Invented Traditions in North and South Korea

From the publisher’s website: 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 […]

Carving Status at Kŭmgangsan: Elite Graffiti in Premodern Korea

From the publisher’s website: North Korea’s Kŭmgangsan is one of Asia’s most celebrated sacred mountain ranges, comparable in fame to Mount Tai in China and Mount Fuji in Japan. Carving Status at Kŭmgangsan marks a paradigm shift in the research about East Asian mountains by introducing an entirely new field: autographic rock graffiti. The book details how […]

A Korean Odyssey: Island Hopping in Choppy Waters

From the publisher’s website: Michael Gibb embarks on an eccentric odyssey around the wind-swept islands off the coast of South Korea in search of life beyond K-pop, high-tech gadgetry and nuclear missile tests. With well over three thousand islands to choose from, there was no shortage of destinations, all connected by the indomitable ferries that ply […]

The Cultural Politics of Urban Development in South Korea: Art, Memory and Urban Boosterism in Gwangju

From the publisher’s website: This book analyses the cultural politics of urban development in Gwangju, South Korea, and illustrates the implementation of state-led arts-based urban boosterism efforts in the context of political trauma and the desire for economic growth. The book explores urban development that is complicated by the recent history of democratic uprising in […]

North Korea Journal

From the publisher’s website: A glimpse of life inside the world’s most secretive country, as told by Britain’s best-loved travel writer. In May 2018, former Monty Python stalwart and intrepid globetrotter Michael Palin spent two weeks in the notoriously secretive Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a cut-off land without internet or phone signal, where the […]

The Devil’s Playground: Inside America’s Defense of the Deadly Korean DMZ

From the publisher’s website: The Devil’s Playground is a timely account of what it is like to serve along perhaps the most dangerous and sensitive strip of land in the world. In recent months two bullet-riddled attempted escapes from North to South brought worldwide headlines. And with Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un exchanging threats, the world hopes […]

Entrepreneurial Seoulite: Culture and Subjectivity in Hongdae, Seoul

From the publisher’s website: Entrepreneurial Seoulite might be read as a memoir on Hongdae based on the author’s observations as a member of South Korea’s Generation X. During the 1990’s, Hongdae became widely known as a cool place associated with discourses on alternative music, independent labels, and club culture. Today, Hongdae is well known for its […]

A Place to Live: A New Translation of Yi Chung-hwan’s T’aengniji, the Korean Classic for Choosing Settlements

From the publisher’s website: A Place to Live brings together in a single volume an introduction to Yi Chung-hwan’s (1690–1756) T’aengniji (Treatise on Choosing Settlement)—one of the most widely read and influential of the Korean classics—and an annotated translation of the text, including the author’s postscript. Yi composed the T’aengniji in the 1750s, a time when, despite King Yŏngjo’s (r. […]

Pop City: Korean Popular Culture and the Selling of Place

From the publisher’s website: Pop City examines the use of Korean television dramas and K-pop music to promote urban and rural places in South Korea. Building on the phenomenon of Korean pop culture, Youjeong Oh argues that pop culture–featured place selling mediates two separate domains: political decentralization and the globalization of Korean popular culture. By analyzing the […]

See You Again in Pyongyang: A Journey into Kim Jong Un’s North Korea

From ballistic missile tests to stranger-than-fiction stories of purges and assassinations, news from North Korea never fails to dominate the global headlines. But what is life there actually like? In See You Again in Pyongyang, Jeppesen culls from his experiences living, traveling, and studying in North Korea to create a multi-faceted portrait of the country […]

Seoul: Memory, Reinvention, and the Korean Wave

From the publisher’s website: Seoul is a colossus both in its physical presence and the demand it places on any intellectual effort to understand it. How did it come to be? How can a city this immense work? Underlying its spectacle and incongruities is a city that might be described as ill at ease with […]

Hyecho’s Journey: The World of Buddhism

From the publisher’s website: In the year 721, a young Buddhist monk named Hyecho set out from the kingdom of Silla, on the Korean peninsula, on what would become one of the most extraordinary journeys in history. Sailing first to China, Hyecho continued to what is today Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran, […]

Classical Writings of Korean Women

This work is a collection of essays travelogues written by women during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The work ranges from a eulogy for a broken needle to a travelogue describing various trips to scenic spots on the Korean peninsula, including to the Keum-Gang Mountains. Now available in English, this collection gives us a sampler of […]

A Chinese Traveler in Medieval Korea: Xu Jing’s Illustrated Account of the Xuanhe Embassy to Koryŏ

From the publisher’s website: “The king and ministers, superior and inferior, move with ritual and refinement. When the king goes on an inspection tour, everyone has the correct ceremonial attributes and the divine flag [troops] gallop in front while armored soldiers block the road. The soldiers of the Six Divisions all hold their attributes. Although […]

Tourist Distractions: Traveling and Feeling in Transnational Hallyu Cinema

From the publisher’s website: In Tourist Distractions Youngmin Choe uses hallyu (Korean-wave) cinema as a lens to examine the relationships among tourism and travel, economics, politics, and history in contemporary East Asia. Focusing on films born of transnational collaboration and its networks, Choe shows how the integration of the tourist imaginary into hallyu cinema points to the region’s evolving […]

Without You, there is no Us

From the publisher’s website: It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, except for the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. This is where Suki Kim has accepted a job teaching English. Over the next six months she will eat three meals a day with […]