The The Rhizomatic Revolution Review (R3) envisions a future in which BTS (방탄소년단) and their fans are respected in perpetuity, a future in which BTS’s music, art, contributions to our culture, and the ARMY community’s discourse are held in high regard and esteem for having touched and affected so many.
ISSN 2692-7772 | EIN 85-0731807
R3 is an open-access journal that provides a space for interdisciplinary scholarly work, original creative pieces, and personal narratives that examine the art and impact of BTS and their fanbase ARMY. R3 is dedicated to empowering fans with the means to engage in rigorous, critical discourse and to introducing newcomers to BTS and ARMY.
The Rhizomatic Revolution Review  Foundation is a registered non-profit 501c3 and publishes for educational purposes only. We are independent of any institution and are 100% volunteer-run. We are not affiliated with HYBE, Big Hit Entertainment, or any of their subsidiaries.
Learn more about our structure and purpose:
R3 acknowledges that academic work does not exist in isolation. Likewise, we believe that the world can benefit from the sharing of stories and art. This core belief supports the three dimensions of R3:
- Academic Articles
- Creative Collections
- Supplemental Stories
It is our hope that by providing this space for sharing, we will encourage you to place your voices and creations into conversation with the “academic” work of R3.
Work submitted under peer-review categories will undergo a masked review by a team of ARMYs, scholars, and professionals, with the intention of equipping submitted work with the benefits of collective knowledge. Reviewer feedback will be provided to the submitting creator(s) by editorial staff, with recommendations to be addressed in order to be considered for publication.
R3 encourages submissions from scholars, teachers, artists, activists, and community members whose work is accessible in all media forms suitable for web-based publication and distribution. Submissions can take a variety of forms: essays, multimedia pieces, films (videos), digital installations, as well as others.
R3 currently publishes in English. However, as we continue to grow and develop our editorial staff, we look forward to the day when we may offer translations and accept submissions in a variety of languages.
R3 admires the ways in which BTS, their art, and their fanbase together embody the principles of a “rhizomatic” system:
- Defined by diversity, connections, and constant growth
- No singular center or authority
- Full potential realized through collectivity
R3 believes that exploring such a system also requires a “rhizomatic” approach and aims to incorporate these principles into our own practices.
However, we would like to emphasize that R3 is just one small “node” in this diverse, global, and complex system. We aim to reflect and honor this diversity but do not wish to misrepresent ourselves as fully capturing it.
Taking the “rhizome” as an initial framework for achieving our mission, R3 commits to the following values:
Externally focused values: journal audience and contributors
Everyone is Welcome
R3’s endeavor towards rhizomatic connection means we hold precious the unique and compelling contributions of diverse peoples, places, objects, and relations. Valuing this means creating a space in which Everyone Is Welcome.
Value in Action:
- R3 welcomes submissions from new and experienced authors and artists.
- R3 welcomes submissions from individuals at various stages of their life (and fan) journeys. Contributors are asked to reflect on their relationship with BTS and ARMY and how this impacts their work, and disclose this as a “positional statement” (for AA) or “artist statement” (for CC and SS).
In order for R3 to truly honor Everyone is Welcome, we must also endeavor to make our space Accessible.
While developing our capacities will take time, we envision our space as one that dynamically addresses barriers to access and removes obstacles that make navigating R3 issues and submissions challenging; this means being sensitive to the needs of our readers and contributors (i.e., physical, cognitive, linguistic, economic, cultural, etc.).
Value in Action:
- R3 is an open-access journal, which means it is free to access and free to submit.
- R3 is an interdisciplinary online journal, which facilitates global participation and readership.
- We actively engage with contributors to discuss language and semantic choices to keep prose readable and accessible to readers who are not native English speakers. We reject the use of language to create barriers.
R3 recognizes that inherent to diverse perspectives and experiences is conflict, and we want our space to engage in that tension. [No mud, no lotus.] We see conflict as a catalyst for learning and growth.
However, there is a way to navigate through conflicting ideas and perspectives without demeaning one another or causing harm. With BTS as a model, we encourage individuals to honor each other’s dignity and respect each other’s needs as they come together so that all may enjoy.
Creating an Accessible space in which Everyone Is Welcome necessitates the creation of safety and urging individuals to operate from a perspective of Mutual Respect.
Value in Action:
- R3 offers guidelines for maintaining mutual respect within our journal spaces, and members are required to adhere to the R3 Code of Conduct.
- Reviewers are provided with detailed guidelines on how to engage and provide feedback on contributors’ work; it is important to R3 that contributors feel respected and supported throughout the process of submission, editing, and publication.
- R3 endeavors to always come from a place of Mutual Respect for our readers, followers, contributors, and the larger ARMY community.
Internally focused values: journal content and structure
BTS, ARMY, and rhizomatic thought further recognize that people, places, ideas, and objects are not just one thing; they are Multi-Dimensional in nature.
R3 values engagement in different forms of knowledge creation and sharing and appreciates that people learn and express themselves in a variety of ways. R3 is structured as a Multi-Dimensional journal to allow room for multifaceted exploration.
Value in Action:
- R3 welcomes Academic Article submissions that present interdisciplinary examinations of the art, fandom, economic effects, and sociocultural forces of and surrounding BTS and ARMY.
- R3 welcomes Creative Collection submissions that offer original creative work inspired by BTS and its members and support the restorative process of creative expression.
- R3 welcomes Supplemental Story submissions that add to a living repository of personal narratives, oral histories, and stories of individuals impacted by BTS over time, borders, and experiences.
Intersection & Interaction
The full power and beauty of a rhizome is realized through the collective. R3 celebrates the beautiful collision of many different experiences and wants to provide a space that allows new connections to form through the Intersection & Interaction of its Multiple Dimensions.
Value in Action:
- Each standard issue of R3 interweaves a combination of Academic Articles, Creative Collections, and Supplemental Stories. R3 does not wish to emphasize one dimension more than another, but rather celebrates the perspectives generated by each dimension and encourages readers to draw their own connections between them.
Authenticity, Critical Expression, and Creative Expression
In creating a web of Multi-Dimensional Intersection & Interaction, R3 wants individuals to bring their best selves and to Speak Yourself.
To R3, Speak Yourself means tapping into your authenticity, being open to critical examination, and finding the means to express yourself creatively to best tell your story. Learning to Speak Yourself is a dynamic process, and R3 is committed to supporting our community in their journey to refine their voice.
Value in Action:
- R3 offers contributors constructive peer review (AA) and creative communications coaching (CC and SS) to aid in their growth process.
- R3 encourages constructive criticism and allows readers to provide perspective via letters to the editors.
How we began
Like the title of the song Serendipity, or ‘the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way,’ the BTS phenomenon itself embodies serendipity.”— Lee, J. (2018). BTS Art Revolution: BTS Meets Deleuze. Seoul: Parrhesia, p. 18
Read our story…
In September 2019, Twitter and serendipity brought together a group of BTS’s ARMY. In a tweet, Twitter user BTS & Books had fervently asserted that BTS’s HYYH series, which focuses on an exploration of youth, “the most beautiful moment in life,” must be recognized as a work of truly complete artistic expression. That post was the genesis of a thread that enthusiastically grew as one ARMY comment led to another, and the discussion about art and analysis spontaneously sparked the idea of writing scholarly articles about various aspects of BTS’s artistry and influences. Once that core idea was explicitly voiced by KT-June, it rapidly and organically blossomed into a group chat about producing an independent, online, scholarly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to work related to BTS. The passion within the group was immediate and an unusual synergy among strangers emerged.
The group includes ARMYs from many disciplines and backgrounds, each of whom brings specific talents and knowledge to the endeavor. As the chat grew, we identified our mission and short-term goals and tasks to complete. In a very short time, the vision took shape and The Rhizomatic Revolution Review  began. The title of our journal pays homage to ARMY, BTS’s many impacts, and their debut date.
Dr. Lee’s book, quoted above, was one of the inspirational forces behind the genesis of this group. We are very grateful to her for her scholarship and support. The English version of her book can be purchased in digital (Kindle) or paperback from Amazon.
This is not a collection of part-objects but a living block, a connecting of stems by which the traits of a face enter a real multiplicity or diagram with a trait of an unknown landscape… Thus opens a rhizomatic realm of possibility effecting the potentialization of the possible, as opposed to arborescent possibility, which marks a closure, an impotence.”— Deleuze G., Guattari F., (1987). A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. B. Massumi, University of Minnesota Press, p. 190
Why do we love rhizomes so much?
Our journal name was inspired by the philosophical concept of the rhizome, developed by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in their book A Thousand Plateaus, and later applied to the “BTS Phenomenon” in the book by Dr. Lee Jiyoung, BTS, Art Revolution: BTS Meets Deleuze.
The original botanical term refers to plants, such as ginger and turmeric, whose roots emerge from nodes and fuse with other rootstocks as they grow horizontally to form a complicated and intertwined subterranean network. If any part of the rhizome is separated from the main system, it may live on and sprout a new plant.
Deleuzian philosophy adopts this term to describe systems that demonstrate an acentric and horizontal (non-hierarchical) structure. A rhizomatic system is defined by constant change. Its dimensions increase as new connections form. The rhizomatic system is marked by its ability to assimilate that which is “other” — it is an assemblage of heterogeneities without a clear subject or object.
Dr. Lee’s book explains in great detail how the “BTS phenomenon” (the unique and symbiotic relationship between BTS and their fanbase ARMY, as well as the affiliated activities of both) demonstrates the principles of a rhizomatic system. As such, it is not something that can be fully characterized by studying any node in isolation. She then coins the term “network-image” to describe an artform constituted by a collection of work that is continually co-produced by both artist and spectator through mobile sharing in the digital age.
The Rhizomatic Revolution Review  (R3) is founded on the understanding that a comprehensive analysis of BTS requires an interdisciplinary approach. We welcome submissions from all fields, and encourage the study of the diverse assemblage of topics embodied by the “BTS phenomenon” and their “network-image.”
Editorial Board 2021-22
Please feel free to contact the Editorial Board directly at [email protected]
Advisory Board 2020-21
Dr. Colette Balmain
Dr. Han Oul
Kang Hyo Young
Dr. Lee Jeeheng
Dr. Lee Jiyoung