyu was Honored in the Wuchengwangmiao(武成王廟) then, was promoted from Hou(侯) to Gong(公), Gong(公) to King(王) in the Song-Yuan Dynasty(宋元). In the Ming-Qing Dynasty(明 淸) when the deification of Guanyu was proceeded most positively, he became a Di(帝) over a King and was endowed with the power over the Three Worlds(三界). He had an influence on nobility as well as the people in Folkbelief over Moral Spirits, and consequently rose through the ranks to become the spiritual guardian. The rulers gave him various names(封號) celebrating the life and work of Guanyu, In fact, they showed interests in the Belief of Guanyu as they attempted to establish an ideological base for the solution of the national disaster and maintenance of feudal system which came to the fore along with the reinforcement for emperor’s power.
  • 13.

    Character of MongYong in Original ChunHyang Jun Films of Shin Sang-Ok directed in North and South Korea - Political Sociological Aspect of Characterization

    Soong Buem Ahn | 2016, 42() | pp.343~369 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    This is an attempt to analyze original films of ChunHyang Jun that Shin Sang-Ok filmed in North and South Korea, focusing on the character of MongYong. These films were made during political transition periods of North and South Korea. Sung ChunHyang was made during the second republic of South Korea, which was established after the collapse of Rhee SyngMan government; and Love, Love, My Love was made in North Korea during the period of power transfer from Kim Il-Sung to Kim Jong-Un. Considering these political changes, the character of MongYong seems to represent the figure of authority North and South Korean society of the time had in mind. First, MongYong in Sung ChunHyang has a strong image of a lover who repays ChunHyang's devotion and sacrifice with romantic affection. As an authoritative figure, he has the aspect of a democratic leader or mediator. On the other hand, MongYong's image in Love, Love, My Love is a heroic authority figure of the revolutionary class. He is a subversive reformer who shows love for the people and treats them favorably, gaining public desire. This research is expected to inspire more studies on the meanings of hit movies based on classic literature under synchronic terms.
  • 14.

    A Study on Korean Textbooks by Japanese in the Korean Enlightenment Period

    Yun, Young Min | 2016, 42() | pp.371~392 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    This study analyzed the aspect of the decision of the Korean part of speech and the properties of the grammatical items based on 『韓語通』 which was published in 1909. 『韓語通』 is a Korean grammar book written by 前間恭作 who also published 『校訂交隣須知』 in 1904. 『韓語通』 is known for influencing of ‘Otsuki grmmar(大槻 文法),’ dividing Korean part of speech into eleven. Based on ‘mood’ and ‘voice’ we can assume that 『韓語通』 adopted Otsuki’s grammar. ‘存在詞’ is another clue that 『韓語通』 adopted Yamada’s grammar. However, 前間恭作 persisted that Korean language is different from Japanese language. This view is different from 寶迫繁勝, 高橋亨, 藥師寺知曨 etc. This study tried to investigate the interchange of the two languages in historical study of Korean and Japanese linguistics during modern and contemporary period. For this purpose, we searched the aspect of the part of speech and analyzed the grammar items. In conclusion, we was able to light on how Japanese scholars approached to Korean grammar system in late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • 15.

    A Study on Popular Success Factors Shown in Raquel, Huerta’s Neoclassical Tragedy

    Yoon Yong-wook | 2016, 42() | pp.393~418 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Raquel, the representative work of Vicente García de la Huerta, an 18th century Spanish playwright achieved theater box-office success and popularity during staging. It has been evaluated by many scholars and critics as the ideal drama that faithfully followed the norms of neoclassicism, which pervaded the aesthetic mainstream at the time. However, the factor that enabled the popular success of this theater production was its ability to harmonize the themes or contents with a traditional play to meet the unique trends and tastes of Spanish viewers who were still appreciated earlier Baroque theater, rather than complying with external norms of neoclassicism such as principle of three unities or exclusion of comic figures etc. That is, Spanish viewers of the time thoroughly rejected theater of neoclassicists who attempted to unilaterally enlighten them while regarding the Baroque theater of earlier times as full of superstition and irrationality, illogic and disorder, regardless of their own dramatic taste. In this situation, Huerta’s tragedy Raquel, achieved the harmony of neoclassical tragedy and Spanish theatrical tradition. It thus emphasizes the importance of public support and sponsorship in dramatic success. Traditional dramatic elements shown in Raquel can be summarized as honor, poetic justice and love and these elements are major dramatic codes penetrating the entire Baroque theater of Spain.
  • 16.

    A Specificity and Narrative Structure of the Russian Iconostasis and Korean Amrtakundalin(amrita painting, 甘露幀畵)

    Lee kyw young | 2016, 42() | pp.419~449 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    The Russian icon and Korean tangwha (幀畵, altar portrait of Buddha) are based on the similarity of the divine Being. Each has the characteristic index that forms an existential connection with the object and at the same time, implies the symbolic meaning of the scriptures and doctrines of the Russian Orthodox and Buddhists. Russian icon and Korean tangwha with these attributes have origins in the Byzantine, India and China. Unlike most religious art, Russian icon and Korean tangwha clearly reveal profane orientation and mystical elements. This artistic phenomenon has evolved from the mystical religious culture in Russia and tantric rituals of the early Joseon period. Iconostasis, created from historical figures of the Old Testament, Jesus, the New Testament represent the principles of the macrocosm. Each icon of iconostasis has integrity, while each floor has another narrative and a meta-discourse on the entire composition. Three-Platforms of amrtakundalin can also have a huge epic that is directed from the Low-Platform to the High-Platform for the purpose of salvation. While the narrative of iconostasis has a time structure, from the beginning of the universe up to date in chronological time, amrtakundalin have pictorial transitions of time and space that rises from this life to a heavenly world. Despite the different world views of the Russian Orthodox and Buddhists, iconographical format and symbolism of heaven and hell in the Iconostasis, Last Judgment and amrtakundalin are similar. There is a constant antagonism between heaven and hell, light and darkness, water and flame. Iconographical contents include the water of life and nectar, the book of life and ‘eoppu’, and the scales and mirror of Karma that discriminate between the good and evil before judgment. The dualistic coordinate concept such as light and darkness, life and death, or heaven and hell that appears in the narrative structure of iconostasis, the Last Judgment and amrtakundalin leads the people to spiritual awakening.
  • 17.

    Time Adverb ‘Cengjing (曾經)’ and ‘Yijing (已經) Tense and Aspect of the Comparative Analysis of the Characteristics of China and South Korea

    Han, Keung-Shuk | 2016, 42() | pp.451~474 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    Analysis of the syntactic structure of the modern Chinese adverbs for time ‘Cengjing (曾經)’ and ‘Yijing (已經)’ was performed to examine the tenses and aspects of the terms. The corresponding Korean words were examined and the terms in both languages were compared. The syntactic structures used in China and South Korea were found to be different. We hope the study of the Chinese language will help Korean students. ‘Cengjing (曾經)’ specific projects with ‘aspect’ of, ‘Past experience aspect’, ‘Past continuous aspect’, ‘Past continuous aspect’ in the past tense. [ED: unclear, please reword] These correspond to ‘_ 었 ( 았 )_’, ‘_ 었었 _’ in the Korean language. ‘Yijing (已經)’ has ‘finished phase’ of concrete projects, ‘Past experience aspect’, ‘Past continuous aspect’, also has a specific project tense, the ‘past tense’, ‘present tense’, ‘future tense’, and so tense. [ED: unclear, please reword] Adjectives can also be modified with a ‘change of status’. These correspond to ‘_ 었 ( 았 )_’, ‘_ 고 _’, ‘_ 었었 _’, ‘ 곧 ’ etc. in Korean. ‘Cengjing (曾經)’ and the dynamic auxiliary ‘Guo (過)’ were compared to determine whether they have the aspect and tense features. However, ‘Guo (過)’ can only modify the predicate verb, so it possesses only aspect characteristics. ‘Cengjing (曾經)’ modifies the range more widely. ‘Yijing (已經)’ may be modified by the adverb ‘Zai (在)’ whereas ‘Cengjing (曾經)’ may not. Additionally, ‘Yijing (已經)’ can be modified by predicate adjectives and noun predicates, while ‘Cengjing (曾經)’ cannot.
  • 18.

    A Comparative Study on the Similarities and Differences between Western Christianity and Chinese Culture in Taiping Religion

    Sukjoo Kim | 2016, 42() | pp.475~503 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This paper explores the extent of the Christian influence of Liang Fa’s Quanshiliangyan and Isaachar J. Roberts on Hong Xiuquan and the Taiping Movement. Hong’s religious background was in Confucianism, but when he encountered Liang Fa’s Quanshiliangyan, he identified with Christianity. Subsequently, he studied with Roberts for two or three months. The religious experiences of Hong served as motives for the establishment of the Society of God Worshippers and the Taiping Movement. Therefore, this paper develops Liang’s key ideas and Roberts’ main teachings, describes Hong’s beliefs and the actual practices of the Taiping Movement, as found in official documents of the Taipings, and compares their similarities and differences. Hong and his leaders received the new ideas of Christianity at the expense of their traditional culture. Furthermore, they attempted to combine Chinese culture with Christianity, as well as believe in Christianity to the limits of their understanding. Finally, this study finds that even though the Quanshiliangyan and Isaachar J. Roberts may have given the Taiping Movement its religious form and driving force, the theological vision of both Liang and Hong that also emerged from their Chinese culture energized the Taipings. The Taiping Movement resulted from a deliberate synthesis of Christian ideas and native Chinese practices in China.
  • 19.

    District 9 : Science Fiction as Social Critique

    Peggy Cho | 2016, 42() | pp.505~524 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    This study examines the ways District 9, a film released in 2009, reworks the sci-fi genre to explore the human encounter with “other” alien populations. Like Avatar, released in the same year, District 9 addresses the tropes of conflict over land and human-alien hybridity and introduces non-humans and aliens, not as invaders, but as objects of human oppression and cruelty. Unlike many other science fiction films where the encounter between humans and non-humans occurs in an unidentifiable future time and location, District 9 crosses genre barriers to engage with urban realism, producing a social critique of contemporary urban population problems. The arrival of aliens in District 9 occurs as part of the recorded human past and the film’s action is carried out in the present time in the specifically identified city of Johannesburg. A distinctly anti-Hollywood film that locates the action at the street level, District 9 plays out human anxieties about contact with others by referencing the divisions and conflicts historically attached to South Africa’s sprawling metropolis and its current problems of urban poverty and illegal immigrants. Focusing on how this particular urban setting frames the film, the study investigates the ways Blomkamp’s sci-fi film about extra-terrestrials presents a curious postcolonial mix of aliens and immigrants surviving in abject conditions in an urban slum and forces a realistic examination of the contemporary social problems faced by South Africa’s largest city and by extension other major global cities. The paper also examines the film’s representation of the human-alien hybrid and its potential as a force to resist human exploitation of the other. It also claims that though the setting is highly local, District 9 speaks to a wider global audience by making obvious the exploitative practices of profit-seeking multinationals. A sci-fi film that is keen on making a social commentary on urban population conflicts, District 9 resonates with the wider sense of insecurity and fear of others that form the horizon of the uncertain and potentially violent contemporary human world.