CFP: K-Pop and K-Drama Fandoms, Journal of Fandom Studies special issue



Special issue of Journal of Fandom Studies 
Guest Editors: Crystal S. Anderson and Doobo Shim

This special issue responds to the well-established and global subculture of fans of Korean popular music (K-pop) and Korean television drama (K-drama). K-pop and K-drama are the products of Hallyu, a cultural movement from Korea directed towards the global stage that originated in the late 1990s.  Recent global successes of Korean artists such as Psy, Girls Generation, 2NE1 and BigBang as well as K-drama actors such as Lee Min Ho and Jang Geun Suk represent only a portion of the vibrant and diverse fandom.  This special issue seeks to examine the uniqueness of K-pop and K-drama fandoms and their contribution to global fandom scholarship. 
K-pop and K-drama represent hybridized modes of cultural production aimed at global audiences that emerged from Korea in the 1990s. Initially, K-pop fandoms were centered in Korea and locales in East Asia.  As a result of technological advances in digital music and social media such as Twitter and YouTube, the fandom has grown to more international locations. Similarly, K-drama saw popularity in Korea and East Asia, and increased international access through online streaming sites and satellite options contributed to the rise of more global K-drama fandoms, with some variants.  Unlike the U.S. television drama production, K-drama fans participate in the creation of the show through feedback to the drama series up to the point that the writers have to change their story lines.  This is a very unique “strength” of K-drama in that this practice allows continuous communication between producers and audiences. Overwhelmingly female, the fandoms for both K-drama and K-pop are poised to provide gendered renditions of cultural production and consumption. The possible polysemy embedded in Hallyu cultural products may produce a dynamically interesting consumption according to a different specificity and locality. 
The spread of K-pop and K-drama fandoms has spurred scholarship on the subject.  While K-pop and its fandom represent one of the most visible aspects of Hallyu, they receive the least critical attention from academia. Two groundbreaking collections, East Asian Popular Culture: Analyzing the Korean Wave (2008), and Hallyu: Influence of Korean Popular Culture in Asia and Beyond (2011) do not feature any submissions on K-pop.  Studies of K-drama fandom are more plentiful, but tend to focus on the attitudes of fans in East Asia.  Moreover, the theoretical approaches to the fandoms tend to revolve around notions of hybridity and globalization that de-emphasize the multiple cultures in play.  For example, the coverage of fans in Korean Masculinities and Transcultural Consumption: Yonsama, Rain, Oldboy, K-Pop Idols (2010) is largely limited to the cases in Southeast Asia.

In response to this void, this special issue solicits innovative examinations of all aspects of K-pop and K-drama fandoms. Papers on the topic could relate to specific ideas given below but are not restricted to:
– New critical and theoretical approaches to the study of K-pop and K-drama fandoms or reimagined critical interventions associated with theories of hybridity, cultural proximity and globalization·    
-Comparative approaches to the global spread of K-pop and K-drama fandoms, especially comparisons between fandoms based in East Asia and other parts of the world, such as the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and the United States·    
-Interplay between fans and artists/actors·    
-Fan activities and cultural production, including fan art, blogs, mashup videos, cover dance groups·    
-Fan discourse and commentary, such as comments on social media and forums·    
-Economic impact of fan activity, including impact on sales of music and merchandise as well as advertising revenue·    
-Fan philanthropy·    
-Fan backlash, including the formation of anti-fan clubs, anti-fan movements, negative/erroneous portrayal of fans·    
-Analysis of the demographic of K-pop and K-drama fandom, particularly with attention to age, nationality and race/ethnicity·    
-In-depth examination of specific fandoms as well as fandoms in specific countries

Details of the publication are on the Intellect website:,id=213/view,page=0/
Deadline for submission of Abstracts: 31 October 2013.

Please submit an Abstract (200 words) and keywords (five) and profile of author/s (50 words)

Deadline for submission of Full Papers: 15 January 2014.Please submit a full paper (6,000-9,000 words, including references and tables).
Please send Abstracts and Full Papers to: Dr. Crystal S. Anderson (
For any further queries, please write to: Dr. Crystal S. Anderson (, Associate Professor, Dept of English, Elon University
Dr. Doobo Shim (, Professor, Dept of Media & Communication, Sungshin Women’s University


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