I am a scholar of Asian cinema. My expertise's primary areas are Asian cinema history, the cultural cold war and cinema, South Korean cinema and popular culture, international film festivals, and the global film industries. My works investigate film history in its socio-historical and industrial context, paying particular attention to issues of the national and the transnational, questions of ownership and control, cultural hybridizations or global mélange, new regionalism, and the unprecedented cultural flows and mixes in cinema and media around Asia, and the globe.
My first book Cinema and the Cultural Cold War: US Cultural Diplomacy and the Origins of the Asian Cinema Network (Cornell University Press, 2020) explores the ways in which postwar Asian cinema was shaped by transnational collaborations and competitions between newly independent and colonial states at the height of Cold War politics. I elucidate how motion picture executives, creative personnel, policymakers, and intellectuals in East and Southeast Asia aspired to industrialize their Hollywood-inspired system in order to expand the market and raise the competitiveness of their cultural products.
My two edited volumes examine South Korea’s cinema and pop culture. In 2015, I co-edited Hallyu 2.0: The Korean Wave in the Age of Social Media (University of Michigan Press) with Markus Nornes that investigates the impact of social media and other communication technologies on the global dissemination of the Korean Wave. In 2019, I published my second edited volume Rediscovering Korean Cinema (University of Michigan Press) which is the first comprehensive volume examining the state, stakes, and future direction of Korean cinema studies. This collection of thirty-five essays by a wide range of academic specialists situates current scholarship on Korean cinema within the ongoing theoretical debates in contemporary global film studies. I have also guest-edited three special issues - Reorienting Asian Cinema in the Age of the Chinese Film Market (Screen, 2019), “The Chinese Film Industry: Emerging Debates” (Journal of Chinese Cinemas, 2019), and “Transmedia and East Asian Cinema” (Asian Cinema, 2020).
I am the recipient of the Jay Leyda Award for Academic Excellence (2011) and the David H. Culbert Prize for the Best Article in Film and Media History by an Established Scholar (2019). My works have been translated into Korean, Japanese, and Italian. I am currently working on four books – 1) my second book that will explore how South Korean cinema during the Cold War was influenced by the regional and trans-regional network with diasporic Sinophone cinemas of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia; 2) my third edited volumes - Asian Cinema and the Cultural Cold War which will be the first attempt to resuscitate the forgotten history of Asia, and reveal an important piece in the larger history of the cultural, political, and institutional linkages between the US, Europe, and Asia during the Cold War; and 3) the fourth and fifth anthologies - The South Korean Film Industry (lead editor) and Routledge Companion of Asian Cinema (Co-Editor).