Emanuel Pastreich’s talk “A Tale of Two Cities” at Harvard University on March 31, 2015
“A Tale of Two Cities:
Seoul as the Byzantium of the 21st Century”
Tuesday, March 31, 6 PM
Barker Center room 024
12 Quincy St.
Free and Open to the Public
Tuesday, 31 March, 2015 6 PM Emanuel Pastreich Associate Professor Kyung Hee University
Seoul has emerged at the center of a new economic and cultural order in East Asia and this massive city is increasingly making its presence felt around the world through its music, art, fashion and movies. Washington D.C. and Seoul are increasingly emerging as the two major capitals of the American global system in a manner that brings to mind the relationship between Rome and Byzantium in another age.
But most Americans know very little about this center for cultural production in Asia. This talk considers the competing cultural identities of Seoul: Gangnam (South of the river) whose brash spirit is embodied in Psy’s hit song and Gangbuk (North of the River) a subtle urban space of tight-knit urban communities. How does the tension between these two cultures stimulate cultural production in Seoul and what are the prospects for Seoul’s cultural future?