Tel: 01223 335144
University Lecturer in Japanese Cultural History
During the late 1960s and early 1970s I was fortunate to receive scholarships for study at several large American universities, the sort of places where an amateurish interest in Japanese and East Asian culture could encounter serious training and some excellent teachers. Other scholarships took me to Japan for the first time in 1970, then back for PhD research in 1973-74 at Kyoto University. I taught briefly in the US, but most of my experience has been in Australia and Britain. Australia in the 1980s was full of intellectual and political energy. I owe my continuing interest in many things - Japanese film, feminist cultural history, cultural studies/theory and socialism - to colleagues and students, from a number of countries, encountered there. I also had the freedom to participate in a wide range of film festivals and conferences – this is a kind of activity I have returned to in recent years.
From graduate study through the 1980s, my research focused for the most part on several problematic areas of 'classical' literature plus literary theory and poetics. The Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies offered me a forum for some relatively unconventional work that would eventually find readers: 'Sei Shônagon's Poetic Catalogues' (1980); the monograph-length 'Buson and Shiki' (1984 & 1985); 'Waka and Form, Waka and History' (1986). During the same period and later I have engaged, from time to time, in a bit of polemic with the more conservative aspects of Japanese cultural studies by means of book reviews in academic journals, the TLS and NYTBR.
Since coming to Cambridge in 1989, I have tried to convert myself into something of a modernist, teaching reading courses, introductory surveys and seminars involving modern fiction. I have written on the representation of minorities in modern fiction, particularly the work of Nakagami Kenji.
I returned more recently to my early interest in film. My work on minority writers had made me familiar with the zaincihi resident-Korean community. By the late 1990s, I found myself involved in trying to acquire a deeper knowledge of South Korean society and history, even trying to learn some Korean, at a time when the New Korean Cinema was just taking off. I have spent most of the past decade following in its wake, while focusing on the earlier history of Korean cinema. My research has appeared in several volumes of The Korea Yearbook published by Brill, and in online form on the The Asia-Pacific Journal.
I have been involved in a number of film activities bringing Korean film to Cambridge. I am on the advisory board for the London Korean Film Festival and have worked with the Korean Cultural Centre in London to make Cambridge and the Arts Picturehouse part of their annual Korean Film Festival.
I have supervised many undergraduate dissertations and PhD projects. Some have dealt with literary topics - often women and minority writers; others with themes in cultural history and politics. PhD theses I have supervised have covered feminist cultural and literary history, intellectual history and zainichi Korean women writers. Graduate students I am supervising at present are researching topics such as representations of women in contemporary popular culture, the body in postwar writing and film, Mishima Yukio as critic, Japanese and Korean proletarian women writers and literary adaptation in 1950s Japanese film.
I enjoy working with students who want to do something a bit different than bio-bibliographical research. I especially enjoy working with people eager to add a comparative and/or socio-historical aspect to their project.
Recent publications have included:
1 ‘The Political Economics of Patriotism: Korean Cinema, Japan and the Case of Hanbando’. Up-dated online version of 2008 article *:http://qqq.japanfocus.org/-Mark-Morris/2935 (2009)
2 ‘The New Korean Cinema looks back at Kwangju: The Old Garden and May 18’, in
Korea Yearbook 2008, ed. Frank et al. (London and Boston: Brill, 2009) [171-98]
3 ‘Melodrama, Exorcism, Mimicry: Japan and the Colonial Past in the New Korean Cinema’, in Cultural Studies and Cultural Industries in Northeast Asia: What a Difference a Region Makes, eds. Jonathon D Mackintosh, Chris Berry & Nicola Liscutin, (Univ of Hong Kong, 2009) [195-211, 270-4]
4 South Korea’s Kwangju Uprising: Fiction and Film: a special section edited for The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. February 2010. Includes
a) my Introduction
b) Introduction to Ch’oe Yun, ‘The Artistic Dilemmas of Writing Reality”
c) Co-translation of the above essay
d) ‘The New Korean Cinema, Kwangju and the Art of Political Violence’. Revised online version of article 2 above: http://www.japanfocus.org/-Mark-Morris/3298
5 ‘On the Trail of the Manchurian Western’, in Korea Yearbook 2010,
ed. by Ruediger Frank, James E. Hoare, Patrick Koellner and Susan Pares (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2010).
6 Dicovering Korean Cinema (Booklet to accompany the Firth London Korean Film Festival). Co-edited with Daniel Martin (London: Korean Cultural Centre, 2010)
Includes my short article: ‘Sorrow and Spectacle: The Korean War Film’
(* ‘The Political Economics of Patriotism: the case of Hanbando’, in Korea Yearbook 2007: Politics, Economics, Society, ed. by Ruediger Frank, James E. Hoare, Patrick
Koellner and Susan Pares (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2008) [215-34])