Seoul is the epicenter of a globalizing Korean culture industry, the heartland of k-pop, k-dramas, and fashion. It is also a city of ten million, with all that that entails: there are high-end restaurants next to street vendors, large outdoor mark...
Seoul is the epicenter of a globalizing Korean culture industry, the heartland of k-pop, k-dramas, and fashion. It is also a city of ten million, with all that that entails: there are high-end restaurants next to street vendors, large outdoor markets alongside luxurious malls, dense city streets surrounded by massive New Towns, palaces from the 14th century in proximity to displays of the most cutting-edge Samsung consumer products.
We will spend the summer thinking about the organization and logic of global cities like Seoul, and we will also talk about the impact of global networks on people – in particular, on Asian American histories and identities. In thinking about diasporas and the evolution of cultural norms and practices, we will visit key sites in the Korean War, including the DMZ and the War and Women’s Human Rights Museum. We will also visit reconstructed sites of national identity like Minsokchon, and discuss the role of such places in the creation and maintenance of transnational ethnic identity. For our work on global cities, we will take walking tours of Cheonggyechon (a massive urban renewal and city “greening” project), Hanok village, Insadong, Itaewon, Olympic Park, and Songdo City. We will also attend a KPop studio tour.
Knowledge of Korean language is not required for this global seminar. Bring only your enthusiasm and a pair of comfortable walking shoes - you will finish this seminar with a far greater understanding of this massive, complex city!