Seoul, Shanghai and Edinburgh: Peoples, cultures, and spaces (ASST08071)
Normal Year Taken
Delivery Session Year
This innovative course introduces students to important and emerging issues in urban cultures and societies in the opening decades of the 21st century. At its core, it explores the interaction between culture, space, and people. To do so, the course explores developments in three important global cities: Seoul, Shanghai and Edinburgh. Students will engage with both textual and non-textual materials, including films, TV shows, music, webtoons, and design. Although the course is built round the cases of Seoul, Shanghai, and Edinburgh students will learn how to situate the cases in a broader comparative perspective, within Asia and in Europe. This course draws on conceptual and analytical tools from the humanities and social sciences. The course introduces students to key concepts in urban studies. Next, it familiarises them with a select number of contemporary developments in Seoul, Shanghai and Edinburgh. The later part of the course is more practice-oriented, as students will carry out a small research project in the city of Edinburgh, before reflecting on the possible links with the other cities.
How did the Korea wave (hallyu) emerge? How did BTS and K-dramas become such global cultural products? What makes Seoul, Shanghai and Edinburgh examples of global cities? In what ways do space and culture interact? How do global cities deal with issues of development and conservation and heritage? Are social enterprises the same everywhere? To what extent does the local context, including policy, matter? This innovative course introduces students to important and emerging issues in urban cultures and societies in the opening decades of the 21st century. It does so by examining similar dynamics in three important global cities: Seoul, Shanghai and Edinburgh. To do so students will engage with both textual and non-textual materials, including films, TV shows, music, fictions, webtoons, and design. The course starts with key concepts and theories in urban studies. Next, it introduces the cases of Seoul, Shanghai and Edinburgh, so that students can ground the more conceptual framework and discussion through the study of concrete examples. This will also allow students to situate the case in a broader comparative perspective, within Asia and in Europe. The course explores four key themes: 1. Culture: Music, fictions and Cinema (for example BTS, Parasite, Kim Jiyoung born 1982, red Chinese cinema, Sunshine on Leith, 44 Scotland Street), transnational cultural flows, globalization, heritage, consumerism and technology, beauty and beautification (medical tourism), Out of the Blue Drill Hall, Zebra Independent (Edinburgh); 2. People (marginals, outcasts, precarious groups, gender, LGBTIQ, foreign labourers, homeless, defectors and refugees) comparative perspectives in Seoul, Shanghai (Gentrifying heritage, Urban Loopholes, New Build gentrification) and Edinburgh (Rock Trust, social bite villages, Leith Remakery, Joey D upcycling; 3. Space (square for people's voices, housing old and new: Sky Castle vs. Hanok, gentrification, Colony houses in Edinburgh, Beyond the Neon Lights in Shanghai, city regeneration, Water- Cheongyecheon stream revitalization project, transportations, tram in Edinburgh) and 4. AI, human relations and the environment.
Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%
All course information obtained from this visiting student course finder should be regarded as provisional. We cannot guarantee that places will be available for any particular course. For more information, please see the visiting student disclaimer: