A globally-recognized expert, I work in the fields of Transnational American Studies, Black Internationalism and Global Asias. I focus on popular culture (particularly music and visual culture), media, and audience and reception. I am interested in the ways African American, Asian and Asian American cultures engage with one another and circulate globally.
I maintain an active research agenda. In addition to several journal articles and book chapters, I have written two monograph. Soul in Seoul: African American Popular Music and K-pop (2020, University of Mississippi Press), examines the influence of genres of R&B on global Korean popular music, or K-pop. Beyond the Chinese Connection: Contemporary Afro-Asian Cultural Production (2013, University of Mississippi Press) uses the films of Bruce Lee to read cross-cultural negotiations with global culture in novels, films and anime.
I also make my research accessible to a general audience through several projects. . KPK: KPop Kollective (est. 2010) is the oldest and only public scholarship site on K-pop for academics and fans. As a community of practice and a thematic research collection, its mission is to promote the public’s understanding of contemporary Korean popular culture, create resources and provide analysis and context on K-pop from a global perspective. KPOPCULTURE, a digital humanities project housed in Omeka that curates and chronicles modern Korean popular music (K-pop) through digital exhibitions of music, choreography, creative personnel, media and fandom. I also train undergraduate students to work as research assistants on the project. HWAITING! is a online music research accelerator for Korean popular music that publishes music analyses.