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KEC Special Lecture Series 2023 - How to understand the Hallyu: issues, questions, and problematics

16.06.2023 | 12:00 - 13:45

The Korean Wave consistently piques the interest of media outlets. Especially in the German context, it is still perceived as a new trend. Sceptic voices remain most visible and question the reasons for its success. The most popular view is the soft-power perspective, painting the Korean cultural industry and its artists as embedded in foreign policy processes. Other views characterise Hallyu as a passing trend, a short-lived anomaly. Lastly, success is sometimes attributed to consumerism, stating that K-pop and other Korean cultural content are designed to appeal to everyone and especially the inexperienced youth. In short, Korean cultural content and its consumers are eyed with both wonder and distrust.
Beyond popular media discourse, academic discussion on how to understand the Korean Wave and its impact on a changing media landscape has emerged. However, until now, the German case was largely sidelined in discussions. Focusing on K-pop, the special lecture series “Sailing or drifting? The Korean Wave, self, and Fandoms” addresses this gap by providing an opportunity to discuss the impact of the Korean Wave on youth. Are individuals simply swept up by the wave or consciously riding it? Moving beyond arguments about the maturity of consumers and/or manipulation by media, the series highlights the artistic dimension of internationally popular Korean music and dances.

KEC Special Lecture Series - Sailing or Drifting? The Korean Wave, self and fandoms - Prof. Dr. Seok-kyeong Hong

KEC Special Lecture Series - Sailing or Drifting? The Korean Wave, self and fandoms - Prof. Dr. Seok-kyeong Hong

"How to understand the Hallyu : issues, questions, and problematics"


As a global phenomenon outside of East Asia, the Korean Wave is a thoroughly grassroots phenomenon. Institutional mediators did not bring Korean cultural products to their home countries and introduce them to the world, but rather the global audience spontaneously subtitled and mediated by taste communities in the global digital cultural environment created by the Internet. Unlike Japanese manga and anime, the Korean Wave offers a more inclusive discourse in terms of race and gender because it has a human face and embodies new relationships that Western popular culture does not. The hybrid nature of Korean popular culture also gives the Korean creative industries the freedom to actively and inclusively embrace and express different cultural trends from around the world. Therefore, the attitude of foreign media and scholars that there is a hidden recipe for the success of Korean popular culture, or understanding it as a soft power theory of the government, is problematic. This lecture is an explanation and challenge to these questions.


Prof. Dr. Seok-Kyeong Hong 

Seok-Kyeong Hong is a Professor in the Department of Communication at Seoul National University and director of Center for Hallyu Studies, SNU Asia Center. Her research interest is the digital cultural forms and practices and transnational cultural flows in this era. She published Hallyu in the Globalization and the Digital Era (2013) and BTS On the Road (2020) as well as codirected Transnational Convergence of Esat Asian Pop Culture (2021). Her recent interest includes the intersectionality of gender and race in Hallyu Studies and the use of data analysis as an auxiliary method for studies on digital cultural practices.

New registration linkhttps://fu-berlin.webex.com/weblink/register/r19d93c459f96299f8be0261f20709a8b

Zeit & Ort

16.06.2023 | 12:00 - 13:45


Weitere Informationen

Gwendolyn Domning (g.domning@fu-berlin.de)