Korean Media Essay Contest

Korean Media Essay Contest

Previously known as the Korean Literature Essay Contest, the Korean Media Essay Contest is held each academic year to promote the thoughtful consumption of Korean media among students at Indiana University and at our partner institutions.

Starting in 2020, the Korean Literature Essay Contest became a collaborative event between IKS and the George Washington University Institute for Korean Studies. In 2022, the contest was expanded to include all forms of Korean media in translation. 

Each year, IU IKS and GW IKS select a work of Korean media and invite students to submit a critical essay about the selected piece.  First, second, and third-place prizes are awarded based on originality, content, and style.

2022-2023 Korean Media Essay Contest

The Korean Media Essay Contest is open to all undergraduate students at Indiana University Bloomington and at selected partner institutions. Participants will watch the documentary Sa-I-Gu and submit a critical essay of 1,000 to 1,250 words. Click here for the detailed guidelines.

Selected Media:  Sa-I-Gu (1993) Documentary 

Film by Dai Sil Kim-Gibson

April 29 marks the anniversary of a tragic day in American history. Violence, arson and looting erupted in South Central Los Angeles, sparked by the acquittal of the four policemen who had beaten an African American, Rodney King. During the tragic days of the riot in 1992, Korean Americans suffered about half of the $850 million in property damage, not to mention the emotional and psychological pain. In the days and weeks that followed, media coverage of the upheaval was extensive but rarely presented a fair and in-depth portrayal of the victims. They made the Black/Korean conflict the cause of the crisis, not a symptom. Sa-I-Gu, literally April 29, presents this Los Angeles crisis from the perspectives of Korean women shopkeepers and offers an alternative to mainstream media's inability or refusal to present the voices of victims in human terms but make them issues and numbers. Sa-I-Gu provides a perspective that is essential to discussions on the Los Angeles unrest that brought numerous social issues to the forefront - racism, class divisions, crime, violence, poverty, the urban underclass and political, economic and cultural empowerment. —Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)

Eligible Participants: Undergraduate students currently enrolled at Indiana University Bloomington or at selected partner institutions

Submission deadline: Friday, January 27, 2023

Essay Requirement: A 1,000 - 1,250 word critical essay in English

Program Guidelines: Click here for the detailed guidelines

Prizes: 1st Place: $300 Amazon gift card or gift of equal value

             2nd Place: $200 amazon gift card or gift of equal value

             3rd Place: $100  Amazon gift card or gift of equal value

Submit Essay Here


Previous Contests

Our 2022 Contest

The Novel for this year was "I Met Loh Kiwan" by Cho Haejin.

Read the winning essays

Our 2021-2022 Contest

The Novel for this year was "Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982" by Cho Nam-joo.

Read the winning essays

Our 2019 Contest

The Novel for this year was "The Vegetarian" by Han Kang.

Read the winning essays