SOAS University of London

Centre for Global Media and Communications

Busan is blue: Rhythms, Landscapes and Non-places

Dr Graeme Gilloch, Reader, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University

Date: 2 December 2015Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 2 December 2015Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G3

Type of Event: Seminar


This paper provides an introduction to, and epistemological-methodological prologue for, the project based on fieldwork undertaken in the city of Busan from September 2014 to January 2015. My concern is to explore the possibilities of developing a pioneering rhythmanalysis of certain parts / features of the city of Busan in South Korea, drawing principally upon the reflections of the celebrated French philosopher and sociologist Henri Lefebvre (1901-91). His late writings articulated the possibilities and necessities of a new science of rhythms at the heart of future research in the humanities and social sciences. In seeking to apply such a perspective here, I look to triangulate Lefebvre’s work with two other theorists of time and space with respect to the quotidian cityscape: the German-Jewish Critical Theorist Siegfried Kracauer (1898-1966) and the contemporary French social anthropologist Marc Augé (b. 1935). Moreover, in taking the boosterist notion of 'Dynamic Busan' as a key part of the city's self-imaging, I critically consider the rapid ongoing transformation of the urban landscape in terms of the proliferation of non-linux

Speaker Biography:

Dr Graeme Gilloch is Reader in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University. The principal focus of his academic work is the sociology of culture and cultural theory, and more specifically, the writings of particular scholars associated with the Frankfurt Institut fuer Sozialforschung (the Frankfurt School): the Critical Theorists Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer and, more recently, Leo Lowenthal. He has published extensively on Benjamin including two monographs (Myth and Metropolis (1996) and Walter Benjamin: Critical Constellations (2002), and have more recently published a number of pieces on Kracauer. His recently published book, Siegfried Kracauer: Our Companion in Misfortune (2015) constitutes the first major analysis and assessment of his work as a whole in English. With fieldwork funding from the Korea Foundation, he is presently collaborating on a 'rhythmanalysis' of South Korea's second city, the port of Busan, drawing on urban and spatial motifs from the work of Henri Lefebvre, Marc Auge and Krakauer. As part of his work of film, he gave the keynote address at the 2014 Busan International Film Festival. 

Organiser: Dr Jaeho Kang

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