Michelle Cho

Cogut Humanities Center postdoctoral fellow (2011-2013)
Departments of East Aasian Studies and Modern Culture and Media

Michelle Cho studies contemporary East Asian film, media, and cultural studies, globalization and diaspora studies, and media aesthetics.

Michelle Cho is a Postdoctoral Fellow in International Humanities in the Departments of Modern Culture and Media and East Asian Studies. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Irvine, with emphases in Visual Studies and Critical Theory. Her research concerns cultural translation via genre transformation in contemporary South Korean and transnational East Asian cinema, documentary film and video, and the affect and temporality of modernization in East Asia. Since 2008, Michelle has taught at Yonsei University’s International Summer School in Seoul, South Korea. She has also conducted research, written, and edited film reviews for a number of South Korean film festivals, including the Pucheon Fantastic Film Festival, the largest genre film festival in Asia. Michelle has a forthcoming essay on the generic construction of stars in South Korea in a collection of work on Korean popular culture.

Michelle analyzes genre transformation as a complex and ubiquitous site of cultural translation in the context of contemporary South Korean screen cultures and transnational East Asian cinema, more broadly. This work aims to understand the way contemporary film and video expresses the affective register of the geopolitical.

Her dissertation,"Generic Realities: The Transnational Spaces of South Korean Cinema," argues that South Korean cinema's heightened dependence on genre form and intertextuality, alongside the growing penetration of visual representation in everyday life, has led to a situation in which external reality is increasingly experienced as an epiphenomenon of both realist and nonrealist modes of media representation, a situation that provides access to a crucial dimension of the affect and temporality of post-war reconstruction via compressed modernization in East Asia.

Michelle’s current project expands her focus on genre translation to the construction of diasporic identity in films from Korean-Japanese, Korean-Chinese, and Korean-American filmmakers, as well as a recent increase in South Korean films centered on the growing population of North Korean defectors and Korean-Chinese migrants in South Korea, part of a network of post-cold war migrant flows and realignments.

Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, University of California, Irvine
M.A. in Comparative Literature, University of California, Irvine
B.A. in Comparative Literary Studies, Northwestern University

Cogut Center Postdoctoral Fellowship in International Humanities, Brown University
Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
Korea Foundation Fellowship for Graduate Studies
Graduate Opportunity Fellowship, University of California

Society for Cinema and Media Studies
Modern Language Association
Association of Asian Studies

Extreme Asian Cinema: Contemporary Genre Cinemas in an East Asian Context (Fall 2011)
Korean Cinema (Spring 2012)