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Dr Ming Curran
Open Platform for University Scholars

Dr Nate Ming Curran

Assistant Professor

Research Overview

Broadly speaking, I’m interested in contemporary conditions of globalization, driven by information and communication technologies. I am especially interested in the intersection between digital platforms, intercultural communication, and language learning and teaching. Much of my research has focused on contemporary South Korea, including work on media (production and consumption), motivations for language learning, and tensions between elite and non-elite forms of cosmopolitanism. My most recent research project examines online language learning platforms, drawing on theories of cosmopolitanism and the gig economy. I use both quantitative and qualitative methods, including interviews, experiments, surveys, questionnaires, and a variety of critical approaches.

Education and Academic Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Southern California
  • Master of Arts in Asian Studies, University of California Berkeley

Academic and Professional Experiences

  • Lecturer, University of Southern California (2020)
  • Consortium on Media Policy Studies Fellow: Korean Economic Institute of America (2017)
  • Teaching Assistant, University of Southern California (2016, 2017)
  • Teaching Assistant, University of California Berkeley (2014)

Teaching Areas

  • Intercultural Communication
  • New Media and Society
  • Popular Culture
  • Research Design

Research Interests

  • Intercultural Communication
  • Gig Economy
  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Motivations for Language Learning

Research Output

  1. Curran, N.M. (in press). Discrimination in the Gig Economy: The Experiences of Black Online English Teachers. Language & Education.

  2. Curran, N.M. (in press). "More like a friend than a teacher”: Ideal Teachers and the Gig Economy for Online Language Learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning.

  3. Curran, N.M., & Chesnut, M. (2021). English fever and coffee: Transient cosmopolitanism and the rising cost of distinction. Journal of Consumer Culture,

  4. Curran, N.M. (2020). Neoliberalism from Above and Cosmopolitanism from Below: A Korean English Meetup Group in the United States. Communication, Culture & Critique.

  5. Chesnut, M. & Curran, N.M. (2020). Americano, latte, or English: What do menu languages in Korean coffee shops tell us about the meaning of English today? English Today.

  6. Kim, D.O., Curran, N.M. & Kim, H. (2020). Digital Feminism and Affective Splintering: South Korean Twitter Discourse on 500 Yemeni Refugees. International Journal of Communication, 14, 4117-4135.

  7. Kim, H., Curran, N.M. & Zhen, L. (2020). Welcoming Difference or Reinforcing the Status Quo? The Influence of Multicultural Television Viewing on Multicultural and Gender Attitudes in South Korea. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 49(6), 600-616

  8. Curran, N.M. (2020). “Intersectional English(es) and the Gig Economy: Teaching English Online.” International Journal of Communication, 14, 2667–2686.

  9. Curran, N.M., Sun, J. & Hong, J. (2019). Anthropomorphizing AlphaGo: Content Analysis of the Framing of Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo in the Chinese and American Press. AI & Society.

  10. Hong, J. & Curran. N.M. (2019). Artificial Intelligence, Artists, and Art: Attitudes Toward Artwork Produced by Humans vs. Artificial Intelligence. ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications.

  11. Curran, N.M. & Gibson, J. (2019). Conflict and Responsibility: Content Analysis of American News Media Organizations’ Framing of North Korea. Media, War & Conflict.

  12. Curran, N.M. (2019). A reflection on South Korea’s broadband success. Media, Culture & Society, 41(3), 385–396.

  13. Curran, N.M. (2018). English, Gatekeeping, and Mandarin: The Future of Language Learning in South Korea. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.

  14. Curran, N.M. (2018). Learned Through Labour: The Discursive Production of English Speakers in South Korea. English Today, 34(3), 30-35

  1. Gibson, J. & Curran, N.M. (in press). The Photographs Tell the Story: Visual Representations of North Korea. In Hollihan T.A. (Ed). Engaging the Hermit Kingdom: Diplomatic and Mediated Arguments in the North Korean Crisis. New York: Palgrave McMillan.

  2. Riley, P., Baik, J., Curran, N.M & Kim, H. (in press). North Korean Media Diplomacy: From Rocket Man to the Red Carpet. In Hollihan T.A. (Ed). Engaging the Hermit Kingdom: Diplomatic and Mediated Arguments in the North Korean Crisis. New York: Palgrave McMillan.



  • Academy of Korean Studies, “Foreign Languages, Cultures, and the Future of Korean Cosmopolitanism” (AKS-2020-R21)

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