Korean Pop Culture scholar, Sherri Ter Molen, sparked curiosity amongst WKU students March 22. The event, “K-poppers for Hilltoppers: A Korean Pop Culture Experience,” took place in Gary Ransdell Hall. This presentation was part of the Department of Communication’s ‘Above and Beyond’ lecture series.
Ter Molen educated attendees on the rising popularity of Korean influences on culture, drama, music known as Hallyu – “The Korean Wave” – all over the world.
This pop culture trend encompasses the modern rhythm found in America with unique and vibrant Korean performances. K-pop music videos, movies, and TV shows filled the room with upbeat vibes and growing appeal during the presentation.
Ter Molen shared the story of what inspired her interest to become a scholar and researcher in Korean culture. “What began as fascination, turned into a lifestyle,” Ter Molen said. Ter Molen’s aunt adopted a little girl from Korea when she was a child. Ter Molen began asking questions about the girl’s culture after noticing the difference in their appearance. These questions transformed her from a fan to a scholar.
Ter Molen’s research on Korean Pop Culture has appeared in “The Global Impact of South Korean Popular Culture: Hallyu Unbound” and The Korean Wave: Korean Popular Culture in Global Context.” With 35 million fans worldwide, K-pop is having a massive outbreak with K-con conventions spreading across the nation.
~ Ali Boyd, Student