New media is transforming the economic, political, legal, and everyday life of East Asia. In South Korea, video game tournaments make it to prime time television, whereas in North Korea, mobile phone users form secret networks. In China, the film box office grows by double digits while the Internet challenges the Party’s monopoly of information. In Japan, social networks substituted traditional news in the wake of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe, while popular culture materials and fan practices from Japan spread all over Asia.
The growth of digital technologies has re-energized the field of media studies. Yet the East Asian context receives little attention – despite the intense impact it has brought to that region and indeed global developments in media. Meanwhile, area studies has been slow to tackle the immense consequences of these developments, partially due to the speed with which they unfold.
The East Asian Media Ecologies project explores the deep and complex transformations taking place in and through media in East Asia, past and present. It seeks to facilitate dialogues on media and the connected practices, poetics and politics across national boundaries and academic disciplines. Emphasizing the interconnectedness of technology, culture, and society through the term “media ecologies,” we seek to understand both “old” and “new” media, past and present.
The East Asian Media Ecologies project provides a forum, a laboratory and a space for exchange for new research on media in East Asia. Initially a series of screenings and lectures by cutting edge researchers on media in East Asia, in the future the East Asian Media Ecologies project will also include workshops, conferences, and online publications.