The paper explores ways in which the contemporary refunctioning of classical literary and cinematic genres might continue to provide vitality and relevance in building multi-faceted border-crossing societies such as multicultural communities. In the case of Korean hallyu cinema, Punch, the sleeper-hit film of 2011 about a Korean-Filipino character (“Kopino”), the “coming-of-age” genre is located at the nexus between the key features of the Bildungsroman and the project of multiculturalism in dominantly monocultural Korea. In the process of refunctioning, the aesthetics of the film is reworked from a narrative structured by the integrative logic of an individual’s development (Bildungsroman) into a political site for negotiation of contentious tensions (multiculturalism). As a “hybrid” Korean film characteristic of many products of the hallyu culture industry, at its contact zone is the Kopino (Korean-Filipino), the main protagonist, Wan-deuk, at which the structure of the Bildungsroman, the Korean han and the Filipino affect sana become resilient and dynamic if not always visible features that textually coalesce and collide in the process of “generic translocality,” multiplying the tensions and reframing the narrative structure. The result is the emergence of a refunctioned hybrid genre toward what might be called the “multicultural Bildungsroman” in Punch.


bildungsroman, contact zone, Filipino sana, hallyu, hybridity, Korean han, multiculturalism, refunctioning, translocality

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)