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Featured Publications

Critically Capitalist

Author: Bohyeong Kim
Publication Date: 2025

Critically Capitalist presents an ethnography of South Korea’s asset seekers, including amateur stock investors, real estate enthusiasts, and money coaches, to demonstrate how financialized asset capitalism is sustained. As they hunt for profit margins, rent, and dividends, they simultaneously critique capitalism and posit their pursuit of assets as a form of resistance. Bohyeong Kim theorizes this new spirit of capitalism in South Korea as “critical capitalism,” arguing that it reflects the popular discontent with both national development and financial neoliberalism. As a paradoxical critique and legitimation, Bohyeong Kim argues that critical capitalism valorizes the capitalist economy not through a triumphant narrative, but by highlighting the emotional wounds, destroyed communities, and oppressive tactics of modern capitalism. 

The Postdevelopmental State

Author: Jamie Doucette
Publication Date: 2024

Over the last 25 years, South Korea has witnessed growing inequality due to the proliferation of non-standard employment, ballooning household debt, deepening export-dependency, and the growth of super-conglomerates such as Samsung and Hyundai. Combined with declining rates of economic growth and turbulent political events, these processes mark a departure from Korea’s past recognition as a high growth “developmental state.”

The South Korean Film Industry

Editors: Sangjoon Lee, Dal Yong Jin, and Junhyung Cho
Publication Date: 2024

As shown by the success of Squid Game and Parasite, South Korea’s film industry is producing films and original series for streaming services, film studios, and television stations worldwide. South Korea is now arguably considered one of the few countries outside the United States to have captivated the world’s hearts and minds through pop music, TV dramas, and film. Similarly, the exponential growth in the South Korean film industry has been mirrored by a growing body of industry and film policy forums and academic conferences in both the East and the West. 

Mediating Gender in Post-Authoritarian South Korea

Editors: Jesook Song & Michelle Cho
Publication Date: 2024

Mediating Gender in Post-Authoritarian South Korea focuses on the relationship between media representation and gender politics in South Korea. Its chapters feature notable voices of South Korea’s burgeoning sphere of gender critique enabled by social media, doing what no other academic volume has yet accomplished in the sphere of Anglophone studies on this topic. Seeking to interrogate the role of popular media in establishing and shaping gendered common sense, this volume fosters cross-disciplinary conversations linked by the central thesis that gender discourse and representation are central to the politics, aesthetics, and economics of contemporary South Korea. In the post-authoritarian period (the late 1980s to the #MeToo present), media representation and popular discourse changed the gender conventions that are found at the core of civic, political, and cultural debates. 

Mediating the South Korean Other

Editor: David C. Oh
Publication Date: 2022

Multiculturalism in Korea formed in the context of its neoliberal, global aspirations, its postcolonial legacy with Japan, and its subordinated neocolonial relationship with the United States. The Korean ethnoscape and mediascape produce a complex understanding of difference that cannot be easily reduced to racism or ethnocentrism. Indeed the Korean word, injongchabyeol, often translated as racism, refers to discrimination based on any kind of “human category.” Explaining Korea’s relationship to difference and its practices of othering, including in media culture, requires new language and nuance in English-language scholarship.

Brushed in Light: Calligraphy in East Asian Cinema

Author: Markus Nornes
Publication Date: 2021

Drawing on a millennia of calligraphy theory and history, Brushed in Light examines how the brushed word appears in films and in film cultures of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and PRC cinemas.

Korean Families Yesterday and Today

Editors: Hyunjoon Park and Hyeyoung Woo
Publication Date: 2020

Korean families have changed significantly during the last few decades in their composition, structure, attitudes, and function.

Revisiting Minjung New Perspectives on the Cultural History of 1980s South Korea

Editor: Sunyoung Park
Publication Date: 2019

Foremost scholars of 1980s South Korea bring new perspectives on this pivotal period, expanding the horizons of Korean cultural studies by reassessing old conventions and adding new narratives.

Rediscovering Korean Cinema

Author: Sangjoon Lee
Publication Date: 2019

The first comprehensive volume examining the state, stakes, and future direction of Korean cinema studies.

Entrepreneurial Seoulite Culture and Subjectivity in Hongdae, Seoul

Author: Mihye Cho
Publication Date: 2019

A lucid narration of post-financial crisis urbanism in Seoul and the vivid experiences of living through the city in transition.


Cultures of Yusin: South Korea in the 1970s

Editor: Youngju Ryu
Publication Date: 2018

Korean Communication, Media, and Culture: An Annotated Bibliography

Editors: Kyu Ho Youm and Nojin Kwak
Publication Date: 2018

Transgression in Korea: Beyond Resistance and Control

Edited by Juhn Y. Ahn
Publication Date: 2018

Sport in Korea: History, Development, Management

Editors: Dae Hee Kwak, Yong Jae Ko, Inkyu Kang, Mark Rosentraub
Publication Date: 2018

Smartland Korea: Mobile Communication, Culture, and Society

Author: Dal Yong Jin
Publication Date: 2017

Hallyu 2.0: The Korean Wave in the Age of Social Media

Editors: Sangjoon Lee, Abé Mark Nornes
Publication Date: 2015