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Urbanism and Asian American Identity
(Seoul, Korea)


Professor Nancy Kwak
Dates Departure from U.S.: Sat., June 25, 2016
Arrival: Sun., June 26, 2016
Mandatory Orientation: Mon., June 27, 2016
First Day of Class: Tues., June 28, 2016
Last Day of Class: Fri., July 29, 2016
Departure for the U.S.
(or personal travel):
Sat., July 30, 2016

Flight Information

  • All approved applicants will be notified by e-mail when the program reaches minimum enrollment. Do not purchase plane tickets until the program is confirmed.
  • Please plan your arrival into Seoul on June 26 between the hours of 1:00pm and 5:00pm in order to take advantage of airport pick up provided by our partner in Seoul ISA. You should plan to arrive at the Incheon airport in Seoul  (airport Code ICN).
  • Contact STA Travel if you would like more information about  flights or the airfare deposit program.
Info Sessions
  • Thursday, Jan. 28 | 5:00-6:30pm 
    International Center Oceanids Pavilion
  • Thursday, Feb. 18 | 5:00-6:30pm
    International Center Oceanids Pavilion

Why you should go

Seoul is the epicenter of a globalizing Korean culture industry, the heartland of k-pop, k-dramas, and fashion. It is also a city of ten million, with all that that entails: there are high-end restaurants next to street vendors, large outdoor markets alongside luxurious malls, dense city streets surrounded by massive New Towns, palaces from the 14th century in proximity to displays of the most cutting-edge Samsung consumer products.

We will spend the summer thinking about the organization and logic of global cities like Seoul, and we will also talk about the impact of global networks on people – in particular, on Asian American histories and identities. In thinking about diasporas and the evolution of cultural norms and practices, we will visit key sites in the Korean War, including the DMZ and the War and Women’s Human Rights Museum. We will also visit reconstructed sites of national identity like Minsokchon, and discuss the role of such places in the creation and maintenance of transnational ethnic identity. For our work on global cities, we will take walking tours of Cheonggyechon (a massive urban renewal and city “greening” project), Hanok village, Insadong, Itaewon, Olympic Park, and Songdo City. We will also attend a KPop studio tour.

Knowledge of Korean language is not required for this global seminar. Bring only your enthusiasm and a pair of comfortable walking shoes - you will finish this seminar with a far greater understanding of this massive, complex city!

Meet the professor

Prof. Nancy KwakNancy Kwak researches the history of cities and urban spaces in the twentieth century, with a specialty in housing and development aid after 1945. She has been teaching in the History Department, the Urban Studies and Planning program, and the International Studies Program at UCSD since 2008. She regularly offers courses on urban history as well as the DEI-approved course on Asian American history. She earned her PhD at Columbia, Med at Harvard, and BA at Berkeley.

Get in touch with UCSD Global Seminars

Study Abroad UC San Diego
University Center 409
9500 Gilman Drive #0034
La Jolla, California 92093
Phone: (858) 534-1123
Email: globalseminar@ucsd.edu
VAC: http://vac.ucsd.edu