Scholars can take very different approaches to K-pop. Doing so simultaneously contributes to the overall knowledge about the subject and shows significant gaps in scholarly examinations. Some focus on K-pop as a music industry propelled by fandom, while others examine its historical roots. Click here to continue reading….
The fandom for Hallyu-era Korean popular music (K-pop) is overwhelmingly female. However, a portion of it does involve men, both as participants and critics. How does that impact the way we may view the fandom? Click here to continue reading….
NEW ORIENTALISM OR OLD HYBRIDITY?: INDIAN MUSIC IN K-POP
In “So Contagious: Hybridity and Subcultural Exchange in Hip-Hop’s Use of Indian Samples,” Sarah Hankins explores the sonic meaning of music from South Asia in African American music, specifically hip-hop. This made me wonder about the implications for K-pop, in light of its own practices in relation to hip-hop and its own cultural exchange with South Asian sounds. Click here to continue reading….
WHAT IS ‘WESTERN’ MUSIC?: FOREIGN INFLUENCES ON K-POP
K-pop is well-known as a hybrid musical tradition, incorporating elements from musical traditions developed in locales outside of Korea, including Japan, Latin America and the United States. While some attribute some of the foreign elements to “Western” music, other scholars recognize the tremendous impact of distinct black American musical traditions. Click here to continue reading…
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. Click here to continue reading….
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. Click here to continue reading…