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- 2019.10.31. 전자책, 종이책 동시 출간
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<BTS and ARMY Culture> ARMY is a community of taste, and BTS is their common denominator. This book started from the wish to apply the perspective of a cultural studies scholar in order to investigate the fandom ARMY as a most ardent outcome to arise from a “community of taste.” On a personal level, the most pressing question was which vantage point to assume for myself. While research is a language of rigorous logic, criticism is a language of warm interpretation―or in the words of Terry Eagleton, “a sensitivity to the thickness and intricacy of the medium.” If research is to approach something through objectivity and tested theories, this book can be understood as a work of criticism for general readers, written by an Aca-Fan (academic and fan) who lets her affection shine through. BTS and ARMY Culture illuminates how ARMY, which is a kind of imaginary community of BTS-loving fans, has created epistemic distance towards standard K-pop culture and cements BTS’ status in global mainstream music via tangible fan practices. To this aim, I analyze social media and online fan communities that serve as discursive spaces for ARMY, and observe in particular how ARMY forges BTS’ cultural status by compromising and negotiating with mass media that hold cultural power. This book revolves around these general aspects, and rather than posing as a work of theoretical criticism, its identity resembles an archival document that captures the dynamics of ARMY in the contemporary cultural landscape. For ARMY, I hope that this book is valuable as a neat documentation of their achievements. To those who are curious about ARMY, I hope that this book can serve as a ‘full-scale anatomy of ARMY.’
Currently teaching film at Chung-Ang University, she is a member of the Film Subcommittee for the Korea Media Rating Board. She received a Bachelor of Science at the Ewha Woman’s University, a Master of Fine Arts with a focus on Filmmaking at CalArts, and a PhD in Film Studies with a focus on Film Theory at the Graduate School for Art & Technology at Chung-Ang University.
She was a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Cinematic Content at Dankook University, full lecturer in the multimedia department at Hannam University, and lecturer at Yonsei University. Her PhD thesis examined “Disaster and Film: The Emotional Structure of Disaster in 21st Century Film” (2015). Her research interests are posthumanism, relations between visual culture and modernity, and popular culture in new media. While researching symptoms of disaster linked to transglobal capitalism, she stumbled upon the music of BTS, their worldview, and their relationship to ARMYs. After discovering therein an unexpected hope for the world, she is still going through an inner identity crisis. Research papers include (translated titles): “The Present of Korean Fantasy TV Series: Tracing the Motifs of the Superhuman and Time Slips” (2017), “Traversing the World of Serial Catastrophe: The Appearance of Apocalyptic Postmodern Representation” (2017), “The Politics of Hollywood’s Conspiracy Films in the Post-Capitalist Era” (2014), and more.
01 Started from the Bottom of K-pop
Idols and Their Fandom as Political Symbols
Out of a Thorny Path
02 Voting Culture
The Dark Side of K-pop Voting Culture
03 ARMY, the Best Promoter
ARMY’s Strength Made the Band Mainstream
You Stream? We Buy!
ARMY Invasion of US Radio
“It’s BTSpop, not K-pop”
04 Fandom of diversity
The Visibility of Middle-aged and Male Fans
The LGBTQ Community
Bond between Minorities
Learning about Blackness
Appealing to Intellectuals
05 Beyond the Language Barrier
Shaking up Western-centric Language Hierarchies
ARMY Hangul Day
Citi Field Concert Review by a Visually Impaired Girl
BTS Singing in Korean
06 The Social Expansion of Fandom Culture
The Growth Narrative that Moves ARMYs
ARMY are the Faces of BTS: Fandom Campaigns
07 The Cultural Politics of Fandom
Fandom and Misogyny
Racism in the Fandom
The Ecosphere of K-pop Fandoms and ARMY
Fandom: A New Force in the Music Industry
ARMY as Citizens of the Neo-liberal Era
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