Why K-Zombie?: The Glocalization of Neoliberal Apocalypse and the Value of Humanity

Prof. Seung-hoon Jeong

Wednesday, November 29, 2023, 2:00 - 3:30 pm
UCI McCormick Screening Room (Humanities Gateway 1070)

Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan infuses the Hollywood ‘zombie format’ with Korean family melodrama and disaster tropes, portraying ‘liquid fear’ in neoliberal systems through fast-running zombies. This talk explores the film’s glocal hybridity in the context of the director’s zombie trilogy––including Seoul Station and Peninsula––which suggests a cyclical history of apocalypse, where zombies trigger the fall and rise of a biopolitical regime. The drama of contagion and quarantine recurs around this viral ‘ontological other,’ prompting reflection on the ultimate worth of humanity’s struggle in this closed circuit.

Seung-hoon Jeong is Assistant Professor of Film and Electronic Arts at California State University Long Beach. He wrote Cinematic Interfaces and Biopolitical Ethics in Global Cinema, co-edited The Global Auteur and Thomas Elsaesser’s The Mind-Game Film, guest-edited the "Global East Asian Cinema" issue of Studies in the Humanities, and co-translated Jacques Derrida’s Acts of Literature into Korean.