27155 - Cinema Seminar (1) (G. B)

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Drama, Art and Music Studies (cod. 0956)

Learning outcomes

The Cinema seminar is an activity that integrates the teaching offer of traditional courses. At the end of the seminar the student: - deepens the knowledge relating to relevant aspects of the studies of cinema, television and new media; - autonomously applies innovative analysis methods for cinema and media products.

Course contents

Cinema, culture and society in Korea

The seminar analyzes the development of contemporary Korean society and culture through the analysis of films. Through cinema, the seminar aims at providing a broad understanding of the main social and political changes in Korean society, as well as a brief history of Korean cinema and an analysis of the main transformations in the structure of culture production in Korea. During the seminar we will explore several recurring historical and social themes in Korean cinema - including traditional culture, the division of the two Koreas, the fight against Japanese colonialism, authoritarian regime, the creation of a national identity, economic growth and social inequality - building a historical path aimed at exploring a coherent narrative of the recent history and current situation of the Korean peninsula through the film narrative.

The organization of the seminar is based on active and constant student participation. The seminar provides a structure divided into three parts:

The first part consists of a series of introductory lectures on the recent history of the Korean peninsula, with particular emphasis on political and social developments. This will create the basis for contextualizing the specific issues analyzed through films within the framework of contemporary Korea.

The second part will focus on the study of the development of Korean cultural production in recent years, with particular attention to film industry and production. In this part, we will analyze the role of the state in promoting the production and export of Korean cultural products, with particular attention to concepts such as soft power and cultural diplomacy; the birth and explosion of the so-called Korean wave - "Hallyu" - in contexts such as cinema, popular music and television shows; and the development of the Korean film industry.

The third part will consist of the study of some political and social issues that characterize the contemporary Korean peninsula through the screening and analysis of specific films. We will analyze:

  • The struggle for democratization in South Korea;
  • Economic and social inequalities in South Korea;
  • The Korean diaspora;
  • Relations between the two Koreas;

The analysis of these issues will be preceded by a brief class introduction, which will be followed by the screening of the film - in some cases it will take place in the classroom while in others it will be carried out autonomously by the students - to conclude with a group discussion in the classroom. The specific list of films and the calendar will be provided at the beginning of the seminar.


A detailed reading list with all the required readings will be provided to the students at the beginning of the seminar and the readings will be made available in electronic format.

As a general reference text on Korean cinema we recommend:

  • Darcy Paquet (2010). New Korean Cinema: Breaking the Waves. (New York: Columbia University Press).

For a general overview of the history, society and culture of the Korean peninsula (areas that will be addressed in the first weeks) we recommend one - or more - of the following books:

  • Antonio Fiori (2010). L’Asia orientale: Dal 1945 ai giorni nostri. (Bologna: Il Mulino). Cap. II e VI.
  • Adrian Buzo (2017). The Making of Modern Korea (third edition).(Abingdon: Routledge). Da cap. 5 a cap. 11.
  • Bruce Cumings (2005). Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company). Da cap. 4 a cap. 8.

The recommended readings are not mandatory; however, they represent a very valuable resource to familiarize with the history and culture of the Korean Peninsula

Teaching methods

The seminar will be a combination of lectures, class discussion, presentations and film screenings. Active student participation is a key component of the seminar and forms part of the final evaluation.

The seminar will take place in 'blended' mode with the possibility, for students who cannot be in the classroom, to attend the classes through Microsoft Teams.

Assessment methods

Students must attend at least 75% of the seminar sessions.

The final evaluation of knowledge and skills acquired during the seminar will take the form of a brief research essay on one of the topics addressed during the seminar, that will be discussed during an oral exam. More details will be provided in class during the first week.

Teaching tools

Specific readings on the topics covered in the seminar, slides, images and short films, film screenings.

Office hours

See the website of Marco Milani


Gender equality Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities Peace, justice and strong institutions

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.