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Category Archives: Notebook on Cities and Culture

Notebook on Cities and Culture’s Korea Tour: Gangbuk Style with Daniel Tudor

In Seoul’s Hongdae district, Colin Marshall talks with Daniel Tudor, former Economist correspondent in Korea, co-founder of craft beer pizza pub chain The Booth, author of the books Korea: The Impossible Country, A Geek in Korea, and (with James Pearson) North Korea Confidential. They discuss the difference between Gangnam and Gangbuk style; the recently emerging trend toward Korean nostalgia, and […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture’s Korea Tour: One Long Bike Party with Coby Zeifman

In Changwon, “Environmental Capital of South Korea,” Colin Marshall talks with Coby Zeifman, former outreach coordinator for Nubija, the city’s bike share system. They discuss what makes Changwon a cool town; why a feature like Nubija, despite its impressiveness, needed the kind of outreach he has tried his utmost to provide; Changwon’s history as a manufacturing […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture’s Korea Tour: ¿Por Qué Corea? with Sofía Ferrero Cárrega

At a coffee house somewhere in Busan, Colin talks with Sofía Ferrero Cárrega, film critic and enthusiast of Korean cinema. They discuss whether she’d recommend other movie-lovers move to Busan; how the Busan International Film Festival attracted her to the city (and the importance of its parties); why, in Busan, “everybody says yes”; the state […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture’s Korea Tour: The Biggest Small Town with Jeff Liebsch

Near Busan’s Kyungsung University, Colin talks with Jeff Liebsch, managing editor and partner at the magazine Busan Haps. They discuss what makes Korean baseball games more fun than baseball games in the West; the Toronto-Detroit sports divide in his hometown of Windsor; why a disproportionate number of the Westerners in Korea seem to have come from Canada; […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture’s Korea Tour: Midnight Riding with Chad Kirton

Colin sits down at Busan’s eFM with broadcaster, teacher, rapper, and television star Chad Kirton, also known as Fusion. They discuss whether the setting gets him into Korean or English mode; how he came up with his show segment “Don’t Trust the Dictionary”; what a “bunnyhug” is; how the Korean desire for perfection affects their […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture’s Korea Tour: Sexy Concepts with James Turnbull

In Busan’s Daeyeon-dong, Colin talks with James Turnbull, author of The Grand Narrative, a blog on Korean feminism, sexuality, and popular culture. They discuss what Westerners find so unappealing about Korean plastic surgery; the associations of the “double eyelids” so often surgically created; why he used to believe that Koreans “want to look white”; the meaning of such mystifying […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture’s Korea Tour: Outsider Status with B.R. Myers

At Busan’s Dongseo University, Colin talks with North Korea analyst Brian Reynolds Myers, author of such books as A Reader’s Manifesto and The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters. They discuss why South Koreans don’t care about the Sword of Damocles that is North Korea; how Korea’s capital-centricity looks from relatively far-flung Busan; […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture’s Korea Tour: Taking the Stage with Bruce Fulton

Near the University of Seoul, Colin talks with Bruce Fulton, Young-Bin Min Chair in Korean Literature and Literary Translation in the Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia and, with his wife Ju-chan Fulton, half of an acclaimed Korean literary translation team. They discuss when Korean writers get too good at reflecting their own society; his […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture’s Korea Tour: Telling the Grayness with Krys Lee

In Seoul’s Seodaemun-gu, Colin talks with Krys Lee, author of the story collection Drifting House. They discuss the impression of Korean life as a living hell; the way she prefers to mix the light and the dark; the “obsession with violence” that led her to write about a woman who longs to be beaten; “Koreanness” as Drifting […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture’s Korea Tour: Cool Koreania with Barry Welsh

In Seoul’s Yangjae station, Colin talks with Barry Welsh, host of the Seoul Book & Culture Club and Seoul Film Society as well as professor at Sookmyung Women’s University. They discuss what Koreans know about the Isle of Man, the last place he lived; how he founded his now well-known book club; his literary encounters with […]