K-pop, Race, and Platform Capitalism

This event is in the past
Thu, Jan 26, 6 - 7:30 pm
PSU's Smith Memorial Student Union Southwest Portland (Portland)
This is an in-person event
All Ages
"The Portland State University Center for Japanese Studies will host Professor Michelle Cho, from Toronto University when she presents a free talk titled, “K-pop, Race, and Platform Capitalism,” Thursday, January 26, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. in the Smith Memorial Student Union (SMSU), room 327/8/9 on the PSU campus. SMSU is located at 1825 SW Broadway. This is the first lecture in a three-part series titled The Interplay of JPOP and KPOP.

When the Black Lives Matter movement gained renewed media attention and growing support after the police-perpetrated murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, in the midst of pandemic lockdown, K-pop fans became a flashpoint in online, pro-BLM activism. In particular, K-pop-fan-identified accounts on Twitter used gifs and “fancams”—short video clips of K-pop performances—to hijack attention and disable hashtags like #whitelivesmatter. This presentation aims to enrich our understanding of the political significance of emergent platform-mediated fan identities, while emphasizing the need for historical grounding in our discussions of race, racialization, and transnational pop cultural phenomena.

Michelle Cho is Assistant Professor of East Asian Popular Cultures and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. Her research and teaching areas are South Korean film and popular culture, transnational fandom, platforms, and global media. Her published work explores South Korean genre cinemas in the new millennium, the history of the Korean Wave, and K-pop's multi-sited fandoms. She is co-editing a volume on gender and popular media in South Korea after the #MeToo movement and a collection of academic and fan-authored analyses of the K-pop idol group BTS. Her public-facing writing on film, K-pop, fandom, and media convergence can be found at flowjournal.org, Even Magazine and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She also frequently contributes to media coverage on Korean film, television, and popular culture in outlets such as the CBC, NPR, The New York Times, Al Jazeera, and the Washington Post.

For more see https://www.pdx.edu/japanese-studies/events/k-pop-race-and-platform-capitalism or contact the PSU Center for Japanese Studies at cjs@pdx.edu.

Over the past two decades, the Center for Japanese Studies has become world renowned for its vibrant academic, business, and cultural programming. Each academic year, we bring to PSU some of the world’s foremost experts on Japan. The Center has helped launch many students into successful careers through introductions to our worldwide network of experts.  We serve as a resource for the entire region, as we fundamentally increase our community’s understanding of Japan and its complexity." (Promo Copy)

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