Past Event

Queering the Straits: Unruly Subjects Across Modern Korean and Japanese Studies

April 30, 2021 - May 2, 2021
9:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Event time is displayed in your time zone.

We are pleased to announce the second in a series of three Zoom workshops on the theme of “Queering the Straits: Unruly Subjects Across Modern Korean and Japanese Studies.” These workshops are intended to facilitate greater communication and collaboration among scholars of Japan and Korea who work on issues of gender and sexuality, often in isolation from one another. We believe that such “queer” dialogues across borders and cultures offer a challenging yet vital opportunity to forge new intellectual and institutional bonds at a time when powerful forces continue to silence, erase, and marginalize seemingly minor subjects and their important points of view.

The upcoming workshop, “CROSS-STRAIT CULTURES: PERFORMANCE, MEDIA, AND HISTORY,” will take place over the weekend of 30 April–2 May 2021. (See below for a detailed schedule.) This workshop revolves around the dynamic interaction of performance, media, and history in both popular and public cultures. By considering how the weight of history animates performance and media and how, conversely, popular culture reiterates and repositions history, the workshop seeks to develop new strategies for examining mainstream and fringe cultures on both sides of the Straits. Speakers will explore the citationality of Yŏsŏng Kukkŭk, South Korea’s all-female theater revue of the 1950s and early 1960s; contemporary histories of boys love and K-pop fandom; as well as more recent forms of “digital gender.”

Preregistration is required for this event. We particularly invite the participation of scholars whose work focuses on gender and sexuality in East Asia. To register, please fill out our RSVP form by April 29 here.

A day or two before the start of the workshop, we will send an email to all registered participants with a link to the event. If you have any questions or trouble with registration, please email us at [email protected].

This series of workshops is funded by the Academy of Korean Studies; the Center for Korean Research at Columbia University; the Columbia University Alumni Association of Korea; the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture (Columbia); the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (Columbia); the Hajime Mori Chair in Japanese Language and Literature at the University of California, San Diego; Transnational Korean Studies (UCSD); and the Weatherhead East Asian Institute (Columbia). The organizers thank these institutions and individuals for their generous support.

Todd Henry

Greg Pflugfelder



A Zoom Workshop Series for 2021

Workshop #2



30 April–2 May 2021


Saturday, 1 May 2021, 9:00–11:45 AM, Seoul/Tokyo time *



9:00–9:10 AM


Gregory M. Pflugfelder

Associate Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures & Department of History, Columbia University




9:10–9:35 AM

Thomas Baudinette

Lecturer, International Studies, Macquarie University

“Shipping Across the Strai(gh)ts: Exploring the Queer Potentials of K-Pop Idol Fandom Between Japan and Korea”


9:35–10:00 AM

So-Rim Lee

Visiting Scholar, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University

 “From Boyfriend to Boys Love: South Korean Male ASMRtists and Digital Gender Norms”




10:00–10:15 AM

Suk-Young Kim

Professor, Theater and Performance Studies, University of California, Los Angeles


10:15–10:30 AM

James Welker

Professor, Department of Cross-Cultural Studies, Kanagawa University


10:30–11:45 AM


Sunday, 2 May 2021, 9:00–11:45 AM, Seoul/Tokyo time *



9:00–9:05 AM


Todd A. Henry

Associate Professor, Department of History, University of California, San Diego




9:05–9:30 AM
Soo Ryon Yoon

Assistant Professor, Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University

“Performing Kwieo Methodologies, Queering Performance Methodologies”

9:30–9:55 AM
Yeong Ran Kim

Mellon Film and Digital Media Fellow, Sarah Lawrence College

“Yeosung Gukgeuk: Queer Archives, Performance, and Historiography”



9:55–10:10 AM

Makiko Yamanashi

The Japanese Society for Theatre Research


10:10–10:35 AM

Yoon Sun Yang

Associate Professor of Korean and Comparative Literature, Department of World Languages and Literatures, Boston University



10:35–11:45 AM


* Equivalent times for other time zones:

New York – Friday & Saturday, 8:00–10:45 PM
Chicago – Friday & Saturday, 7:00–9:45 PM
Los Angeles – Friday & Saturday, 5:00–7:45 PM

Honolulu – Friday & Saturday, 2:00–4:45 PM
Sydney – Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 AM–12:45 PM
Hong Kong / Perth – Saturday & Sunday, 8:00–10:45 AM

Berlin / Paris / Rome – Saturday & Sunday, 2:00–4:45 AM

London – Saturday & Sunday, 1:00–3:45 AM