CONFERENCE ABSTRACT: Representations of Afro-Asian Connections in the 1970s @ ASALH 2014

BlackPowerYellowPeril?: Representations of Afro-Asian Connections in the 1970s September 25, 2014 ♦ Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) Memphis, TN In 2013, Suey Park organized a Twitter conversation around the hashtag #BlackPowerYellowPeril to “discuss ways in which the Asian American community could work with the African American community to further similar…

iFans Update: What Fans Think About SNSD

As you know, iFans: Mapping Kpop’s International Fandom is a study seeking to understand the attitudes of global fans of K-pop’s most successful groups. You can now view the results of the analysis of the survey data and an email interview with a fan of SNSD!  Click here to view the What Fans Think section of the digital exhibit.  Sad…

Ethnicity, Glamour and Image in Korean Popular Music

The 1960s girl group concept makes regular appearances in K-pop.  While some think that this kind of image represents a lack of ethnic identity in a quest for mainstream acceptance, I suggest that the 1960s girl group image promoted by women of color represents an ethnic glamour aesthetic. Contemporary K-pop is driven by image as…

iFans Update: TVXQ Fan Narrative

Belinda became a fan of Dong Bang Shin Ki (DB5K) because of their music, dancing and personality as seen in interviews. Her favorite song is the Korean version of “Love in the Ice.” Her favorite music video is “Mirotic.” She supports them by buying their music, going to concerts and maintaining her own blog. Her…

iFans Update: EXO Growl Cover Dances

In addition to the case studies, the iFans project documents other mode of fan activity. The first section of the new exhibit, Dance Like Everyone’s Watching: K-pop Cover Dance, is up! Click HERE to view K-pop fans performing some of the most difficult K-pop dance routines. Image: 1

Fandom, Consumption and Culture

Fan studies represents a nexus where economy and culture intersect, especially when cultural production crosses national borders.  Some scholars seek to explain this phenomenon primarily using socio-economic lenses, while others stress the importance of understanding fans in ways that fans understand themselves. In Understanding Fandom, Mark Duffett delineates two impulses related to consumption by fans: The…

iFans Update: Girls’ Generation (SNSD), Into the New World Remix Cover Dances

Originally published on KPK: Kpop Kollective on February 8, 2014 The iFans project rolls on with more cover dance!  The second section of the exhibit, Dance Like Everybody’s Watching: K-pop Cover Dances, features Girls’ Generation‘s “Into the New World Remix.”  Click HERE to view K-pop fans from around the world performing one of the most complicated dance routines by a girl…

Hallyu Harmony Update: APeace

Originally published on KPK: Kpop Kollective on February 14, 2014 Hallyu Harmony: A Cultural History of Kpop is a digital humanities project that traces connections among the artists and groups across genres, generations and geographies through visuals, music and choreography.  The first exhibit, Seo Taiji: President of Culture, explores the reasons why Seo Taiji is considered the pioneer of contemporary…

Whose Generation? GIRLS’ GENERATION!: Gender, Audience and K-pop

As the number of female groups increase in number in K-pop, commentators and scholars continue to focus on the meaning of the representations produced by these groups. While some argue that such representations are geared towards men, this ignores the way the majority female fanbases of these groups construct meaning of these representations. Because female groups,…

iFans Update: What Fans Think. . . . about 2NE1!

Originally published on KPK: Kpop Kollective May 20, 2014 As part of the ongoing project that is iFans: Mapping K-pop’s International Fandom, I have been working on the fan responses to Case Studies surveys. Click here to read about what 2NE1 fans think about the group’s significance in K-pop as well as an in-depth interview with a BlackJack!

Shine On: Glamour, Image and K-pop

Visuals are an important part of K-pop, and understanding them is crucial to understanding the meaning of K-pop and its spread globally. In addition to music videos, images that accompany promotions for music releases, photo shoots featured in magazines and endorsements for an array of products are seen, collected and exchanged by fans.  Not just…

Don’t Call It A Comeback: Old School K-pop and Its Fans

Often believed to appeal only to teenagers, K-pop is experiencing a trend with old school groups making successful comebacks. Some believe that K-pop has a short shelf life.  Several point to the “five-year curse,” a trend where male K-pop groups break up or disband, often in the face of mandatory military service in Korea. Others…