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Visual Studies Group - Thomás Gaete :'Exploring the psychology of Internet Memes: A bottom-up approach to the study of multi-modal digital artefacts' | David Shim , 'Cinematic Representations of the Gwangju Uprising: Imagining a/the new South Korea in "A Taxy Driver"'

Wanneer:di 05-06-2018 16:00 - 18:00
Waar:Room 1315.0049, Harmonie Complex
ICOG visual studies group 5 June flyer

The Visual Studies Group is meeting on 5 June in the Harmonie Complex. Speakers are Thomás Gaete and David Shim.

Thomás Gaete, 'Exploring the psychology of Internet Memes: A bottom-up approach to the study of multi-modal digital artefacts'

In recent years, the study of Internet Memes has increased due to its consideration as relevant artefacts that shape and contribute to the public discourse in regard to social and political issues. Nevertheless, very few academic works have explored from an experimental approach whether memes that convey political messages can persuade social media users to change their political attitudes or behaviours. Taking into account this lack of empirical data, in this talk, I will present two basic experiments that explore the participant’s notion of a meme. Although its simplicity, the results may have important implications for further empirical research on memes and its potential influence on people’s subjectivity.

David Shim, 'Cinematic Representations of the Gwangju Uprising: Imagining a/the new South Korea in "A Taxy Driver"'

The Gwangju uprising in May 1980 is arguably one of the most important turning points in modern South Korean history and collective memory. Soon after army General Chun Doo-hwan came to power in a military coup in 1979, he declared martial law across the country, shut down universities and the parliament and gave orders to arrest opposition leaders. In the city of Gwangju, citizens and students took to the street to rally for democratic rights and protest the Chun government. As violent clashes erupted between protestors and soldiers, many civilians were shot by the military. Eventually, the public protests in May 1980 became a key moment in South Korea’s transition to democracy. This paper asks how the uprising in Gwangju is represented in popular films. Drawing on literature, which explores how film affects what people know of political events, the paper examines the A Taxi Driver – South Korea’s most viewed film in 2017. While a box-office hit, the film about a taxi driver, who gets involved in a journalist’s reporting of the Gwangju protests, was critically acclaimed and personally endorsed by President Moon Jae-in. In particular, the paper asks how the notion of a/the new South Korea – the beginning of the transition from dictatorship to democracy – is articulated. The goal is to understand how A Taxi Driver functions in producing a specific account of the Gwangju uprising.