The new exhibit on KPOPCULTURE, Yoo Young Jin, provides an overview of one of K-pop’s most influential music producers. Not only has Yoo worked on some of the most recognizable and enduring K-pop songs, he has also produced his own material. The exhibit provides an overview of his most popular work as well as a Curated Playlist that delves into other tracks with the groups with whom he works the most, including SHINee, TVXQ, Super Junior and Shinhwa (when they were on the SM Entertainment label).
This exhibit is part of the KPOPCULTURE digital humanities project, which curates modern Korean popular music (K-pop) and the culture that surrounds it through digital exhibitions of music, choreography, fandom and industry.
Many institutions, including my own, include creative activity from art, music, theatre and other disciplines as part of undergraduate student research. Given the creative nature and output of these disciplines, what can this look like?
A recent discussion on the Council on Undergraduate Research Member Forum addressed this very question. Most participants seemed to agree that creative output was radically different from more “traditional” research. They also agreed that under the rubric of undergraduate research, it must go beyond the performance or the production of art. Iain Crawford, Shirley Huston-Findley, Peter Mowrey, and Kitty McManus Zurko argue that there are aspects of research undertaken by students in the fine arts that mirror undergraduate research at large, including mentorship by a faculty member and the development of a research question. In addition, students such as those in theatre “apply their research in a laboratory setting–in this case, on stage–and test their hypothesis through artistic engagement. . . . The result for most majors is a keen awareness of the historical, theoretical, and analytical components necessary for artists to move from investigation to application” (24). Crawford et al apply the language commonly associated with STEM-based research, the language of experimentation, to performance.
Crawford et al also link the inquiry-based nature of undergraduate research to music performance: “Student performers are expected to have undertaken a thorough review of literature (written and musical) and significant research into historical context, style, and performance practice prior to (and during) the preparation of their culminating recitals. . . . Some of this research will make it into their required accompanying documents, which usually take the form of extended program notes addressing selected aspects of the recital program for a theoretical and/or musicological perspective” (28). While all students may be required to undertake a recital as part of their music major, those involved in undergraduate research undertake additional work that grounds and contextualizes the performance.
In both cases, creative activity as undergraduate research represents something more. It is a systematic and deliberate approach to performance and art, which is at the heart of the research process. The result differs from more traditional research in that its evaluation may be more subjective. Yet, because the student engages in the major parts of the research process, they receive the same benefits from the high impact practice as their counterparts in other disciplines. At the same time, students engaged in creative activity also produce products that parallel that of other disciplines, such as artist statements and program notes for recitals, both of which reflect “a serious review of literature, a high degree of critical thinking, experimentation, thorough evaluation of alternatives, creativity and great attention to detail” (Crawford et al, 26).
Crawford, Iain et al. “Undergraduate Research in the Fine Arts at the College of Wooster.” Creative Inquiry in the Arts and Humanities: Models of Undergraduate Research. Eds. Naomi Yavneh Klos, Jenny Olin Shanahan, and Gregory Young. Washington, DC: Council on Undergraduate Research, 23-32.
The K-pop fandom landscape has changed in the past few years. Data suggests that the general K-pop “idol” fandom is more divided than it was less than 10 years ago and challenges some widely held notions about the preferences of global K-pop fans. Read more at KPK: Kpop Kollective…..
OMO!: Korean and Chinese Drama and Commentary is my newest digital humanities project, which curates information on dramas and the global response to them in the form of reviews. It represents not only resource creation but also an examination of how global audiences make meaning of this transnational popular culture.
The project also includes the work of undergraduate researchers, providing the valuable experience of working on a research project. The first exhibit, City Hunter (2011), includes an analysis of the promotional poster as well as an overview as well as short-form and longer reviews compiled by De’siree Fairley, undergraduate research assistant. Users can view complete reviews in Evernote. As the project includes more dramas, we hope that we can determine a pattern in the consumption of dramas by global audiences.
Can’t decide which K-pop group or artist is your favorite? You are not alone! Global fans of K-pop tend to support several groups and artists at the same time, while their Korean counterparts tend to support only one group or artist. But why? And which groups tend to be in a global fan’s multi-fandom? This study seeks to answer these questions in survey that uses open-ended and multiple-choice questions. Take the survey and tell your friends!
One of the things that happens when conducting qualitative surveys is that they can raise more questions than they answer. This is what happened with the preliminary data from Last Fans Standing: Longtime and Adult Fans of Korean Popular Music (K-pop). Response rates were unusually low, which was unusual given the rising number of fans who have been fans for more than five years. I speculated that respondents may think that only adult fans who had also been fans for five years or more could take the survey. So, I revised the survey to focus solely on veteran fans of K-pop, individuals who had been fans for five years or more. The revised survey can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/vetfans !
Newer male K-pop groups are increasing the complexity of their choreography. UP10TION, who debuted in 2015, features 10 members. This large group is gaining popularity for their execution of complex dance moves with precision. Find out more with the Revised UP10TION Dance Collection exhibit!
This survey has been revised! Click here for new survey!!!
Most people assume that the only audience for modern Korean popular music (K-pop) is teenagers. As a result, they also assume that K-pop music lacks longevity. However, the presence of longtime fans suggests that K-pop remains appealing to some fans for years. The existence of adult fans challenges the notion that K-pop only appeals to teenagers. Both groups represent understudied demographics in studies of K-pop fandom. This project uses multiple case study and oral history to understand K-pop’s lasting appeal.
Multiple Case Study
This multiple case study seeks to understand why individuals remain K-pop fans for years and why adults find K-pop appealing. For three years, I will be asking questions about these atypical fans of K-pop. This survey contains several open-ended and multiple-choice questions that ask how fans see themselves and ask about their K-pop music preferences and fan activity.