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Faculty Profiles

Astrid Lac

Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature

Email: alac@yonsei.ac.kr
Tel: 032-749-3039
Office: Veritas Hall B407


I am a comparatist in a broad sense, interested in fundamental antagonistic structures that define diverse cultural institutions and paradigms; how particular instances manifest the same trouble or, put inversely, attempt to address it differently. My research and teaching to date have pursued three concurrent trajectories, in modern and contemporary Japanese literature, psychoanalysis, and contemporary popular culture with a focus on cinema. These interests often intersect at such key problematics as (post)colonial modernity, gender and sexuality, and global technological postmodernity. I am currently writing a book on the cinematic representation of the “post-Oedipal” subject, approaching it as a transcultural (i.e., properly anthropological) phenomenon through and beyond local rhetorics and cross-cultural citations, from East Asia to Hollywood to Europe. Before coming to UIC, I was an Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow at New York University and a Fulbright-Hays Fellow at Gakushuin University, Tokyo. 


Ph.D. in East Asian Studies, Princeton University 

Courses and Current Research Areas

I teach mainly in two course categories: “World Literature” and “UIC Seminar.” The following are the titles of some of the courses I have taught in recent years:

“Jacques Lacan and Popular Culture (through Slavoj Zizek)”
“Freud’s Case Histories”
“Mishima Yukio: between Philosophical Rebel and Literary Genius”
“Contemporary Japan through Fiction”
“Murakami Haruki and His Contemporaries”
“Theorizing Cinema as Popular Culture”
“‘Postfeminism’: Gender and Sexuality in Cinema”
“Family, from Youth to Death: East Asian Cinematic Perspectives”
“Love, Psychoanalytically Speaking”
“Freud: from Hysteria to the Oedipus Complex”
“Antithesis to Now: from Slavoj Zizek to Russell Brand”
“Camus, Duras, Sartre”

Selected Publications

“From National History to Subject in Writing: Reading the Colonial Korean Poet Yoon Dong-ju with the Zainichi Korean Writer Yi Yang-ji.” Postcolonial Text. Open Humanities Press. (forthcoming)

“Difference, Trauma, and Affect: Accounting for Literary Desire in Psychoanalysis,” in Knots: Post-Lacanian Psychoanalysis, Literature and Film, edited by Jean-Michel Rabaté. Routledge. 2020.

“Losing Melancholia: Between Object, Fidelity, and Theory.” Cultural Critique vol. 102. University of Minnesota Press.

“Community by Death: Mishima, Bataille, and Metaphysics of the Flesh.” Comparative Literature Studies 54:2. Penn State University Press.

“Becoming Mad Bio-graphically: The Styling Body in Modern Japanese Literature.” Comparative Literature 66:4. Duke University Press.

“The Other’s Style: Text and Power in Early Twentieth-Century Japanese Literature.” Imaginaires 18. Éditions et Presses Universitaires de Reims, France.

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