Kyongju is South Korea's preeminent "culture city," an urban site rich with archaeological wonders that residents compare to those of Nara, Xian, and Rome. By examining these ancient objects in relation to the controversies that engulfed South Korea's high-speed railway line when it was first proposed in the 1990s,Kyongju Thingsoffers a grounded and theoretically sophisticated account of South Korean development and citizenship in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Its sensitivity to issues of place, knowledge, and cultural heritage and its innovative use of network theory will be of interest to a wide range of scholars in anthropology, Asian studies, the history of science and technology, cultural geography, urban planning, and political science. Robert Oppenheim is Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. "A tale of South Korea's new politics involving antiquarians, weekend hikers, activists, and entrepreneurs, told with wit and theoretical sophistication." ---Laurel Kendall, Curator, Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History "InKyongju Things, Robert Oppenheim employs an innovative theoretical blend to insightfully illuminate the interactions of agency and objects in the making of a 'place.'" ---Roger L. Janelli, Professor Emeritus, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Indiana University "Kyongju Thingsis responsible, pathbreaking, and ambitious, with a stunning and welcoming introduction . . . Oppenheim calls upon a theoretical tool kit that allows him to productively re-think place, locality, technology, things, and subjectivity in ways that really do challenge the existing scholarship on South Korea.Kyongju Thingswill make a splash in Korean studies." ---Nancy Abelmann, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and author ofEchoes of the Past, Epics of Dissent: A South Korean Social Movement
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. The local election system introduced in the mid 90s has stimulated strong desires among city mayors and county and district governors to develop and promote their areas. Riding on the Korean Wave—the overseas popularity of Korean entertainment, also called Hallyu—Korean cities have actively used K-dramas and K-pop idols in advertisements designed to attract foreign tourists to their regions. Hallyu, meanwhile, has turned the Korean entertainment industry into a speculative field into which numerous players venture by attracting cities as sponsors. By analyzing the process of culture-featured place marketing, Pop City shows that urban spaces are produced and sold just like TV dramas and pop idols by promoting spectacular images rather than substantial physical and cultural qualities. Popular culture-associated urban promotion also uses the emotional engagement of its users in advertising urban space, just as pop culture draws on fans’ and audiences’ affective commitments to sell its products. Oh demonstrates how the speculative, image-based, and consumer-exploitive nature of popular culture shapes the commodification of urban space and ultimately argues that pop culture–mediated place promotion entails the domination of urban space by capital in more sophisticated and fetishized ways.
Imperial tombs, Buddhist architecture, palaces, and art treasures in Korea and Japan have attracted scholars, collectors, and conservators�and millions of tourists. As iconic markers of racial and cultural identity at home and abroad, they are embraced as tangible sources of immense national pride and popular �must-see� destinations. This book provides the first sustained account to highlight how the forces of modernity, nationalism, colonialism, and globalization have contributed to the birth of museums, field disciplines, tourist industry, and heritage management policies. Its chapters trace the history of explorations, preservations, and reconstructions of archaeological monuments from an interregional East Asian comparative perspective in the past century.
There is broad acceptance across the Humanities and Social Sciences that our deliberations on the social need to take place through attention to practice, to object-mediated relations, to non-human agency and to the affective dimensions of human sociality. This Companion focuses on the objects and materials found at centre stage, and asks: what matters about objects? Objects and Materials explores the field, providing succinct summary accounts of contemporary scholarship, along with a wealth of new research investigating the capacity of objects to shape, unsettle and exceed expectations. Original chapters from over forty international, interdisciplinary contributors address an array of objects and materials to ask what the terms of collaborations with objects and materials are, and to consider how these collaborations become integral to our understandings of the complex, relational dynamics that fashion social worlds. Objects and Materials will be of interest to students and scholars across the social sciences and humanities, including in sociology, social theory, science and technology studies, history, anthropology, archaeology, gender studies, women’s studies, geography, cultural studies, politics and international relations, and philosophy.