Robert Ji-Song Ku explores the meaning of two of Korea’s most iconic noodle dishes, jjajangmyeon and ramyeon, during what he calls the “age of K-pop.” When and why did Koreans first start eating these dishes? How has their value shifted or evolved over time? More generally, some two decades after its beginning, what has been the gastronomic consequence of the Korean Wave, not only in Korea but also the Korean diaspora?
Robert Ku is chair of and an associate professor in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies at Binghamton University of the State University of New York. He is the author of Dubious Gastronomy: Eating Asian in the USA and co-editor of Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader. His co-edited volume, Pop Empires: Transnational and Diasporic Flows of India and Korea, that juxtaposes the popular culture regimes of Korea, India, and the United States, is forthcoming in 2019. In 2016, he taught in the American Culture Program at Sogang University in Seoul, Korea, as a Fulbright Scholar. Born in Korea, he grew up in Hawaii and currently lives in Binghamton, New York.