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A scholar, writer, and educator in digital media history and ecology, techno-cultural studies, and Asian and global history of cities.  


I am an Assistant Professor of Communication at Seoul National University, South Korea.

My research explores the history and politics of "smart" urban environments as they manifest in various communities across Asia and North America. While these digital developments are often presented as the "solution to the problems," my research investigates how and why those problems are considered "problematic" in the first place, how those problems are historically and socioculturally composed, what long terms concerns about security, economy, health, and well-being are integrated into the problems that are supposedly "new." For instance, while "security" is often invoked as the central design principle of smart cities, "insecurity" is constantly required in their operation, which is evident at various levels: including the media portrayal of the cities imagined as crime-ridden and dangerous places; the technologies developed to detect and visualize "anomalies"; the citizens who internalize the responsibilities to protect and defend themselves from risks. Blending these multiple contexts of technology, I argue that the smart city is not simply an idea or a prototype of the technology that sharply ruptures the present. Instead, it is an emergence out of multiple histories and problematizations that are contingently interweaved at a given time and space in multiple and diffused forms.    

Previously I held Postdoctoral positions at the School of Information Sciences (ischool) at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; the School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC) at the Georgia Institute of Technology; and the Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). I have been an Emerging Voices Fellow at the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS).


I earned my Ph.D. in Communications and Media from the Institute of Communications Research (ICR) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Prior to my doctoral work, I completed both my M.A. and B.A. in Communication from Seoul National University. 

Selected Texts

See also Publications

Current Projects

See also Research

  • Remapping Smart Cities: A History of Technological Futures in Korea is a book project based on my fieldwork in Songdo, known as South Korea's first "smart" city. I trace the long history of Songdo from the vantage point of South Korean urban and media history in the twentieth century.  


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In October 2021, I was invited to the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (HistSTM) Early Career Collective panel to speak about my experience of applying for and doing postdoctoral work as an international scholar and a woman of color.  This panel discussion was part of the HistSTM's Radical Professionalization Series initiative, which seeks to address the issues of diversity and inequality in academia.