The Korean Studies Research Network and International Programs will present a virtual lecture by guest speaker Dr. Jooyeon Rhee entitled "Mŏkppang and Korean Culinary Masculinity in Neoliberal South Korea" on Thursday, Nov. 17, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. (CDT), via Zoom.
Mŏkppang generally refers to the televising of cooking shows and food-eating, which has become one of the most important keywords in understanding socio-economic conditions and social interactions in contemporary South Korea. Predominantly performed by male chefs and foodies, mŏkppang provides audiences with a space of domestic comfort in the midst of an intensely competitive and demanding social reality in which people are gradually losing their social and familial ties. This lecture approaches the mŏkppang as a cultural phenomenon that capitalizes on the desire for domestic comfort and the popular image of culinary masculinity. It examines some of the most popular TV and online cooking/eating shows to show how neoliberalism becomes an underlying force behind the formation of such desire and how they reinforce existing gender norms and hierarchy.
Dr. Jooyeon Rhee is an associate professor of Asian studies and comparative literature and director of Penn State's Institute for Korean Studies who specializes in modern Korean literature and culture. Her main research deals with Korean popular literature with particular emphasis on transnational literary exchanges and interactions. Currently, she is writing her second book on cultural imaginations of crime and deviance manifested in Korean detective fiction of late colonial Korea. Her other research interests include diasporic art and literature and food studies.