Dr. Ji-yoon An 안지윤

Korea Foundation Visiting Lecturer

Ji-yoon An

email: jiyoonan@hku.hk


With a background in Music and Film Studies, I received my Ph.D. in East Asian Studies from the University of Cambridge, UK, in 2018, where I specialized in Korean cinema. My work, broadly speaking, explores trends and patterns in Korean popular culture as a means of examining the symbiotic relationship between society and culture. My overarching approach can be encapsulated in the question: how does Korean culture document, fictionalize, or even influence the micro-level changes that are occurring in Korean society? Adding to the rapidly growing canon of scholarship on Korean cultural studies, I engage mainly with the study of films and television, while also touching on other mediums such as webtoons and experimental video artworks.

I am currently working on my first book on representations of the family in Korean cinema. Going beyond existing scholarship on Korean cinema which has remained focused on the Korean film industry’s revival in the late 1990s and its leading genres and filmmakers, my dissertation turns its attention to the breadth of creativity found in medium-budget films between the late 1990s until early 2010s, where changes in the social understanding of the familial and gender concepts, as well as in the roles of individual family members, were playfully tackled. My project brings together films and writings on the family in both Korean and English, analysing the reflections and yearnings that they provide on social changes of modernisation, democratisation, feminism, and neoliberalism.

Other projects that I am working on include: an edited collection on K-dramas, individual articles on Korean disasters movies and body politics in K-drama, and a second book project on monsters in Korean popular culture.


Prior to joining the University of Hong Kong, I was a Korea Foundation Visiting Assistant Professor in Korean Studies at Nanyang Technological University, where I taught courses on Korean media, culture, and history. I have also taught at the University of Tuebingen and the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.


PhD     East Asian Studies, University of Cambridge
MPhil  Screen Media Culture, University of Cambridge
BA      Music, King’s College London

Selected Publications


An, J. 2022.  ‘Introduction to Special Section: New Directions in K-Drama Studies.’ Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema 14(2)

An, J. 2022. ‘K-Drama 2.0: Updating Tropes with Intertextuality and Cinematic Visuals in Crash Landing on You.’ Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema 14(2)

An, J. 2019. ‘The Lost Childhoods of Korea: Ounie Lecomte’s A Brand New Life (2009) and Kim So-yong’s Treeless Mountain (2009).’ Cross Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review 8(1), 19-40. DOI: 10.1353/ach.2019.0001

An, J. 2019. ‘The Korean Mother in Contemporary Thriller Films: A Monster or Just Modern?’ The Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema 11(2), 154-169. DOI: 10.1080/17564905.2019.1661655

Book Chapters

An, J. 2021. ‘Aliens, Mermaids, and Cartoons: Neoliberal Gender Politics in Twenty-First Century South Korean Dramas.’ In ‘We’ in an Age of ‘I’: Romance and Social Bonding in Contemporary Culture, eds. Mary Harrod, Suzanne Leonard, and Diane Negra. Routledge.

An, J. 2016. ‘Blood is Thicker than Water, or is It? Depictions of “Alternative Families” in Contemporary Korean Cinema.’ In Korean Screen Cultures: Interrogating Cinema, TV, Music and Online Games, eds. Andrew Jackson and Colette Balmain. Peter Lang, 35-54.

Courses 2022/23

KORE1021 Introduction to Korean Culture and Society
KORE2024 Korean Studies I
KORE2025 Korean Studies II


Tel. (852) 3917 7324
Office: 10.50 Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU