✜ 특별 강연 개요
“Who Gets to Do K-pop?: Z-pop Renegotiates the K-pop Climate”
Korea Foundation Assistant Professor of Korean Studies,
Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
University of Pennsylvania
The Z-Stars won the first season of a pan-Asian K-pop audition competition, Z-POP Dream Project, held in 2018 across seven countries in Asia (Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines). At a press showcase in 2019, the Z-Stars explained that they want to inspire the younger generation of K-Pop lovers all around the world that they, too, can be K-pop idols. As of August 2020, however, K-pop music shows refuse to feature them on their programs since none of the members are Korean, nor do they sing in Korean. In other words, the Z-Stars have yet to convince the K-pop industry gatekeepers that they are indeed K-pop acts.
The 2010s saw K-pop’s rapid globalization in the U.S.- dominant international pop music industry, making everyone to ask the ontological question, “what is K-pop?” By 2020, K-pop’s transnational impact within has grown so much so that the question shifted to “what counts as K-pop?” or “who gets to do K-pop?” This talk explores how we might rethink the political and cultural climate of the K-pop industry through an inter-Asian lens, especially considering K-pop as cultural technology in the hierarchically racialized world ordered by the logic of global capitalism.