About

Alice, Elizabeth, and James Turnbull, 2013As the tagline says, The Grand Narrative is all about discussing Korean feminism, sexuality, and popular culture, and in the last seven years has become one of the leading English-language sources on those topics, getting mentions in such sources as TIME, The Washington Post, BUST, CNN, The Associated Press, Slate, and Jezebel. Since November 2010, I have also become a frequent public speaker too, regularly giving lectures at universities across Korea and overseas.

With my limited time and finances however, unfortunately I can’t provide as much coverage on as many issues as I would like, so I focus on my own research interests of advertising, the media, body-image, and girl-groups. But I do still try to keep readers up to date with the latest news through Twitter and the blog’s Facebook page, and I often provide translations of Korean sources in my posts, aiming to pass on news and perspectives that English speakers would otherwise never get exposed to.

On a more personal note, I arrived in Jinju in Korea back in May 2000, moved with my Korean girlfriend to Busan in September 2003, and have been here ever since. We got married in May 2004, and had Alice in June 2006 and then Elizabeth in August 2008. Before that, I was born in England in 1976, spent most of my adolescence being dragged between England, Australia and New Zealand by my parents, and finally went to university in Auckland. Technically, I’m an UK citizen, but I’ve spent most of my adult life in Korea.

Recent and Forthcoming Guest Lectures, Conference Presentations, Articles, and Media Appearances and Mentions: 

August 2009

— Conference Presentation: 6th International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) Conference, Chungnam National University, Daejeon — “Backlash: The Role of the Asian Financial Crisis in the Feminization of Korean Ideals of Male Beauty.”

November 2010

— Guest Lecture: Wellesley College, Boston “An Introduction to Korean Gender Issues”

March 2011

— Guest Lecture: Royal Asiatic Society, Seoul “Gender Advertisements in the Korean Context”

April 2011

— Guest Lecture: Pusan National University “Gender Advertisements in the Korean Context”

May 2011

— Conference Presentation: University of California, Irvine — “Girls’ Generation? Gender, (Dis)Empowerment and K-Pop”

June 2011

— Guest Lecture: Pusan National University “Gender Advertisements in the Korean Context”

— Guest Lecture: Sejong University, Seoul “Gender Advertisements in the Korean Context”

July 2011

— Article: The Korea Herald, “Should the Sexualization of Teens in K-Pop be Banned?”

— Guest Lecture: 4th Korea-America Student Conference, Pukyong National University, Busan “Gender Advertisements in the Korean Context”

— Media Appearance: Deutschland Radio, “Wirtschaftsfaktor Girlband”

September 2011

— Mention: BUST, “South Korean Starlets Stuck with Offensive Bagel Girl Label”

November 2011

— Media Appearance: Gwangju Foreign Language Network, Interview

December 2011

— Guest Lecture: Keimyung University, Daegu “Reflexivities and Embodiment” Seminar and Workshop

January 2012

— Mention: Sociological Images, “Thinking through Korean Appropriation of American Indians”

February 2012

— Article: Busan Haps, “Korea’s Hidden Smokers”

March 2012

— Media Appearance: Eurêka! Productions, “Le sexe autour du monde” documentary interview

April 2012

— Guest Lecture: Pusan National University “Gender Advertisements in the Korean Context”

— Article: Busan Haps, “Why are There So Many Celebrities in Korean Ads?”

— Media Appearance: Busan e-FM, “Let’s Talk Busan”

May 2012

— Guest Lecture: Pusan National University “Sex and Gender Stereotypes in Korean Advertising”

June 2012

— Article: Busan Haps, “Goodbye Madame Butterfly, Hello Sexless Marriage”

August 2012

— Article: Busan Haps, “The Empowerment of The Pill in Korea”

September 2012

— Mention: The Associated Press, “For S. Korean men, makeup a foundation for success”

October 2012

— Media Appearance: Radiowa Trójka, Interview

— Guest Lecture: Pusan National University “Sex and Gender Stereotypes in Korean Advertising”

— Mention: CNN, “When fans go too far”

— Media Appearance: Busan e-FM, “Let’s Talk Busan”

— Guest Lecture: Dongseo University “Sex and Gender Stereotypes in Korean Advertising”

Busan Haps, “Censors in Retreat”

November 2012

— Media Appearance: Busan e-FM, “Let’s Talk Busan”

— Guest Lecture: Busan e-FM Global Forum “Sex and Gender Stereotypes in Korean Advertising”

— Mention: Yonhap, “‘Ladygate’ incidents point to misogyny on the Korean Internet”

December 2012

— Mention: The Korea Herald, “Should pornography be censored?”

— Article: Busan Haps, “K-girl Power: The emerging trend of empowerment and sexuality in K-pop”

January 2013

— Media Appearance: Interview, The Morning Wave, Busan e-FM

February 2013

— Article: Busan Haps, “Crossing the Lines: The Trends Reshaping Women’s Bodies in Korea”

March 2013

— Guest Lecture: 10 Magazine Book Club, Seoul: “Revealing the Korean Body Politic”

April 2013

— Article: Busan Haps, “Going Solo: The Korean trend of living alone”

May 2013

— Mention: The Atlantic, “The K-Pop Plastic Surgery Obsession”

June 2013

— Article: Busan Haps, “Is too Much Study Indoors Destroying Students` Vision?”

— Mention: Paste, Issue 98, “The RockTigers”

July 2013

— Media Appearance: Busan e-FM, “Let’s Talk Busan”

August 2013

– Article: Busan Haps, “Hot Summer On Screen: Sizzling it up with More Provocative K-Pop”

September 2013

— Mention: Global Post, “Step aside Miley Cyrus, here comes K-Porn”

October 2013

— Article: Busan Haps, “Shaking the Model Taboo: More Korean magazines portraying Korean women as sexy”

— Guest Lecture, Dongseo University, Busan: “Sex and Gender Stereotypes in Korean Advertising.”

December 2013

— Media Appearance: Busan e-FM, “Let’s Talk Busan”

— Article: Busan Haps, “The K-Pop Cringe: Is the Korean Wave Living Up to the Hype?”

February 2014

— Article: Busan Haps, “Hollaback! Korea: A Determined Group Works to Fight Sexual Harassment”

March 2014

— Publication: “Girls’ Generation? Gender, (Dis)Empowerment and K-pop” in The Korean Popular Culture Reader, Duke University Press (co-written with Dr. Stephen Epstein)

— Guest Lecture: Disruptive Voices, Seoul “Trends in Korean Media and Body Image, 1997-2014″

April 2014

— Mention: Libération, “Corée du Sud La quête du galbe”

— Article: Busan Haps, “When K-pop Gets Under Your Skin…”

May 2014

— Guest Lecture: Dankook University, Cheonan/Asan “Trends in Korean Media and Body Image, 1997-2014″

— Guest Lecture: Ewha Womans University, Seoul “Trends in Korean Media and Body Image, 1997-2014″

— Mention: Groove, “The Fight for Equality: Women’s struggle to defy prejudice, stereotypes, and tradition”

June 2014

— Guest Lecture: Yonsei University, Seoul “Trends in Korean Media and Body Image, 1997-2014″