Michelle Cho

Assistant Professor
Virtual: Tuesdays 14:30 - 16:00; Robarts Library, Room 14-217


Areas of Interest

  • Contemporary Korean Cultural Studies
  • Culture Industries
  • South Korean Film, Video, and Television
  • Fandom and Celebrity Studies
  • Global Genre Cinemas
  • Convergence Cultures and Media Theory
  • Transnational and Diaspora Studies
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Critical Race Studies
  • Affect Theory
  • Performance Studies


Michelle Cho’s research and teaching focus on questions of collectivity and popular aesthetics in Korean film, media, and popular culture. She has published on Asian cinemas and Korean wave television, video, and pop music in such venues as Cinema Journal, the International Journal of Communication, The Korean Popular Culture Reader, and Asian Video Cultures (2019 “Best Edited Collection” Award winner, Society for Cinema and Media Studies). Following from her first book, Genre Worlds: Global Forms and Millennial South Korean Cinema (forthcoming), which theorizes South Korean cinemas’ transnational dimensions through the concept of genre transference, her current work theorizes the convergence of platforms, affect, and globalization fantasies in Korean Wave contents and fandoms. She is developing two book projects based on this research, tentatively titled "Engendering the Korean Wave: National Gestures, Transmedia Forms and Vicarious Media: Serial Affect in K-pop Fandoms." Both projects approach South Korean television and internet video as an expanded, mediated public sphere, shaped by diasporic exchange and displaced national framing, to analyze how popular media manage the disjunctions between a fantasy of globalism/cosmopolitanism and the contradictions of uneven development. Vicarious Media focuses, in particular, on the discourses and performance practices generated by the K-pop boy group BTS.

Before coming to U of T, Professor Cho was a Korea Foundation Assistant Professor at McGill University. Prior to that, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow of International Humanities at Brown University, affiliated with the Departments of Modern Culture and Media and East Asian Studies.

Professor Cho has written about BTS fandoms and global television and the film genres of the Park Geun-hye presidency. She has also contributed to a variety of podcasts and articles on Korean culture:


PhD, Comparative Literature with Emphases in Visual Studies and Critical Theory, UC Irvine
MA, Comparative Literature, UC Irvine
BA, Comparative Literary Studies, Northwestern University