I’m looking forward to hosting writer/artist/activist Sukjong Hong this week, as she will be visiting from New York as a guest speaker in my second-year “writing geography” class at UTSC. She will also lead a workshop on the St. George campus about comics and visual culture on Tuesday, Feb 9.… more
Largely unknown to city-dwellers before the 1960s, large apartment complexes (ap’at’ŭ tanji) powerfully shape the landscapes of contemporary South Korean cities. Some are now being memorialized by artists, planners and citizen themselves. How did apparently western-style housing blocks migrate to Korea on such a large scale? To what extent do they reflect the power relations between the global and the local in South Korean cities? What is currently at stake regarding the future of apartments in the contemporary post-industrial Korean society? Combining the perspectives of cultural geography and Korean studies, and using ethnographic materials gathered on sites studied since the mid-1990s (in downtown Seoul) or new ones in the making (Songdo), the symposium will address those issues regarding the significance of South Korea as a “Republic of Apartments” (ap’at’ŭ konghwaguk), where apartment complexes have been the main mediation of the Korean society to urban modernity.… more
“The relatively unexplored category of misery suggests a similar need to make and to challenge distinctions between subjective, individual experiences on the one hand and social divisions on the other. […] Considering misery and resistance together encourages a raft of theoretical and methodological approaches, old and new.”… more
How might one explain the rise of the discourse of “chongbuk chwap’a” 종북좌파 (a term commonly translated as “pro-North leftists”) given South Korea’s recent history of the democratization movement and the transition from a series of authoritarian regimes to a parliamentary democracy? In what ways does this discourse differ from the anticommunism of the earlier period? What are some historical and political implications of the discourse in contemporary South Korea?… more
The Department of Human Geography and City Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough is seeking a detail-oriented and tech-savvy… more
I’m looking for two responsible and detail-oriented Summer Work Study research assistants for the “Urban Aspirations in Seoul” research lab. The assistants will help set up lab space on St. George campus, gather and organize research data, write analysis of news and current events, manage citations using Zotero, and provide general support for research projects on church growth and urban politics, religion and homophobia, and conscientious objection to military conscription. Apply soon!… more
The recent news of unethical and inexcusable misconduct by a BBC journalist in North Korea has prompted an important letter from UK-based scholars of North Korea. While some have dismissed the controversy as “fuss,” there are huge implications for both academic research and political engagement.… more
I’ve been working with amazing students at the University of Toronto in starting a new journal to feature undergraduate geography writings. We’re doing a (soft) launch event on April 4 with short readings and reception.