Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Min Kyung Yoo


John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies

Department of Sociology

PhD Candidate

Lansstraße 7-9
14195 Berlin

Office hours

In accordance with the COVID-19 measures implemented by FU Berlin, office hours are currently suspended; please contact instructors via email.



PhD Candidate, Graduate School of North American Studies, Berlin, Germany
Thesis Title: Performing and Narrating Identity: South Korean Kuk-Min TV-Series and “America”


M.A., John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany
Thesis Title : U.S. in the Post-Globalization World: Cultural Hybridity in the Case of South Korean Blockbuster Films


B.A., Gallatin School of Individual Studies, New York University, NY USA


Pre College Summer Program at Rhode Island School of Design for 6 weeks


Graduated with High School Diploma, The Taft School, in Watertown, CT

Grants and Awards

  • Grant from the Colonial/ Postcolonial/ Decolonial Working Group, sponsored by British International Studies Association (BISA) to attend Annual workshop, “Thinking With/Against/Past the “Subaltern”, (September, 2015)
  • Grant for Heidelberg University, Spring Academy Workshop, American History, Culture & Politics (March, 2015)
  • Grant for Dartmouth College, Future of the American Studies Program (June, 2014)
  • Doctoral Fellowship, German Research Foundation (DFG) (2013-2016)
  • Dean’s List, New York University (3 Semesters)
  • Travel Grant from Dean’s Circle (2008-2009) on a Research Trip to London, England

Professional Development

2010 - present

International Correspondent at Aliceon.net, Seoul, South Korea

Spring - Fall 2012

Events and Project Coordinator at Svarta Svanen, Berlin, Germany

May - August 2011

Temporary Staff/Intern at Resident Advisor office, Berlin, Germany

Spring 2011

Internship at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Development and Special Events, New York, USA

Spring - Summer 2010

Internship at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Special Publications/ Merchandising Department, New York, USA

2009 - 2011

Creative Director at NYChic, New York University, www.nychicmagazine.com

Summer 2009

PR and Research Assistant for Paradigm Art, New York, USA

Spring 2009

Internship at Artists Space, New York, USA


Private Gallery Exhibition at La palette Bakery Café Gallery, Watertown, USA


  • The On the Organization Knowledge Community membership of 2014-2015
  • British International Studies Association, membership in Group Colonial/Postcolonial/Decolonial from 2014- 2015
  • American Sociological Association 2015
  • International American Studies Association 2015


My project analyzes how the South Korean modern national identity formed during the globalization and modernization project vigorously hybridized with the U.S. to achieve its goal in just a few decades. In this development, the role of the television and the rise of popular mass culture were crucial. As globalization and modernization was a western-driven notion, South Korea, a developing country, faced the dilemma in reviving the traditional culture as a postcolonial nation meanwhile trying to catch up with the west. But in looking at the so-called “national” South Korean TV series, the issue at stake seems to point to the fact that national identity has always been a product of hybrid (Bhabha). Such hybridization is more than a passive “Americanization” as its popular TV-series actively incorporated the central characteristics of the traditional Korean oral culture with the imported technologies and performing/story telling aesthetics— often labeled as “American”. National identities that are formed and circulated through the mass media are imagined (Anderson) through repetitive presentation and the ritualization of its experiences. Here national identity conception is studied under the metaphor of performance (Edensor) through the spirialing process of the staged drama and the social drama, “drama of living” (Turner) to highlight the entertainment and ritual element of TV culture (Schechner).

                To study this phenomenon, the project zooms in on the two “kuk-min” (meaning “national” or “citizen’s”) TV-series, What is Love (1991) and The Hourglass (1995). The series, with more than 60% viewing rate at the time, was significant in that it dealt with the sociocultural conflicts that were prevalent at the time; What is Love humorously depicts the changing face of the family structure in South Korea after the capitalistic, democratic and individualistic Western values came in, whereas The Hourglass focuses on the dark side of modernization in South Korea, covering the major political events full of violence and corruption, gradually leading to the democratization of the nation-state. Both produced in the early 90s well reflects the state of transition and crisis in the society that was changing rapidly through the “globalization policies” during President Kim Young-Sam’s “Civilian Government” administration. Further, What is Love was produced in the transitioning period of authoritarian and democratic government under the puppet President Noh, and The Hourglass began its production a few months after the first South Korea’s civilian government was officially established; the two series are a direct critique on the politically, culturally and economically chaotic state of South Korea 50 years since the end of its colonization by the Japanese and the U.S. Occupation Period (1945-1948).

                My dissertation addresses the influence of the U.S. in South Korean popular culture, both in its impact in the social world and the staged, or “imagined” world observed through the media. The analysis interprets the various sociocultural conditions within and outside the world of television as a form of performance and closely examines the TV-series’ effects to the audiences and their everyday life in a form of feedback loop. Here television, a medium of post-modern tribalism as well as cultural globalization, played a crucial role at a time of transitional crisis in the South Korean society. Although the television network’s policies, production management and the aesthetic styles of popular programs were modeled after the U.S.’s television culture, the “kuk-min” TV-series evidently played a huge role in (re)presenting and (re)producing South Korean national identity. Suspecting that the national identities constructed during the stage of globalization is fundamentally a hybrid performance of cultural identities, I believe that identities negotiates, struggles, and plays with each other as active, symbolic, reflexive performances. The televisual codes (Fiske) detected in the two series is analyzed through the binarity of what is identified as “Korean” versus “American” codes; the transitional crisis produced during the hybridization of the two becomes the drive and foundation of modern South Korean national identity. Observing the construction of national identities and globalization in terms of performances and its hybridizations allows us to look into how national identities are imagined against one another and how that reflects, reinforces and sometimes conflicts with international nation state power-relations.

Conference Presentations and Publications

The International American Studies Association 7th World Congress, Seoul, South Korea (August, 2015)


Heidelberg Spring Academy, Presentation, Heidelberg, Germany (March, 2015)


On The Organization Conference: Productive Diversity Paper Presentation at UC Berkeley, CA USA

Title: Nation-States as an “Imaginary” Organization (February, 2015)


Sociology Colloquium Paper Presentation at Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany

Title: Hybrid Performance with the U.S.: Nation-State, Identity and the South Korean TV-Series (January, 2015)


The European Conference on Arts & Humanities hosted by IAFOR, Brighton, UK (July 2014)

Title: Ingenuity and Social Change Via Hybridization : The Struggle for Recognition in K-Pop


Dartmouth College “The Futures of American Studies” Paper Presentation NH, USA(June 2014)

Title: Imagining South Korean Modernity: The Hybrid National Identity and the Melodrama TV series


The Fourth Asian Conference on Cultural Studies hosted by IAFOR Osaka, Japan

Title: Hybridity in National Identity: The Case Study of the South Korean “K-Dramas” Under Status Passage Theory (May 2014)


(Forthcoming) Publication for IAFOR Journal of Asian Studies. (2015)

Title: Imagining South Korean Modernity: The Hybrid National Identity and the Melodrama TV Series


(In review) Publication for East Asian Journal of Pop Culture, (2015)

Title: Performing Modern South Korean Identity in What is Love?



And/Or:제 3의공간을찾아서 aliceon.net (June 2014)

기계와음향에서나오는자각의변화: Nik Nowak aliceon.net (September 2014)

러시안 New Media Art Group, CYLAND의 2014 CYBERFEST, “The Other Home (s)” aliceon.net (April, 2015)

Religion und Wissenschaft