Lecture/Talk Series "Spectographies of Asian Divas: Asian Female Singers, phonographic reality and historical returns"

Date: 2016.6.14 (Tue) 19:00 start
Venue: art space tetra 1F

Speaker: Lee Yong Woo ( assistant professor/faculty fellow of East Asian Studies at New York University)
Interviewer: Kuroda Raiji

entrance fee: one drink order & donation


Asian divas and their music were significant socio-cultural phenomenon given that pop music often expresses new sociocultural identity, moral value and modernity during urbanization and modernization process.

Thus, this talk takes a closer look at Asian female singers life and songs, such as Lee Erisu, Kim Chooja from Korea, Misora Hibari Matsuda Seiko from Japan, Teresa Teng from China and Taiwan, Saloma Ismail from Malay, Lata Mangeshkar from India, Imelda Papin from Philippine during the colonial and postcolonial era and how the representation of women's physicality, chastity and moral values had been described in terms of gender and sexuality in cultural discourse.

Especially I will focus on the concept of Asian modernism in Asian pop music through Derridian idea of “Spectographies” (spectrality of media), by taking a glimpse at the multi-layered lives of Asian women during the 1920s ~ 1980s, and exploring issues of race,gender, sexuality and imperialism. Thus this talk revisits complex configuration of memories and colonial remnants, alternative local performativity against patriarchical morals, characterized by imperialism and modernization, through analysis of various female singers songs as means of reviving multifarious voices and testimonies.

(Left) Kim Sisters, c.1960s

Lee YongWoo
Lee Yongwoo is an assistant professor/faculty fellow of East Asian Studies at New York University. His primary research and teaching interests focus on media and cultural studies of modern Korea, critical theory, popular culture in East Asia, film studies, critical musicology, intellectual history of wartime Japan and postwar Korea, Korean contemporary art, and post/colonial historiography. He is currently revising his book manuscript, Embedded Voices in Between Empires: The Cultural Formation of Korean Popular Music in Modern Times, which explores the historical trajectory of colonial mentalities and the genealogy of cultural modernities and Americanization in South Korea by recontextualizing popular music as a narrative of collective memories and mass trauma.