CSAPhD

Not Just Pretty Faces: K-pop Idols and Quiet Storm Masculinity

2PM, a six-member male group from JYP Entertainment, may be the model for K-pop’s beast-like masculinity, which primarily depends on appearance, but they also participate in the black male soul tradition, which uses vocal ability to inform a different kind of masculinity. Scholars often focus on the appearance of K-pop idols, who are Korean entertainers who engage in extra-musical activities such as acting, hosting and endorsements in addition to musical performance. One mode of appearance refl
CSAPhD

Digital Humanities for the Rest of Us

I recently gave a presentation at the Council on Undergraduate Research 2016 Biennial Conference on undergraduate research and digital humanities. The session was well-attended. Some the individuals who attended were not only interested in undergraduate research as a co-curricular activity, but also the unicorn that is digital humanities. I know many scholars in the humanities do not feel that they can participate in digital humanities. However, I think there is at least one thing that all human
KPK: Kpop Kollective

Fault Lines in Transcultural Fandom

A recent clash of opinions over the status of Kangin, a member of the Korean pop group Super Junior, exposes fault lines that can occur with transcultural fandoms. SM Entertainment issued a statement about Kangin’s recent DUI accident.  Not satisfied with the common period of self-reflection that typically follows a scandal,  a group of Korean fans created a petition to have Kangin leave the group entirely. Citing Kangin’s previous drunk driving incident and other controversies, the fans argue
Crystal S. Anderson, PhD

Girl Culture, Individuals and Neoliberalism

As part of my research for my book project, Crazy/Sexy/Cool: Transnational Femininities in K-pop, I’ve been reading up on girl industries and girl cultures. Such scholarship invariably places these in a neoliberalist context, and this has a bearing on female K-pop groups. On one hand, K-pop girl groups are created by Korean agencies to appeal to global mass audiences, who are mostly female. At the same time, individual fans find such groups appealing, sometimes in ways that challenge the intention of the Korean agencies. Marnina Gonick and Yeran Kim take two different approaches that bear on my work on K-pop girl groups.
Crystal S. Anderson, PhD

Authenticity, Crossover and Rhythm and Blues

Authenticity is a major theme in scholarship on rhythm and blues (R&B), which poses some interesting challenges for my work on how R&B travels transnationally. Some writers define authenticity in R&B solely in terms of the experiences of African Americans, deeming crossover beyond the black community as pandering to the mainstream (read white people). Others take the hybridity of black music as their starting point and suggest alternative ways of reading the appeal of R&B beyond American blacks. The centrality of music aesthetics as well as audience agency proves most useful for my work.
KPK: Kpop Kollective

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 important fan activity, such archiving in the lay sense is important to the preservation and memory-keeping of the visual narrative of K-pop.
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