April 6, 2012 | Rackham Amphitheatre, University of Michigan
Hallyu (the Korean Wave), a term coined to describe the widespread popularity and regional/trans-regional influence of Korean cultural products, has recently come into its own as a subject of academic inquiry and broad intellectual interest. However, while much attention has been paid to the impact of the Korean Wave on Korea’s national image or domestic economy, as well as its implications for transnational cultural flow, there has been little discussion about the impact of new communication technologies, such as social media.
Hallyu is indeed entering the new age of social media. For the last few years, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Cyworld, and myriad social networking websites have boosted the dissemination of Korea’s popular media contents to regions where the traditional media-- theatrical distributions, TV networks, and DVD/VCD sales-- had never reached before. Korean films, TV dramas and variety shows, online games, comics, and popular songs are now being shared, distributed and consumed in cyberspace at an unprecedented pace.
"Hallyu 2.0: The Korean Wave in the Age of Social Media” conference sought to comprehend and interpret the meaning of this new and powerful cultural industry. The conference staged interdisciplinary dialogues among scholars of cinema, media, and visual studies, and of area studies and communication studies, by implicating multiple approaches in deciphering the intricate web of contemporary media ecosystems.