Seoul, Dislocation, and the Consumption of the Korean Mobile Nation through (Food) Media: From bang 房 to bang(song) 放(送)


Thursday, February 16, 2023, 4:30pm to 6:00pm


Thomas Chan-Soo Kang Room (S050), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Korea Colloquium
 KI 2/16

Ellie Choi
Visiting Assistant Professor of Korean Culture and Society in the East Asian Studies Department at Brown University

Her current research interests include the Seoul city, colonial Korea and Pyongyang, spatiality, transnational food media, cyberspace, and dislocation.  She is the author of “Consuming the Korean Mobile Nation: Seoul, Dislocation, and the Search for Belonging in (Food) Media” (Journal of Cinema and Media Studies 62.5 Fall 2022-Summer 2023), “In the Shadow of Nation and Empire: North(west)ern (西北人) Writers in Colonial Seoul” (Routledge, 2020), and “Forgotten Memories of Modernity: Yi Kwangsu’s The Heartless and New Perspectives in Colonial Alterity,” (The Journal of Asian Studies, August 2018).

Chaired by Si Nae Park, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University



A hyper-focused developmentalism from the Park Chung Hee era (1961-1979) onward in South Korea gave rise to the now (in)famous “Miracle on the Han,” which eventually linked Seoul to global capitalist networks.  It forged the cosmopolitan expanse of contemporary Seoul, a megapolis of glittering lights, kaleidoscopic signboards, and towering apartment complexes (ap’at’u tanji).  Topographies of the city and country began to emerge in the Korean cinematographic imagination from the 1990’s as reactions to Seoul’s hyper-modernity.  Depictions of resting in an idyllic countryside, or in rooms (bangs) hidden within the city often portray eating, indexing a global media trend linking identity to food, which comes from the earth or terroir. Today, all media (television, film, and digital-born media) are streamed into tablets and smart phones, bypassing stationary devices and old boundaries. These streamed images affect virtual-togetherness in a Korean “mobile nation,” an online community of domestic and international viewers consuming “Korea(-n food)” together, interstitially. Evocative foodscapes conjure feelings of belonging as consumers engage in timed chats and upload content.


To attend this online event, please register here.

Generously supported by the Young Chul Min Memorial Fund at the Korea Institute, Harvard University