Readymade Bodhisattvas: South Korean Sci-Fi and Transnational Technocultures

Wednesday, February 20 at 5:00pm

This is a past event.

USC Brain and Creativity Institute's Joyce J. Cammilleri Hall (BCI)
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Reception and book signing to follow.

Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning Wednesday, January 23, at 9 a.m.

USC Students, Staff, and Faculty: RSVP
USC Alumni: RSVP
General Public: RSVP

Neo-Seoul looms in the futuristic sky of Hollywood science fiction films, teeming with glitzy superheroes and cyborgs. But do South Koreans also dream of electric sheep? In conjunction with the publication of Readymade Bodhisattva: The Kaya Anthology of South Korean Science Fiction, this event brings together the legendary American writer Ted Chiang and three prominent figures of the South Korean SF world—writer Soyeon Jeong, writer Gord Sellar, and the director of the Seoul SF Archive, Sang-Joon Park—for an evening of SF storytelling. USC professor Sunyoung Park will moderate a discussion about culture and technology, the transnational migration of a global genre, and South Korea’s experiments with sci-fi during its rapid rise from being one of the poorest countries in the world to becoming a global economic and cultural powerhouse renowned for its cutting-edge cyberculture.

Ted Chiang is an American speculative-fiction writer and the winner of four Nebula Awards, three Hugo Awards, the John W. Campbell Award, three Locus Awards, and the Sidewise Award. (Books)

Soyeon Jeong is a science-fiction writer, translator, and human-rights lawyer. Her short story collection Yeonghui Next Door (Yeopjip ui Yeonghui ssi) includes the award-winning “Cosmic Go” and was honored as the 2015 Book of the Year for Young Adults in South Korea. In addition to her prolific writing, she also serves as the chairperson of the Science Fiction Writers Union and as the executive director of the Boda Initiative, a non-profit organization for the education of children in developing countries.

Sang Joon Park is an editor, translator, publisher, archivist, columnist, and critic. He has been responsible for publishing more than 100 sci-fi works in Korean translation and has contributed to cultivating a new generation of Korean sci-fi writers by serving as the founding editor for Fantastique (2007–2010) and the organizer of a wide range of reading communities and visual-art events on speculative fiction. He teaches SF-related courses at multiple Korean universities.

Gord Sellar is a South Korea–based writer of speculative fiction, a blogger, and a chronicler of sci-fi culture in Korea. He has published and presented papers on Korean sci-fi cinema and the uses of sci-fi in South Korean academic and public discourse. He is also a contributor to the magazine Miraegyung and a reviewer of SCI-FI and Korea-related books for The Kyoto Journal, The Japan Times, and Cascadia Subduction Zone. (Science Fiction in South Korea, Twitter)

Additional Links:
The New Yorker: “Ted Chiang’s Soulful Science Fiction”
The Verge: “How the Short Story that Inspired Arrival Helps Us Interpret the Film’s Major Twist”

Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Organized by Sunyoung Park (East Asian Languages and Cultures, Gender Studies).

Image: Lee Jaemin

Event Type

Arts, Lecture / Talk / Workshop, Student Life


Students, Alumni, Faculty/Staff


University Park Campus


employees, literature, Visions and Voices, visionsandvoices



Admission is free. Reservations required.

Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative


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