KPK: Kpop Kollective is the oldest and only site for public scholarship on modern Korean popular music (K-pop) for academics and fans. Established in 2010, it has developed to include a community of practice and a thematic research collection centered on K-pop. Members are active scholars as well as aca-fans who work on individual scholarly projects related to Hallyu, a contemporary Korean cultural movement. Kpop Kollective promotes the public’s understanding of contemporary Korean popular culture, creates resources and provides analysis and context on K-pop from a global perspective.
Once upon a time, we were regular people going about our separate lives. One day, we realized our mutual love of Kpop. When we shared our stories, we found that there really was not one place where you could find out about idols that didn’t focus on what hair color they chose that month (we’re talking about you, Heechul and G-Dragon) or who has the best chocolate abs (looking at you, 2PM). It was also hard to find someone to share your opinion of the last episode of Boys Over Flowers you saw. Some of us are academics, and we wanted to talk about Korean popular culture in a scholarly way.
Crystal S. Anderson, Michelle Brew Baxter and Kuylain Howard founded KPK: Kpop Kollective in January 2011 to study, seriously discuss, write about and collect information on Hallyu (Korean Wave) popular culture, particularly K-pop artists and Kdramas, for people around the world.
Since that time, KPK has developed into a site for public scholarsip that organizes information through mini-profiles on this site and curates K-pop through more detailed profiles on KPOPIANA.
The ‘K-pop’ at the center of KPK refers to modern Korean popular music that emerged in the 1990s. Blended with foreign cultures and directed towards a global audience, K-pop is significant because it is simultaneously a globalized and hybridized Korean mode of cultural production, incorporating elements of Korean and various foreign cultures. On one hand, it represents a sophisticated and complex mode of modern Korean culture, shaped by the rapid modernization of Korea. On the other hand, it has garnered a global following across ethnic, national, gender and generational lines, making K-pop fandom one of the most diverse subcultures. As a part of Hallyu, it has economic and political ramifications, for K-pop culture functions as a vehicle for soft power and profit-making for South Korea.
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