Final Call for Abstracts: Edited Collection on Korean Dramas

deadline for submissions: 
August 28, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Ann-Gee Lee & JaeYoon Park/University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

With the proliferation of global media on the Internet, Korean television dramas have quickly become a popular phenomenon. Not just permeating Asia, but also appearing in the U.S., the Middle East, Europe, and Spanish-speaking countries among others, these dramas lead to fans scrambling to provide subtitles in their own languages. Along with being enthralled with characters and storylines, fans find themselves listening to soundtracks and following their favorite actors to other Korean dramas.

According to Youna Kim in the book, The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global, “Korean TV dramas are emotionally powerful and self-reflexive. While Korean producers do not pay particular attention to a global formula for the success of TV drama, nevertheless they have found its affective form useful to touch the sensibilities of disparate audiences" (7). This goes to show that anyone can find a Korean drama suitable to his or her tastes: they can select from Korean period dramas, comedy, romance, action, crime/thriller, and so on.

Korean dramas provide food for thought on numerous topics of study. Kim notes, “The Korean Wave culture embedded in dramas…is in essence all things hybrid – a fusion of local, regional and Western cultures, forms, styles, genres, narratives or identities, in part accelerated by the developments in information and communication technologies, yet without necessarily eliminating the best of Korea’s distinct traditional values, emotional aesthetics and expressive performances” (17). Also emerging are transcultural conversations and reconfigurations of identities.

We seek abstracts that apply diverse theoretical approaches to different Korean dramas. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Asian modernity
  • pan-Asian identity
  • influence from/on other cultures
  • Confucian social order
  • religion and spirituality
  • identity politics and power
  • gender and sexuality
  • class struggle and social mobility
  • disability and health
  • food culture
  • generational differences
  • hybridity
  • intertextuality
  • media imperialism
  • “pop nationalism” or K-dramas as a tool of soft power
  • participatory fan culture
  • transnational celebrities

These abstracts will be compiled into a book proposal that will be sent to a popular-culture publisher. We anticipate sending the book proposal sometime at the end of the year. Please share this message with researchers that may be interested in sending in an abstract for the collection.

For any questions, feel free to contact Dr. Ann-Gee Lee, English Department, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith or Dr. JaeYoon Park, Media Communication, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

Please send abstracts of 500-1,000 words and if possible, an abbreviated CV to

  • Abstract deadline: August 28, 2016
  • Final draft deadline: May 31, 2017