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Category Archives: Notebook on Cities and Culture

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 […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture’s Korea Tour: Eating It All Together with Daniel Gray

Right across the street from Seoul’s Insadong district, Colin talks with Daniel Gray, creator of the site Seoul Eats, proprietor of craft beer restaurants Brew 3.14π and Brew 3.15π, and for four years a partner at O’ngo Food Communications. They discuss his weariness of the term “Seoul food”; what part of Korean culture happens around the table; what goes […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture’s Korea Tour: Korean Dreams with Alex Jensen

In Seoul’s Itaewon district, Colin talks with Alex Jensen, host of weekday news show This Morning on TBS eFM. They discuss whether he envisions who he’s talking to when he’s talking on-air; what first strikes him about the Tube whenever he goes back to London; when he very first took to the airwaves; how much he knew […]

Notebook on Cities and Culture’s Korea Tour: Cowboys and Yangban with Charles Montgomery

In Seoul’s Haebangchon district, Colin Marshall talks with Charles Montgomery, professor in the English Interpretation and Translation Division of Dongguk University, editor of the site KTlit.com, and global ambassador of Korean literature in translation. They discuss the first Korean books that excited him; the mistakes he made in choosing his first works of Korean literature to read; the significance of […]