(CANCELLED) IKS Lecture: Barbara Wall, "The Monkey King’s Reign: A Visual Approach to The Journey to the West as Dynamic Text"

January 8, 2018
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:15pm
Mendenhall Lab 100 (125 S Oval Mall)
Sun Wukong at the Seoul Lantern Festival 2017

The Institute for Korean Studies presents:

Barbara Wall
Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies
University of Copenhagen

"The Monkey King’s Reign: A Visual Approach to The Journey to the West as Dynamic Text"

FlyerPDF icon Barbara Wall Flyer.pdf

Abstract: In the academic realm, the title The Journey to the West is generally identified with the Shidetang edition of the 100-chapter novel allegedly written by Wu Cheng’en in the Ming Dynasty at the end of the 16th century. In popular culture, though, the title is generally associated not with the 100-chapter novel but with various shorter retellings, which tend to highlight the fantastic and adventurous facets of the story. This talk sets out to reconsider the construction of The Journey to the West. What is The Journey to the West? And why is it so popular?

I suggest perceiving The Journey to the West not as a stable work on which author, place and time of publication can be imposed, but rather as what Roland Barthes calls a dynamic text that lives through its many variations. The main focus of this talk will be on Korean variations of The Journey to the West from the 14th century to today, while we will also make a short excursus to Toriyama Akira’s Dragonball and Gao Xingjian’s Soul Mountain. I use an application based on PHP and JavaScript to visualize which elements of The Journey to the West can be found in each variation. These visualizations help us to understand The Journey to the West as dynamic text and to find out which elements of the story contribute to its popularity.

Bio: Barbara Wall is an assistant professor in Korean Studies at the University of Copenhagen. She has a BA in Japanese Studies and Classical Chinese from Heidelberg, an MA in Confucian Studies from Sungkyungkwan University and a PhD in Korean Literature from Bochum. Her main research interests are the circulation, translation and adaptation of literary narratives in Korea, Japan and China. At the moment she is working on her first book titled “Mapping The Journey to the West as Literary Network: A Visual Approach to the Dynamic Text in Korea from the 14th Century to Today.”
 

Free and open to the public


This event is sponsored in part by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant to The Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center.

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