Professor Jinhee Choi
Professor of Film Studies
- Head of Department, Film Studies
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 post doctorate/ 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.
Research Interests and PhD Supervision
Currently completing a monograph on girlhood, entitled Forever Girls: Necro-Cinematics and South Korean Girlhood (Oxford University Press), I approach girlhood as a sensibility and examine its relationship to sexuality and labor, focusing on the representations and deaths of girls in contemporary South Korean cinema from the 1970s onward; in such genres as teen romance, horror and thrillers; historical dramas on former sexual slaves during WWII; as well as contemporary work of a new wave of women directors in the indie scene.
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 centre of scholarship on Korean cinema. In Forever Girls, I will reorient the focus and direction of current scholarship on classical and contemporary Korean cinema to 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 contemporary social inequality and contradictions.
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; food and cinema.
- Forever Girls: Necro-Cinematics and South Korean Girlhood. Contracted with Oxford University Press.
- The South Korean Film Renaissance: Local Hitmakers, Global Provocateurs. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2010.
- Reorienting Ozu: A Master and His Influence. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.
Chapters in Edited Volumes:
- “Vessels and Cargos: Spaces of Inclusion and Exclusion in Johnnie To’s Drug War and Lee Hae-young’s remake Believer.” In East Asian Remakes, ed. David Scott Diffrient and Kenneth Chan, 221-236. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2023".
- “Girls Who Can Leap Through Time: Shojo and Time Travel in East Asian Media.” In Screening Characters: Characterization in Film, Television, and Interactive Media, ed. by Johannes Riis and Aaron Taylor, 251-265. AFI Film Readers. London: Routledge, 2019".
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.
At King's she has recently convened: Asian Popular Cinema; Authorship and Creativity (Ozu and his Influence); Korean Cinema; Food for Thought: Food, Film and Philosophy; Cinema and Sentiment (Feeling Cinema).
Expertise and Public Engagement
Jinhee Choi is on the editorial board of journal New Review of Film and Television Studies. She was the Co-editor-in-chief the Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema (2017-2022) and had served as a member of the advisory board for the London Korean Film Festival hosted by Korean Culture Centre UK. She has been widely interviewed for various public radio shows including BBC Radio 4 (UK); Philosophy Talk; Why? Philosophical Discussions on Everyday Life (US); and TBS World News (South Korea) and cited in many news articles including The Financial Times and The Korea Times.