Travis Workman

Asian Languages and Literatures
College of Liberal Arts
Twin Cities

Award Year
University Award
McKnight Land-Grant Professorship
Research Title
Melodrama and the Cold War: Ideas and Emotion in Korean Cinemas

No Monument Location

In literature, theater, and cinema, melodrama is a popular mode that uses heightened emotion and sentimentality to present the world as divided between agents of moral goodness and the threat of corruption. Travis Workman’s current research analyzes the melodramatic mode in the cinema cultures on both sides of the Cold War, focusing on the South Korean and North Korean film industries (1945-89). Expanding on his first book on humanism in the Japanese empire, Workman explores the political, social, and humanist ideas of Cold War melodrama, as well as parodies and critiques of its dominant images of a world split in two.