Screen-capitalism: Transnational Korean Screen Culture in Postsocalist China


ACLS Fellowship Program


East Asian Languages and Literatures

Named Award

ACLS Yvette and William Kirby Centennial Fellow named award


This project theorizes the (re)localization of Korean screen culture in China through the concept of screen-capitalism—a system of audiovisual relations that foregrounds the negotiations of boundaries through affective and sensory co-experiences. Transnational Korean screen culture has flourished on the Chinese mainland since the late 1990s, both officially and unofficially, despite looming political conflicts and cultural boycotts. Although the term Hallyu (Korean Wave) was initially coined in the Chinese context and reshaped the landscape of Chinese pop culture, the Sino-Korean entanglements in screen media have received little attention in English-language scholarship. This work analyzes these entanglements by scrutinizing Chinese remakes of Korean variety television programs, Sino-Korean film and television co-productions and co-consumptions, and how the deployment of screen-capitalism in Chinese television programs after Hallyu has transformed to an Amnyu (undercurrent) in the Chinese context. By demonstrating how screen-capitalism is cultivated within both capitalist and postsocialist societies, this study contends that this audiovisual mechanism, insofar as it is fluidly transplantable, ideologically permeable, and transnationally gendered, circulates a shifting cultural paradigm both on the off the screen.