JOIN KPK!

Are you a motivated, committed, detail-oriented person? Want to use your love of Korean popular culture for something important?  KPK: Kpop Kollective is looking for undergraduate and graduate students who are passionate about Hallyu (Korean wave) popular culture or interested in digital humanities to support KPK’s mission to collect and organize digital material and publish scholarly musings about K-pop and digital humanities.

Fostering a fun and engaging environment, KPK remains the only community of scholars that collaboratively creates resources and analysis of Korean cultural production for a public audience, thereby creating a public intellectual space for examining K-pop from a perspective outside of Asia.   Members of KPK have published on Korean popular culture and library practice and have presented at numerous academic conferences, including Association for Asian American Studies, Association of College and Research Libraries, Central Savannah Library Association Conference and the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference.

We invite individuals from around the world who can communicate well in English and have consistent access to the Internet to apply. All positions are voluntary (nonpaid) and all successful applicants undergo training and a one-month probationary period.  We highly value enthusiasm, commitment and a willingness to learn.

COMPILER 

KPK is looking for current or former undergraduate students who have an interest in K-pop to be compilers. Compilers gain valuable experience working on an active scholarly project. If selected, compilers sign up for a three-month term, which may be renewed. Exceptional compilers may be promoted.

We expect Compilers to complete assignment every two weeks.  Duties include:

  • Creating screenshots for KPK projects
  • Creating playlists on KPK’s YouTube Channel
  • Providing relevant content for KPK’s social media

How to apply: Fill out the brief application.  Upon receipt, we will contact you with a sample assignment to complete and return. Members of KPK senior staff will review your completed assignment and make a decision within one week (seven days).

FELLOW 

KPK is looking for graduate students who have a research interest in Hallyu popular culture to be Fellows. Fellows gain valuable experience working on a collaborative research project, training in digital tools and receive feedback on and exposure for their own work.  If selected, Fellows sign up for a four-month term, which may be renewed. Exceptional Fellows may be promoted.

We expect Fellows to complete assignments every two weeks.  Duties include:

  • Compiling information for discographies and videographies
  • Contributing a blog post to KPK’s WordPress site once a month

How to apply: Fill out the brief application.  Upon receipt, we will contact you with a sample assignment to complete and return. Members of KPK senior staff will review your completed assignment and application and make a decision within one week (seven days).

If you have any questions, please email:  kpopkollective@gmail.com.

houseofhallyu_letter h
Crystal S. Anderson, Director of KPK: Kpop Kollective launches a new site:  House of Hallyu! House of Hallyu features content that reflects a greater array of fan activity than is represented on the Internet. Journalists and bloggers talk about fans rather than to fans. They tend to focus on gossip, fan wars, conflict and controversy in the K-pop fandom, and often characterize it as a negative experience.  However, Mark Duffett defines a fan as someone with a “a relatively deep, positive emotional conviction” (Understanding Fandom18).

House of Hallyu seeks to provide a space for that positive experience.  All comments are moderated and all content is curated.  Its content reflects the array of fan activities that are creative and fun, such as fanmade video, song and dance covers and fan art (sorry, no fan fiction). It also houses the kpop chronicles project, which collects and archives fan narratives by fans of all ages, around the world.  House of Hallyu values open access AND civil discourse for a general audience ( in other words, keep it clean, people!).  Read more about House of Hallyu here!

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.

University of South Carolina Lancaster

During KPK’s early days in 2011, Dr. Anderson and other KPK founders were having quite a difficult time accessing some Kpop entertainment companies’ artist websites.  They kept encountering what they called, “the circle of death,” and then timing out. I wasn’t having this problem and had just discovered the Screencast-O-Matic tool, so I decided to record the sites and send the video links to my KPK colleagues.

Interweb troubles in 2011....DD to the rescue!

Interweb troubles in 2011….DD to the rescue!

And that is how the the KPK Digital Documentation (DD) project was born.

While the original intent of my website recordings was to share the Kpop website love, I quickly realized that recording Kpop websites could be useful in other ways: to track changes in Kpop web design, to understand how Korean entertainment companies use websites to engage Korean and international Kpop fans, and what roles these sites seem to play in the company’s larger business, marketing, and promotional plans  - particularly when it comes to attracting new talent and integrating social media channels and tools.

Process

Recording websites can take between 2 to 15 minutes per site- occasionally more if the website is dense.  I choose to record the websites without sound in order to avoid copyright infringement and so that visitors may enjoy and engage in unbiased viewing or analysis of the website.   In Kpop, many artists and groups release several music projects a year, so I keep up with Kpop news outlets to find out about debuts and comebacks, and I try to record the different websites for each project. In this way, the DD project creates depth not only by seeking out general trends, but also monitoring the evolution of individual groups and artists. Additionally, if artists and groups promote in Japan, I record those websites if they are available.

Recording B1A4's latest website. See Screencast-O-Matic interface (dotted lines, recording control panel).

Recording B1A4′s latest website. See Screencast-O-Matic interface (dotted lines, recording control panel).

Website Differences

One of the first things I noticed is that SM Entertainment was the only company that still gave historical access to websites supporting their early artists (Shinhwa, S.E.S., Yoo Joung Jin, etc.), so I quickly recorded those websites. It’s a good thing that I did, because in 2012, the company completely redesigned their website, removing any content about artists who were not currently on their roster.  SM Entertainment continues to allow access to the older websites of groups who are still on their roster (e.g., Girls Generation, SHINee, TVXQ! etc.); additionally this company provides links to modified liner notes (e.g., lyrics, music publishing information, etc.).  Those sites have been recorded for posterity, as well.

In contrast, other companies like YG Entertainment or FNC Music Entertainment only offer current editions of artists websites – that is, viewers only have access to the current promotional concept of a group or artist, even if some historical information may be available (see below). Additionally, some companies (Starship Entertainment, TS Entertainment) only offer quick profile information about their artists on their websites. Instead they choose to use Cafe Daum’s “internet cafe” sites, which act as a hybrid website/forum, to promote their artists. Since Cafe Daum Official Kpop artist sites are generally designed to reach Korean Kpop fans, I do not record these sites for KPK.

Website Commonalities

Despite these differences, most Kpop artist websites have common elements:

  • Artist profiles (member names, birthdays, blood type, hobbies)
  • Discography lists
  • Photo galleries
  • Music snippets
  • Activity calendars
  • Social media links (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and until mid-2014, Me2day)
  • Links to online music purchasing and downloading sites (e.g., Melon, Olleh, iTunes)
  • Message boards (from the artists, their staff, and for fan-to-fan communication)
  • Official fanclub portals and exclusive content (often password protected)
  • International language options (default language is Korean with some English)
  • Links to the company’s business site, which include audition information

From Collection to Curation

B1A4 Kpopiana exhibit with Digital Documentation links.

B1A4 Kpopiana exhibit with Digital Documentation links.

When this project first began, KPK members were more engaged in collecting information, so DD videos were listed on the KPK website, separately from the artist profiles. As we move on to curation activities, these video links are now included in KPOPIANA artist exhibits.  At press time, KPK has a DD library of almost 500 Kpop artist websites, from all kinds of Korean entertainment companies and encompassing all kinds of artists, Kpop choreographers, some international fansites,  and even Kdrama actors. Currently we are focused on releasing DD items pertaining to Kpop artists, with plans to include other items in the future.   The Library of Congress (n.d.) notes that the average length of a website is about 44 days. Considering the frenetic pace of music production in Kpop, this length may sometimes be shortened, making the DD project a useful tool in the study of Hallyu and its life on the Internet.  

 Click to learn more about the DD project, or you may contact me anytime.

Sources

Library of Congress. (n.d.). Importance of digital preservation: Special presentation. Accessed April 17, 2014, from http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/about/presentation.html.

KDK/Nunee (M.S.L.S.)

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.

University of South Carolina Lancaster

Welcome to Part 4 of my ongoing series of bibliographic entries about Hallyu.   These entries are listed by year, not by author (TIP: If you know about a title or author and you want to see if it’s included in this listing, use the CTRL +F function).

To learn more about my searching parameters, information-gathering processes, and your ability to access these items, see my earlier essay titledFor Your Reading Pleasure: Introducing A Hallyu Bibliography.”  Click for Part 1 , Part 2, and Part 3 of the bibliography.

This is a working post, so if you would like to submit items to this list or to the bibliography, please contact me directly at kaetrena@mailbox.sc.edu

NOTE:  In order to make it easier to locate authors (and where possible), I’ve modified these APA Style citations by adding full author names where possible.

Global Impact

Dator, Jim. and Yongseok Seo. (2004). Korea as the wave of a future: The emerging dream society of icons
and aesthetic experience. Journal of Futures Studies 9(1): 31–44. Accessed 27 March 2012 from http://www.jfs.tku.edu.tw/9-1/04.pdf?referer=www.clickfind.com.au

Cho, Hae Joang. (2005). Reading the “Korean Wave” as a Sign of Global Shift.  Korea Journal 45: 147–82. Accessed 27 March 2012 from http://www.ekoreajournal.net/issue/view_pop.htm?Idx=3359

Mangliankay, Roald. (2006). When the Korean wave ripples. IIAS Newsletter, 42: 15. Accessed 27 March 2014 from https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/12766/IIAS_NL42_15.pdf?sequence=1

Yang-hwan, Jeong. (2007). Comics soar as new Korean wave. Korea focus on current topics, 15(1):67-69. Accessed 27 March 2014 from http://www.koreafocus.or.kr/images/upload/pdf/101439.pdf

Shin, Hyunjoon. (2009). Have you ever seen the Rain? And who’ll stop the Rain?: the globalizing project of Korean pop (Kpop). Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 10(4): 507-523.

 Globalization

Nederveen Pieterse, Jan. (1995). Globalization as hybridization. In M. Featherstone, S. Lash and R. Robertson (Eds.) Global Modernities. pp.45 – 68. London: Sage.Cho, Uhn. 2005. Positioning the Korean wave in the nexus between globalization and localization. Korea Journal, 45(4): 143-146.

Lee, Hee-Eun. (2005). Othering ourselves: identity and globalization in Korean popular music, 1992-2002. Thesis, University of Iowa.(see also, Identity and Nationalism)

Kim, Youna. (2005). Experiencing globalization. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 8(4): 445-463.

Kim, Ju Young. (2007). Rethinking media flow under globalisation: rising Korean wave and Korean TV and film policy since 1980s. PhD thesis, University of Warwick. Accessed 27 March 2014 from http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/1153/1/WRAP_THESIS_Kim_2007.pdf

Seo, Yongseok. (2006). East Asian response to the globalization of culture: perceptional change and cultural policy. In J. Dator, Dick Pratt and Yongseok Soo (Eds.) Fairness, globalization and public institutions: East Asia and beyond. X: University of Hawai’i Press. pp. 319 – X. (see also, Culture)

Yang, J. (2007). Globalization, nationalism and regionalization: The case of Korean popular culture. Development and Society, 36(2): 177-199.

Sung, Sang Yeon. (2008). Globalization and the regional flow of popular music: the role of the Korean wave (Hanliu) in the construction of Taiwanese identities and Asian values. Thesis, Indiana University, Bloomington.

Le, Lan Xuan. (2009). Imaginaries of the Asian modern: text and context at the juncture of nation and region. Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  

Ryoo,  W.   (2009).  Globalization,  or  the  logic  of cultural  hybridization:  The  case  of the  Korean  wave.  Asian Journal  of Communication,  19(2),  137 -15I .

Iwabuchi, Koichi. (2010). Globalization, East Asian media cultures and their politics. Asian Journal of Communication, 20(2): 197-212.

Happy Reading!

KDK/Nunee (M.S.L.S.)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

APeace

APeace

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 K-pop.  The current exhibit under construction, Move the Crowd: Choreography and K-pop, explores an other key aspect of K-pop: dance. APeace is the first page in the first section of this exhibit, Star Array: Dance and the Large K-pop Group.  With 21 members, APeace is one of the largest K-pop groups. See how they use their numbers in choreography here.

Image: 1

Girls' Generation (SNSD)

Girls’ Generation (SNSD)

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 group.

Image: 1

EXO

EXO

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

L to R: Junsu, Yoochun, Jaejong, Yunho, Changmin; Credit: TVXQ Promotional Photo 3rd Asia Tour

Credit: TVXQ Promotional Photo 3rd Asia Tour

House of Hallyu has its first fan narrative! See what Belinda says about TVXQ here.

Be a part of the kpop chronicles project. To make your own narrative about your fan experience, click here!

Lee Hyori, Promo image, Monochrome

Lee Hyori, Promo image, Monochrome

Crystal S. Anderson, PhD

Elon University

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 well as music.  Part of this has to do with its emergence along with rising technologies like the music video and the Internet, which “generate[d] a condition of possibility of reaching a mass audience outside of national borders,” and resulted in photogenic performers as part of appealing images (Lie, 353, 356). This is similar to rhythm and blues-inflected pop music of the 1960s. Gerald Early notes that technology contributed to this music becoming an “artifact,” in part because television distributed the music as well as an image (60, 62).

K-pop agencies, like SM Entertainment, carefully craft the images of K-pop artists for concepts. This is part of the training process, which also includes language instruction, choreography and hosting practice.  This also contributes to criticisms that such preening in the quest for audience acceptance diminishes the presence of ethnic culture.   John Lie argues that contemporary K-pop lacks Korean culture:  “As a matter of traditional culture, there is almost nothing ‘Korean’ about K-pop” (360). Motown acts under Berry Gordy also received similar kinds of training and, were subject to similar criticisms.   Nelson George defines Gordy’s project as assimilationist in nature, where “white values were held up as primary role models” and as a result, “blacks lost contact with the uniqueness of their people, and with their own heritage” (xii). For George and Lie, mainstream appeal translates into a loss of ethnic culture.

When K-pop adopts the 1960s retro look for female artists through chic hairstyles and dresses with eye-catching prints or dazzling sequins and fur reminiscent of The Supremes, I suggest that it partakes of a model of ethnic glamour established by black girl groups.  Brian Ward characterizes Gordy’s quest for mainstream success as one  predicated on challenging prevailing notions about American blacks:   “Gordy felt [the training] might make them more acceptable to white America and an expanding black middle class for whom mainstream notions of respectability remained important” (266).  The aspiration was felt by blacks, even those not in the middle class:  “The spangled pursuit of success carried no stigma among black fans who had routinely been denied equal opportunity to compete for the financial rewards of the mainstream” (Ward, 267).   This is key, because it shows the importance of how viewers read such images. Cynthia Cyrus argues that even though the images of girl groups of the 1960s were  well-managed and carefully crafted, they nevertheless resonated positively with fans:   “The girl group images offer affirmative messages about what it means to be female, messages about belonging, about possibilities for participation, about the possibility of success. . . . The role of the viewer is central to creating meaning, and the girl group fan engaged actively in dialogue with the images placed before here” (190-1).

The Kim Sisters

The Kim Sisters

Just as black fans interpreted those images of black women as positive, Korean women like the Kim Sisters, styled in the same way, represent a glamourous  ethnic, in this case, Korean, experience to aspire to.  Ian Kim writes:   “For a Korean American like me, who grew up in parts of the US where I was the only Asian kid in school, it’s pretty astonishing to discover Korean performers who were successful in the US such an early time. Even more impressive is that they sang in English.”  The Kim Sisters’ images and participation in the entertainment world in the United States functioned as an alternative to the realities of the aftereffects of the Korean War and American military presence. San Byun-Ho remembers:  “After the Korean War, the Korean situation was the worst in the world; we were one of the poorest countries, like the Congo or somewhere like that. The country was devastated. A lot of people died” (Forsyth). Just like images of 1960s black girl groups, such images of the Kim Sisters represent an image of ethnic aspiration.

Contemporary fans may see retro images in K-pop, like those by Lee Hyori and the Wonder Girls, as drawing from a visual discourse of ethnic glamour.  The measure of the impact of the image should also be measured by those who make meaning out of it.  These images matter precisely because they show Koreans in a glamorous context that also acknowledges their ethnicity.   As the Vintage Black Glamour  Tumblr and forthcoming book suggest, images of ethnic glamour still resonate today.  Nichelle Gainer says that any image she chooses has to have “a certain style to it, a certain beauty” and that she includes information about the photo because “I want people to know you’re not looking at some anonymous random person” (Brown).  Given the frequency that the 1960s concept recurs in K-pop, ethnic glamour still matters.

Wonder Girls, Nobody Concept, 2008

Wonder Girls, Nobody Concept, 2008

Images: 1, 2, 3

Sources

Brown, Tanya Ballard.  “‘Vintage Black Glamour’ Exposes Little-Known Cultural History.” The Picture Show – Photo Stories from NPR. NPR . 12 Oct 2012. Web. 27 Jan 2014.

Cyrus, Cynthia J.  “Selling an Image: Girl Groups of the 1960s.” Popular Music 22.2 (2003): 173-193.

Early, Gerald. One Nation Under a Grove: Motown and American Culture. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2012.

Forsyth, Luc.  “Korea’s Stressed Masses.” Groove Korea20 Aug 2012. Web. 27 Jan 2014.

Kim, Ian. “The Kim Sisters.” Ian Kim. 23 Jan 2014. Web. 28 Jan 2014.

Lie, John.  “What is the K in K-pop?: South Korean Popular Music, the Culture Industry, and National Identity.” Korea Observer 43.3 (2012): 339-363.

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Ethnicity, Glamour and Image in Korean Popular Music by Crystal S. Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Slide08

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 that you aren’t included? You can always take the email survey online here! C’mon, SONES, you are one of the biggest K-pop fandoms out there! Click the link and represent!

Miss A is a four-member female group that was formed by famed producer Jin Young Park (JYP Entertainment. Predebut, the group was originally known in China as “Sisters,” and had five members. Eventually, the fifth member joined Wonder Girls (member: Lim), and further auditions solidified the current group. As Miss A, members Fei (Wang Fei Fei), Jia (Meng Jia), Suzy (Bae Su Ji), and Min (Lee Min Young) are managed by AQ Entertainment, a subsidiary company at JYP Entertainment.

To see the enhanced profile, including discographies and videographies, click the image to go to KPOPIANA, KPK’s multimedia database on Korean popular music of the Hallyu era!

ZE:A (Children of Empire) is a nine member male group. Currently signed with the Star Empire Entertainment, group members include Kevin (Kim Ji Yeop), Kwanghee, (Hwang Kwang Hee), Siwan (Im Si Wan), Jun Young (Moon Jun Young), Tae Heon (Kim Tae Heon), Heechul (Jung Hee Chul), Minwoo (Ha Min Woo), Hyungsik (Park Hyung Sik), and Dongjun (Kim Dong Jun). The group debuted on January 15, 2010 with their single, “Mazeltov.” When ZE:A first debuted, the group was named “Child of Empire;” however, there was some concern that the Korean pronunciation sounded too much like a stage name of a Brown Eyed Girls group member JeA (Kim Hyo Jin), so the name was changed to “Children Of Empire” to avoid confusion and infringement.

To see the enhanced profile, including discographies and videographies, click the image to go to KPOPIANA, KPK’s multimedia database on Korean popular music of the Hallyu era!

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U.S. K-pop Fan Survey

Are you a fan of Kpop in the United States? Are you a K-pop fan of color? Make your voice heard in this brief survey for research!

U.S. K-pop Fan Survey

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