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Fate and Freedom in Korean Historical Films

Palgrave Macmillan

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  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access.

  • Introduces and analyses remarkable works of historical cinema

  • Connects the swelling global interest in Korean culture to its unique history

  • Written in a compelling, accessible style by an established expert in Korean history

Part of the book series: East Asian Popular Culture (EAPC)

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Hardcover Book USD 129.99
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About this book

This open access book examines the depiction of Korean history in recent South Korean historical films. Released over the Hallyu (“Korean Wave”) period starting in the mid-1990s, these films have reflected, shaped, and extended the thriving public discourse over national history. In these works, the balance between fate and freedom—the negotiation between societal constraints and individual will, as well as cyclical and linear history—functions as a central theme, subtext, or plot device for illuminating a rich variety of historical events, figures, and issues. In sum, these highly accomplished films set in Korea’s past address universal concerns about the relationship between structure and agency, whether in collective identity or in individual lives. Written in an engaging and accessible style by an established historian, Fate and Freedom in Korean Historical Films offers a distinctive perspective on understanding and appreciating Korean history and culture.


Authors and Affiliations

  • School of Culture, History & Language, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

    Kyung Moon Hwang

About the author

Kyung Moon Hwang is Korea Foundation Professor at the Australian National University, Canberra. He is the author of A History of Korea (Third Edition, 2021), Past Forward: Essays in Korean History (2019), Rationalizing Korea: The Rise of the Modern State (2015), and Beyond Birth: Social Status in the Emergence of Modern Korea (2004).

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Fate and Freedom in Korean Historical Films

  • Authors: Kyung Moon Hwang

  • Series Title: East Asian Popular Culture

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-27268-4

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Literature, Cultural and Media Studies, Literature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2023

  • License: CC BY-NC-ND

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-27267-7Published: 14 September 2023

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-27270-7Due: 15 October 2023

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-27268-4Published: 13 September 2023

  • Series ISSN: 2634-5935

  • Series E-ISSN: 2634-5943

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XIX, 255

  • Number of Illustrations: 32 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Asian Cinema and TV, Modern History

Buy it now

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 129.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access