Dr Jinhee Choi
Senior Lecturer in Film Studies
Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1373
Film Studies Department
King's College London
445N Norfolk Building
Research Interests and PhD supervision
Jinhee Choi was educated at Seoul National University (South Korea) and completed a B.A. and M.A. in Aesthetics. She earned two PhDs—one in Philosophy and the other in Film Studies—at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (United States) and was a postdoctorate/ visiting professor in East Asian Studies and Film Studies at Yale University. She previously taught at Carleton University (Canada) and the University of Kent before moving to King’s College in 2011.
Currently working on a monograph on girlhood, tentatively entitled Forever Girls: Girlhood and Contemporary South Korean Cinema, I approach girlhood as a sensibility, focusing on the representations of girls and their sensibilities manifest in contemporary South Korean cinema of such genres as horror, “chick flicks”, thrillers, social problem films, and costume dramas.
The dual roles of the Mother (and matriarchy) and wife, guided by as well as challenging, the framework of the Confucian ideology that posits women should aspire to the status of “wise-mother-good-wife” (賢母良妻), has been the focus of major scholarship on Korean cinema, in particular melodrama and horror of the 1950s and 60s. In contrast, masculinity has provided an adequate perspective for the discussion of the impact of the military dictatorship on the Korean national psyche of the 1980s and 90s. Girls, however, have never been at the center of scholarship on Korean cinema. In Forever Girls, I will reorient the focus and direction of current scholarship on classical and contemporary Korean cinema, and examine the reasons behind why girls begin to embody, and have become the subject of, the modern and/or contemporary history of Korea; and help to underscore the contradictions of the contemporary social inequality and tensions existing between parent-child generations.
I am interested in supervising PhD theses on East Asian Cinema (popular and experimental); East Asian Cinema and urban space; girlhood; film theory; film industries; sensibility and sentimentality.
- “Seoul, Busan and Somewhere Near: Korean Gangster Cinema and Urban Space.” In Global Cinematic Cities: New Landscapes of Film and Media, edited by Johan Andersson, Lawrence Webb, 218-234. New York: Wallflower, Columbia University Press, 2016.
- “Exiled in Macau: Hong Kong Neo-Noir and Paradoxical Lyricism.” In Hong Kong Neo-Noir, edited by Esther Yau and Tony Williams, 198-215. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016.
- “Ribbons and Frills: Shojo Sensibility and the Transnational Imaginary.” In The Routledge Handbook of East Asian Popular Culture, edited by Koichi Iwabuchi, Eva Tsai and Chris Berry, 178-190. New York: Routledge, 2016.
- “Seoul Flâneur? Breathless and Café Noir .” The Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema 7.1 (Spring 2015): 57-72.
- Cine-Ethics: Ethical Dimensions of Film Theory, Practice and Spectatorship, co-edited with Mattias Frey. New York: Routledge, 2014.
- The South Korean Film Renaissance: Local Hitmakers, Global Provocateurs. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2010.
- Horror to the Extreme: Changing Boundaries in Asian Cinema, co-edited with Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2009.
For a complete list of publications, please see Jinhee's full research profile.
Expertise and Public Engagement
Jinhee Choi has taught a wide range of modules at both the BA and MA level, including national and transnational cinemas (East Asian focus), world cinema, film theory, film analysis, film industry (the Hollywood studio system and the East Asian contemporary film industry), documentary, avant-garde, film theories and emotion, and cinema and modernism.
She has recently convened: Film History: 1980 to the Present; Cinema and Sentiment; Asian Popular Cinema; Film and Transnationalism; and Food for Thought: Food, Film and Philosophy.
Jinhee Choi is a member of the Society of Cinema and Media Studies. She is the editor of the Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema (Aug 2017-) and on the editorial board for the ‘Thinking Cinema’ series at Continuum and journal New Review of Film and Television Studies. She has served as a member of the advisory board for the London Korean Film Festival hosted by Korean Culture Center, and convened a seminar as part of the Documentary Summer School of the International Locarno Film Festival.