Shinhwa is best known for being the oldest K-pop group that has maintained its original lineup, paving the way for longevity for other K-pop “idol” groups. Not only is the group one of the oldest “idol” groups, it has also pioneered promoting as a group while also supporting the individual careers of its members. One of the key factors in their longevity can be traced to the group’s constant presence in the public eye, before and after a four-year hiatus. In addition to consisting producing high-quality albums, “some members act, others make music, and some are even involved in helping others produce the next generation of idol groups” (The Altantic). Their long career can also be traced to their musical development: “They may not have branched out and stretched the limits of pop, but they were always able to adapt to changes in pop music itself over the years. Their singles generally represent the sound of K-pop at the time they were released to the point w[h]ere you can basically start with “Resolver” and listen to their singles all the way up to “Venus” and have a history lesson along the way” (seoulbeats).
Survey results suggests that Inspirits, fans of the male K-pop group Infinite, like the group because of its strong choreography, vocals and group dynamic. These results come from the FAVORITE ARTIST: KARTIST3YR DATASET, part of the Hallyu Korean Popular Music Survey. This data note is based on a small sample of 13 respondents.
Respondents repeatedly point to Infinite’s dance skills as a primary reason for the group’s appeal, noting their ability to dance in sync. One respondent stated that s/he liked the group because “they have one of the most dopest choreography ever; they are /nearly/synchronized.” Such dance skills can be seen in music videos like “Come Back Again.”
Other respondents point to the group’s vocal talent. One respondent noted that “all of the members can sing, even the rappers.” Another noted the ability of the members to harmonize. This can be seen in their performance of “Diamond.”
Some respondents noted the dynamic between group members. One respondent described the members as “handsome and funny,” while another noted that “they’re serious on stage but down-to-earth off and funny/goofy.”
Newer male K-pop groups are increasing the complexity of their choreography. UP10TION, who debuted in 2015, features 10 members. This large group is gaining popularity for their execution of complex dance moves with precision. Find out more with the Revised UP10TION Dance Collection exhibit!
After several years of curating Kpop music and performers, there’s one thing I’ve learned: Kpop fans and scholars at all levels are talking about and presenting on all aspects of Korean popular culture in academia – from high school to postgraduate work.
A quick online search shows that students use several different presentation and design tools to fulfill assignments (with Korean popular culture as the topic) in many courses, including digital media, linguistics, and economics. These tools are great for longer presentations, but sometimes, you just need something not so lengthy to support a short talk. Other times, you may want to augment a presentation and give your audience an impactful take-away that they can revisit and share quickly with others.
That’s where the infographic comes in. Techopedia defines infographic – and its use – as “a visual representation of a data set or instructive material. An infographic takes a large amount of information in text or numerical form and then condenses it into a combination of images and text, allowing viewers to quickly grasp the essential insights the data contains.” (2016)
News and media distributed via the Internet have increasingly used infographics to support content. Soompi, DramaFever, and more recently, My Music Taste have used the medium to distribute information about Kpop trends. You will also find many Kpop fans and culture bloggers using infographics to promote their favorite groups or Korean food and language.
There are many tools you can use to create infographics, from Piktochart to Easel.ly; however, Canva rises to the top of the list for a few reasons:
It’s free (unlike Piktochart, which has a limited free version)
In contrast to Easel.ly, lots of “turnkey” templates and other drag-and-drop design elements are available in Canva, which means
There’s a low learning curve. A low learning curve means
You can distribute your unique content more quickly
If you need to collaborate on a design, you can easily share work with others to edit.
In addition to a lot of templates, Canva users also have broad color, font, photo, and icon choices. For those who want to be really fancy, for-cost design elements are just $1.00, and the cost isn’t applied until the final design is saved. Designs can be saved as images (.jpg or .png) or a document (.pdf). Users can also share their work on social media since Canva automatically invites users to tweet or post their work after a design has been saved.
I created this simple infographic featuring TVXQ’s Max (Shim Chang Min) in a matter of minutes (imagine all I could do with 30 minutes to an hour to spare!).
Canva also has lots of other uses – many users have created CD covers, website banners, postcards, and more using the tool. It’s easy to explore what other users are doing, too – users just click on the “Get design inspiration” link in their account dashboard to check out and comment on the latest designs in the Canva community.
Currently Canva is available foriPad for those who want to design on-the-go.
TIP: To get the most out of Canva, sign up using a .edu e-mail account.
Most people assume that the only audience for modern Korean popular music (K-pop) is teenagers. As a result, they also assume that K-pop music lacks longevity. However, the presence of longtime fans suggests that K-pop remains appealing to some fans for years. The existence of adult fans challenges the notion that K-pop only appeals to teenagers. This multiple case study seeks to understand why individuals remain K-pop fans for years and why adults find K-pop appealing. For three years, I will be asking questions about these atypical fans of K-pop. This survey contains several open-ended and multiple-choice questions that ask how fans see themselves and ask about their K-pop music preferences and fan activity. Please take the survey!
Annalyn Constantine is a junior at the University of San Francisco, majoring in International Studies (focusing on Peace and Conflict) and minoring in Asian Studies and Philosophy. All throughout my life I’ve been keenly interested in Asian pop culture and traditions, from anime to K-pop and Japanese and Korean dramas; and now more recently, Asian philosophy, political philosophy and racial formation. It’s both my guilty pleasure and passion but I want to blend those two together and examine my biases (and all that crazy fan/fandom logic from an academic lens…hence I’m here at KPK!) There’s so much to explore about Korea and K-pop and its connection with ethics politics, sociology, and race, just from the Hallyu wave that you’d be pretty surprised! My ultimate favorite group is BTS (Suga stan if you need to know) and I also love SHINee, Monsta X and Oh My Girl. I’m a cynical and sarcastic fan, but I hope you’ll find my edits and profiles interesting despite my weird taste in humor.
Ashley Lin studies Advertising & Asian Pacific American Studies at University of San Francisco. She is interested in the role of branding for groups, specifically how essential it has become to build a strong marketable image that allows them to build connections with their fans. She discovered K-pop in 2008 and likes to reminisce about “the good ol’ days when this-or-that group were just rookies.” After a 3 year break, she realized that it was impossible to leave K-pop. Now she’s returned as a fully devoted Starlight, and spends her free time blogging and following her biases on SNS. Her current bias groups include VIXX(!!), Seventeen, B1A4, BTOB, and BTS.
Damon Young is a graduate student in Asia Pacific Studies at the University of San Francisco (USF), a TA for the Interdisciplinary Research Methods in Asia Pacific Studies course, and a Peer Mentor/Tutor for the MAPS program. I am spending this summer as an intern working on the Camp Digital Archive Project for the National Japanese American Historical Society and as a Research Assistant at USF exploring assimilation theory and the Korean immigrant experience in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. My personal history with music from Korea began with waking up on the weekends to my parents playing songs by such artists as Yun Sooil, Cho Yongpil, or Lee Sunhee from our big home stereo system. These days I’m either grooving to Zion.T or Crush or bouncing to Keith Ape and the whole Cohort gang. But when I want to get down and get my “girl crush concept” on, I turn it up to Red Velvet (as I wait for Black Pink to debut!).
Beyond the Classroom: Undergraduate Research and Digital Humanities
CUR 2016 Biennial Conference | Tampa, FL | June 23-28, 2016
Students may be “digital natives,” but how can we channel their informal interaction with digital environments into a rich research experience? This presentation shares digital tools that students can use for Internet research and explores the challenges of working on co-curricular collaborative digital humanities projects with undergraduates.
Undergraduate research is often constructed within a curricular context, focusing on the face-to-face experience between an instructor and student as crucial to mentoring and the transmission of inquiry and research skills. This presentation shares the experience of a collaborative digital humanities project conducted through the Internet. Because of its digital nature, the project invited students globally to participate as research assistants. Students were trained, received feedback on their work and participated in a research community almost entirely in a digital environment. As a result, new models of engaging students online emerged from the project. The project introduced students to an array of digital tools and trained them in skills that they could use in their curricular lives beyond the project. At the same time, the project encountered several challenges involved with motivating an undergraduate population outside of a course working on an unfunded project. The presentation will explore how the digital presents new opportunities for undergraduate research, especially in areas where faculty mentorship exists outside of the institution.