Nam Center Undergraduate Fellows Lecture: K-Pop: Where it Came From, Where it is Going, and Why it Matters
Learn more about the Fellows program and ways in which you can become active in the Korean studies community at U-M!
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Psy's "Gangnam Style" surprised everyone when it became the biggest Youtube hit ever in 2012. But Korean pop music — along with the rest of Korean pop culture — has actually been on the rise for years, gaining fans around Asia, into the Middle East, Europe, South America and the United States. While Korea has a rich cultural heritage, the successes of today are a result of a mix of artistic, business, and technological forces, stripping away old constraints and empowering creators and audiences like never before. The rise of K-pop is about much more than just a pop music factory system; it's about the future of popular culture.
Mark James Russell is the culture editor for the Korea JoongAng Daily, and has written about Korean culture, economics, and society for such publications as the New York Times, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, and the Wall Street Journal. He also spent many years as Korea correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, and Television Asia, writing for think tanks and consultancies, and producing documentaries. He is the author of two books on K-Pop, including Pop Goes Korea: Behind the Revolution in Movies, Music, and Internet Culture (2009), and K-Pop Now!: The Korean Music Revolution (2014).