Michelle Cho

Michelle Cho is an Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. Her research and teaching focus on questions of collectivity and popular aesthetics in Korean film, media, and popular culture. She has published on Asian cinemas and Korean wave television, video, and pop music in such venues as Cinema Journal, the International Journal of CommunicationThe Korean Popular Culture Reader, and Asian Video Cultures (2019 “Best Edited Collection” Award winner, Society for Cinema and Media Studies). Following from her first book, Genre Worlds: Global Forms and Millennial South Korean Cinema (forthcoming), which theorizes South Korean cinemas’ transnational dimensions through the concept of genre transference, her current work theorizes the convergence of platforms, affect, and globalization fantasies in Korean Wave contents and fandoms.

She is developing two book projects based on this research, tentatively titled Engendering the Korean Wave: National Gestures, Transmedia Forms, and Vicarious Media: Serial Affect in K-pop Fandoms. Both projects approach South Korean television and internet video as an expanded, mediated public sphere shaped by diasporic exchange and displaced national framing, and analyze how popular media such as Korean television dramas and K-pop music videos manage the disjunctions between a fantasy of globalism/cosmopolitanism and the contradictions of uneven development. Vicarious Media focuses, in particular, on the discourses and performance practices generated by the K-pop boy group BTS. Before coming to U of T, Professor Cho was a Korea Foundation Assistant Professor at McGill University. Prior to that, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow of International Humanities at Brown University, affiliated with the Departments of Modern Culture and Media and East Asian Studies. Dr. Cho completed her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.  

Selected Publications: