London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Invented Traditions in North and South Korea

Almost forty years after the publication of Hobsbawm and Ranger’s The Invention of Tradition, the subject of invented traditions—cultural and historical practices that claim a continuity with a distant past but which are in fact of relatively recent origin—is still relevant, important, and highly contentious. Invented Traditions in North and South Korea examines the ways in which compressed modernity, … [Read More]

Sound of the Border: Music and Identity of Korean Minority Nationality in China

Using ethnographic data collected in China and South Korea between 2004 and 2011, Sound of the Border provides a comprehensive view of the music of Koreans in China (Chaoxianzu), from its time as manifestation of a displaced culture to its return home after more than a century of amalgamation and change in China. As the first English-language … [Read More]

Future Yet to Come: Sociotechnical Imaginaries in Modern Korea

South Korea is home to cutting-edge electronics, state-of-the-art medical facilities, and ubiquitous high-speed internet. The country’s meteoric rise from the ashes of the Korean War (1950–1953) to rank among the world’s most technologically advanced societies is often attributed to state-led promotion of science and technology in nation-building projects. With chapters that discuss Korea’s dynastic past, … [Read More]

Routledge Handbook of Contemporary South Korea

The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary South Korea offers a ground-breaking study of the socio-political development of the Korean peninsula in the contemporary period. Written by an international team of scholars and experts, contributions to this book address key intellectual questions in the development of Korean studies, projecting new ways of thinking about how international systems … [Read More]

The Road to Multiculturalism in South Korea: Ideas, Discourse, and Institutional Change in a Homogenous Nation-State

From the publisher’s website: This book aims to capture the complicated development of Korea from monoethnic to multicultural society, challenging the narrative of “ethnonational continuity” in Korea through a discursive institutional approach. At a time when immigration is changing the face of South Korea and an increasingly diverse society becomes empirical fact, this doesn’t necessarily … [Read More]

Korean Food Television and the Korean Nation

From the publisher’s website: This book examines the historical development of Korean food TV and its articulation of Koreanness in the era of globalization. Jaehyeon Jeong defines the evolution of Korean food TV as an outcome of the conjuncture between the television industry’s structural changes, the shift in food’s landscape and cultural legitimacy, and various … [Read More]

Korean Digital Diaspora: Transnational Social Movements and Diaspora Identity

From the publisher’s website: Through a critical examination of the Korean diaspora in transnational contexts as a case study, Korean Digital Diaspora: Transnational Social Movements and Diaspora Identity unmasks the process of how people of the diaspora have built social interactions and communication with others online, how they have orchestrated social movements, and finally, how they have … [Read More]

The Construction of Korean Culture in Korean Language Textbooks: Ideologies and Textbooks

From the publisher’s website: The book examines the themes of cultural values, collective identity, political ideologies, and Korean cultural traditions throughout Korean language textbooks from the last 120 years. Through this analysis, the author explores the colonial, neo-colonial, and postcolonial contexts that have influenced South Korea. This work demonstrates the significant impact of textbooks and … [Read More]

Popular Culture and the Transformation of Japan–Korea Relations

From the publisher’s website: This book presents essays exploring the ways in which popular culture reflects and engenders ongoing changes in Japan–Korea relations. Through a broad temporal coverage from the colonial period to the contemporary, the book’s chapters analyse the often contradictory roles that popular culture has played in either promoting or impeding nationalisms, regional … [Read More]

Songs for “Great Leaders”: Ideology and Creativity in North Korean Music and Dance

Publisher description: Famously reclusive and secretive, North Korea can be seen as a theatre that projects itself through music and performance. The first book-length account of North Korean music and dance in any language other than Korean, Songs for “Great Leaders” pulls back the curtain on this theatre for the first time. Renowned ethnomusicologist Keith Howard moves … [Read More]

A Representation of Nationhood in the Museum

From the publisher’s website: A Representation of Nationhood in the Museum examines how the National Museum of Korea, as a national repository of material culture and the state’s premier exhibition facility, has shaped and been shaped by Korean nationalism. Exploring the processes by which the museum has discovered and interpreted material culture, using concepts of ethnic … [Read More]

South Korean Identity and Global Foreign Policy: Dream of Autonomy

From the publisher’s website: In the 20th century, South Korea was usually seen as a “shrimp amongst whales”, a minor player with limited agency in regional and global affairs. Korea’s risen status as a “middle power” today, however, begs the question about related changes in the South Korean identity or “sense of self” in the … [Read More]

‘Difficult Heritage’ in Nation Building: South Korea and Post-Conflict Japanese Colonial Occupation Architecture

From the publisher’s website: This book explores South Korean responses to the architecture of the Japanese colonial occupation of Korea and the ways that architecture illustrates the relationship between difficult heritage and the formation of national identity. Detailing the specific case of Seoul, Hyun Kyung Lee investigates how buildings are selectively destroyed, preserved, or reconstructed … [Read More]

Dynamic Korea and Rhythmic Form

Winner of the The Béla Bartók Award for Outstanding Ethnomusicology The South Korean percussion genre, samulnori, is a world phenomenon whose rhythmic form is the key to its popularity and mobility. Based on both ethnographic research and close formal analysis, author Katherine In-Young Lee focuses on the kinetic experience of samulnori, drawing out the concept … [Read More]

Cultural Policy in South Korea: Making a New Patron State

From the publisher’s website: This is the first English-language book on cultural policy in Korea, which critically historicises and analyses the contentious and dynamic development of the policy. It highlights that the evolution of cultural policy has been bound up with the complicated political, economic and social trajectory of Korea to a surprising degree. Investigating … [Read More]

Colonizing Language: Cultural Production and Language Politics in Modern Japan and Korea

From the publisher’s website: With the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1894, Japan embarked on a policy of territorial expansion that would claim Taiwan and Korea, among others. Assimilation policies led to a significant body of literature written in Japanese by colonial writers by the 1930s. After its unconditional surrender in 1945, Japan abruptly … [Read More]