In premodern Korea, archives were gathered and housed not only in official or state storerooms but also in unofficial sites such as the libraries of lineage associations and local academies. Contributors to this special issue reveal how these archives cast light on what and who were left out of the conventional historiography of premodern Korea, taking the archive beyond its usual definition as a collection of historical documents of the past. Topics include how premodern Korean record-keeping was used to shape contemporary historiographical knowledge of Chosŏn Buddhism; the role of the Catholic Archives in documenting life in Chosŏn Korea; and whether the term “archive,” as used in European traditions, is relevant to premodern Korean traditions. By addressing topics such as the formation and use of archives and the role of archives in the circulation of knowledge, contributors invite a vital conversation about how histories of the archive might reshape stories about premodern Korea.
Contributors. Ksenia Chizhova, Jungwon Kim, Sung-Eun Thomas Kim, Franklin Rausch, Graeme Reynolds, Sem Vermeersch, Sixiang Wang, Yuan Ye
Sweden’s early film industry was dominated by Swedish Biograph (Svenska Biografteatern), home to star directors like Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller. It is nostalgically remembered as the generative site of a nascent national artform, encapsulating a quintessentially Nordic aesthetic—the epicenter of Sweden’s cinematic Golden Age. In The Life and Afterlife of Swedish Biograph, veteran film scholar Jan Olsson takes a hard look at this established, romanticized narrative and offers a far more complete, complex, and nuanced story.
Nearly all of the studio’s original negatives were destroyed in an explosion in 1941, but Olsson’s comprehensive archival research shows how the company operated in a commercial, international arena, and how it was influenced not just by Nordic aesthetics or individual genius but also by foreign audiences’ expectations, technological demands, Hollywood innovations, and the gritty back-and-forth between economic pressures, government interference, and artistic desires. Olsson’s focus is wide, encompassing the studio’s production practices, business affairs, and cinematographic conventions, as well as the latter-day archival efforts that both preserved and obscured parts of Swedish Biograph’s story, helping construct the company’s rosy legacy. The result is a necessary rewrite to Swedish film historiography and a far fuller picture of a canonical film studio.