Source: Burst@Pexels; CC0

Just a quick update to apologize for the ongoing lack of posts, and to explain.

Basically, I’ve been too busy. The same week my wife’s father died, she started a new job as an interpreter and translator at a rapidly-expanding medical technology company. Every other week since then, she’s been jet-setting to places like Andorra, India, the US, and Indonesia. Also, when she is in Korea, her workplace is across town, meaning she has to leave home at 7:30am, and doesn’t come back until 8pm, after which she’s straight back on her computer. It’s all very glamorous and exciting from my perspective (only glamorous and exciting-sounding, she insists), and I’m very proud of her, but practically-speaking I’ve been a single parent for the last two months. It’s been tough!

Every cloud has a silver-lining though, and it’s been a real eye-opener being forced by the lack of free-time to break down how I’ve been spending my days, and trying to eliminate time-wasting habits. I’m still very, very far from becoming a paragon of discipline of course, but one important change I have made recently is going to bed at 10pm and getting up at 6am, to get in that fabled hour of writing every day. True, so far those hours have more been spent only thinking about writing, while luxuriating in a second cup of coffee and watching the sunrise over the ocean (still totally worth it, IMHO), but the actual writing will surely come soon.

See you next week? ;)


Source: Sebastian Voortman@Pexels; CC0 license

Just a very quick update to let everyone know that, tragically, my father-in-law died in an accident earlier today. Which means I’m very busy and stressed right now sorry, so I’ll just quickly say that my planned comeback on Monday will have to be delayed a few more weeks unfortunately.

Until then, thank you very much for your condolences and for your patience, and I promise to be overanalyzing pop-culture with you all again soon (*hugs*). Take care!

Thanks for Reading for 10 Years Everybody! Please Help Me Keep Writing for Another 10!

Source: Pakutaso

It’s the blog’s 10 year anniversary this month. But I’m just too busy to celebrate!

Classes only finished at my university a few days ago. My Gender in South Korea course starts at HUFS in less than 3 weeks. Then I’ll be in Seoul teaching that for 4 weeks, then I’m going on a quick holiday to the UK for 2 weeks (our family’s first overseas trip in 9 years!), then it will be the next semester already, and then my mother will be staying with me for 2 weeks.

So, if there was ever a good time to take a break from blogging, now would be it. And I deserve one after 10 years too!

Don’t worry though, I’ll still be very much around, posting links on Twitter and on the blog’s Facebook page as per usual, and responding to comments. But the next post won’t be up until mid-September.

Until then, thanks very much for reading and for all of your comments over the years, and I hope you all have a great summer. Also, please consider helping me keep the blog going for another 10 years, by clicking on the button below and making a small donation. I do hate to ask, but then keeping the blog going at all costs me $78 a year, and—well, I only received $5 in donations last year, and in the year before that too. So not asking doesn’t seem to be working much! :D

Thanks again!

Quick Hit: Feminist Artist Artemisia Gentileschi

(Source: 묵음‏ @dlklee)

Have I told you how awesome Korean Twitter is?

Trick question: I’ve raved about it many times. Who wouldn’t, when after years spent looking for quality, accessible Korean-language commentary on feminism and sexuality, now they’re inundated with it?

It feels so energizing to discover all the fresh perspectives, events, trends, and activists that I’ve been overlooking these past 17 years in Korea. And to think about where learning about them will take me (and this blog) in the future.

It also explains why I haven’t been writing much recently sorry: when you have so much material to work with, it’s difficult to settle on just one thing at a time. Other reasons include preparing my upcoming Gender in South Korea course this summer, my wife starting an exciting and glamorous new job which keeps taking her on long business trips overseas, and my angst over my blog’s 10 year anniversary coming up in a couple of weeks.

But more on that in an upcoming anniversary post. Until then, let me pass on how I stumbled upon feminist icon Artemisia Gentileschi, who’s inspired me to revisit the—for want of a better phrase—subjectivity vs. objectivity debate in K-pop, to seek out more examples of sassy Korean pin-up grrrls, and to learn more about Western art history.

Which, in my book, makes for one pretty damn awesome tweet:

Sleeping Venus (a.k.a. Venus and Cupid), by Artemisia Gentileschi.

This female artist painted a masterpiece of female nudity.

In particular, the model has no interest whatsoever in the viewer’s gaze—indeed, she seems to be ignoring it almost entirely. Instead, she has an unaffected air about her, her eyes closed and sporting an ever so slight smile with her lips turned up. Rather than simply being the object of the gaze, she’s revealed to be the master of her own body.

(Source: 묵음‏ @dlklee)

I know, right?

Any more old or newfound fans of Gentileschi out there, please say hi in the comments. Also, does anyone know of any paintings with similar motifs by different artists, especially Korean ones? Thanks!

Critical Korea Studies Meetup This Saturday!

Source: YouTube

Just between you and me, I’m having some great hair days at the moment. So, to take advantage, I’m coming up to Seoul out of my own pocket this weekend, to meet as many readers as possible. I’m just that good-looking.

Technically though, I’m going to be a moderator at the first Critical Korea Studies Meetup/Mini-conference, to be held from 3-6pm at Yonsei University on Saturday the 29th. And it’s important that I’ll just be a moderator, because I absolutely wouldn’t pay to go somewhere if I thought *I* was going to be the most interesting person in the room.

To be certain though, I need you to come, and your friends too. So, please check out and share this link or the Facebook Event Page for the details and more information, and feel free to join us for the dinner afterwards if you’re unavailable in the afternoon.

See you there!

(BTW, I’ll also be giving a presentation at Seoul National University on Monday the 1st. That’s private unfortunately, but it does explain the slow blogging sorry!)

한국인이세요? 한국인이랑 데이트 해봤어요? 이 연구가를 도와주세요!

Source: Pakutaso

Grand Narrative 독자분들께,

안녕하세요! 제 이름은 Edward Glayzer입니다. 저는 미시간주립대학교 인류학과의 박사과정생이고, Grand Narrative의 오래된 독자이기도 합니다. James Turnbull씨는 제가 서울에 와서 한국의 성불평등에 대한 학위논문 연구를 시작할 때부터 많은 도움을 주셨고, 또한 이렇게 연구대상자 모집을 공고할 수 있게 해주셨기에 감사하다는 말씀 전하고 싶습니다.

제 연구는 한국 사회의 성불평등에 관한 광범위한 주제들을 더 잘 이해하기 위한 것이며, 이를 위해 한국인들의 데이트와 결혼 의식에서 일어나는 물질적 교환을 살펴봅니다. 제 연구는 또한 남성과 여성의 소득 불평등이 어떻게 상품 소비를 통한 친밀함의 표현에 영향을 미치는지를 다룹니다. 이 연구의 유일한 참여조건은 “다른 한국인과 데이트를 해본 대한민국 국적의 성인”입니다.

독자 여러분의 의향이나 내주실 수 있는 시간에 따라 두 가지 참여방법이 있습니다. 이 중 하나 혹은 둘 다 자원해주신다면 매우 감사할 것입니다.

하나는 보통 10-15분이 걸리는 간단한 온라인 설문을 해주시는 것입니다. 서베이의 링크는 다음과 같습니다: https://msu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_57kvB7gFyJihklD

다른 하나는 1:1 대면 인터뷰이며, 보통 한 시간에서 한 시간 반 정도 걸립니다. 저는 현재 약혼녀와 서울 강남구에서 거주 중이지만, 독자 분을 만나기 위해서 기꺼이 다른 곳도 방문할 의사가 있습니다! 시간 내주시기 어렵다면 스카이프 인터뷰 역시 가능합니다.

혹시 제 연구에 대해 질문이 있으시거나 인터뷰 일정을 잡고 싶으시다면, eglayzer@gmail.com로 메일 주시기 바랍니다. 카카오톡도 가능하며, 아이디는 eglayzer입니다.

Hello Grand Narrative Readers,

My name is Edward Glayzer. I am Doctoral Candidate from the department of Anthropology at Michigan State University and a longtime reader of The Grand Narrative. Since moving to Seoul to begin my dissertation research on Korean gender inequality, James Turnbull has been extremely helpful and kind enough to post this call for research subjects.

My research looks at gift-giving practices that take place during dating and marriage rituals among native South Koreans as a way of better understanding larger issues on gender inequality in South Korean society. My research will also address how the unequal access to income between men and women affects the expression of intimacy through the consumption of commodities. The only requirement for participation in this study is to be an adult of Korean nationality and have spent time dating other Koreans. (To clarify, any sexuality is welcome—James)

There are two possible levels of involvement that you may have depending on your availability and inclination. Volunteering for either one, or both, is extremely helpful to me and I would be in your debt.

The first is to fill out a brief online survey that usually takes between 10 and 15 minutes to complete. This survey can be accessed here: https://msu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_57kvB7gFyJihklD

The second involves a one-on-one interview that usually takes 1 hour to a 1 ½ hours. I am currently living with my fiancé in Gangnam, Seoul, but am more than willing to travel throughout Korea in order to meet with you! If your time is very limited, a Skype interview would also be possible.

If you have any questions about my research or if you would like to schedule an interview, please email me at eglayzer@gmail.com. You can also find me on Kakao by searching for eglayzer.

Thank you for your help,

Edward Glayzer M.A., Doctoral Candidate, Michigan State University, Department of Anthropology.

YOU WILL Take My “Gender in South Korea” Course This Summer!

“And you will tell all your friends about it too!” (Source: Pakutaso)

As excuses for not posting go, they don’t get much better than this!

In short, I’m very happy and honored to announce that I’ll be teaching the “Gender in South Korea” course at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies’ International Summer Session this year, which lasts from Thursday July 13 to Thursday August 10.

Alas, it’s all very sudden. Which means I’m still preparing a syllabus sorry, along with many of the other professors for their own courses. But I expect to finish that and have it added to the ISS website later this week, and the deadline for applications from exchange students is less than 3 weeks away too (international and Korean students’ deadlines are later). So why not make the announcement sooner rather than later, when I’m still so excited I can’t sleep for thinking about all the exciting possibilities for my classes? :)

If you’re interested in hearing the fruits of my labors this summer then, but with no tests(!), a focus on a presentation and discussions, some awesome field trips to go on, and—last but not least—many other great Korea and Asia-related courses also available, then please check out the website for further details. And please make sure to tell all your friends too!