The University of Iowa

Seminars

These seminars are designed for graduate students, advanced undergraduate students, and junior faculty members to present their work-in-progress on Korea-related subjects.  Senior academics are on hand to serve as commentators.  For questions please contact ip-korn@uiowa.edu.

 

Upcoming Events

woman holding sign that says #MeToo #WithYou

Thinking Beyond the Disclosure of Identities: #MeToo, Digital Media, and the Risks of Visibility in Contemporary South Korea 

Presenter: Jinsook Kim, postdoctoral fellow, Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania 

 April 26, 2021 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM Central Time (US and Canada) via Zoom

This event is co-sponsored by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.

Zoom link

 
This talk explores the changing nature of speech directed against sexual harassment in South Korea by focusing on the issue of visibility in the #MeToo movement. Since January 2018, when a prosecutor Seo Ji-hyun lodged accusations against her superior, Ahn Tae-geun, during an interview with JTBC Newsroom, the #MeToo movement in the country has gained new momentum. Following Seo’s interview, many victims have shared their stories of sexual violence, in the process revealing their identities on TV programs and such social media platforms as Facebook and YouTube. This change is significant given that victims’ identities have been mostly anonymized and protected through digital media platforms in the previous hashtag activism revelations. While recognizing the importance of supporting victims who speak out, I interrogate critically the implications and consequences of revealing their identities.  

I first explore how anonymous revelations became increasingly synonymous with doubtful, untrustworthy, and even patently false accusations, thereby perpetuating the existing victim-blaming discourse and stereotypes regarding the nature of “real” victims. Victims taking part in the #MeToo movement were thus increasingly compelled to disclose their identities to render their accusations authentic and trustworthy. I further investigate how this visibility has exposed women who share their experiences of sexual abuse to online misogyny and trolling while their online attackers tend to enjoy anonymity. Finally, I discuss the risks of media visibility by focusing on commercial media platforms and their imperatives underlying the publication of #MeToo allegations. 

 

Jinsook Kim

Jinsook Kim earned her Ph.D. in Media Studies from the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin in 2019. Her research interests include digital media, online hate culture, and social and political activism in the context of contemporary South Korea. She is currently working on her first book project, tentatively titled Sticky Activism: Online Misogyny and Feminist Anti-Hate Activism in South Korea. Her work on topics in global digital media culture ranging from feminist activism to sports and nationalism has appeared in the peer-reviewed journals Feminist Media Studies, Communication, Culture & Critique, and Communication and Sport. She also has articles forthcoming in Journal of Cinema and Media Studies and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. She is a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies, a Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council, a Dissertation Award from the Korean American Communication Association, and of top paper awards at academic conferences including SCMS, ICA, and AEJMC.