Sixty Years of South Korean Science Fiction: Selections from the USC Korean Heritage Library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection

January 3, 2024 - May 10, 2024
East Asian Library

Korean Sci Fi

South Korea is home to one of the most technologically saturated societies in the world, so it should come as no surprise that the country has developed an ardent fan base for science fiction. Artists, writers, filmmakers, and publishers have all found an audience for the genre, which began to gain stature in the 1960s and now permeates global entertainment. Novels, DVDs, comic books, anthologies, magazines, exhibition catalogs, promotional booklets, flyers, and postcards from the USC Korean Heritage Library chronicle how sci-fi has evolved as a narrative form in the country.

The exhibition highlights sci-fi fandom whose members played a key role in cultivating today’s institutional basis for the genre. Another highlight is the work of women and nonbinary writers and artists who have radically changed the genre over the last thirty years. The wide range of materials and subjects seen here demonstrates the boundless possibilities of sci-fi, its fluid ability to reflect societal dynamics, and the rapid transformation of South Korean culture over the past half-century.

Curated by USC Dornsife Professor Sunyoung Park with the support of Jungeun Hong of USC’s Korean Heritage Library.