Ecology and ethics beyond borders and boundaries in South Korean cinema

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Within the panel: Eco-criticism in Asian Narratives: A Reflection on Land, Disaster, Technology, and Ethics across Borders and Boundaries.

An Asian cultural product that is increasingly responding to dialogues between ecology and ethics is cinema, and, through active export markets and co-production, cinema in turn more readily crosses borders and boundaries than most other forms of creative commentary. Narrative forms are grounded socially and ideologically in the structures of a recognisable world and hence have a great capacity to heighten social consciousness, not only by foregrounding significant themes and issues but also because any act of narration implies that there must be a cognitive response from its audience. By invoking awareness of ecological and ethical issues, cinematic narratives evoke ethical responsibility, and the components of story may inspire social and political action.

In an essay on literary ecology (2008), Hubert Zapf pointed to several convergences between ecology and ethics, which can be shown to have comparable application in cinema and cinema studies: a focus on the relationship between text and life; a concern with values, that can move beyond critique to imagined alternatives; ecological and ethical approaches to the relationship between culture and nature; and an assumption that these issues are both local and global and therefore transcultural and transnational.

This paper will explore in particular the ecological/ethical aspects of the social ecology which underpins some eco-conscious South Korean films. It will draw upon frameworks supplied by cognitive studies, especially cognitive mapping, script theory, conceptual metaphor and conceptual blending, and will explore how these interlinked concepts express various understandings of the ethical relationships of self to place in a changing world.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event Asia in Motion: Beyond Borders and Boundaries: The 2017 AAS-in-ASIA (Association for Asian Studies in Asia) Conference - Korea University, Seoul, Korea, Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 24 Jun 201727 Jun 2017


Conference Asia in Motion: Beyond Borders and Boundaries
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


Dive into the research topics of 'Ecology and ethics beyond borders and boundaries in South Korean cinema'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this