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ARMY, scholars and R3 members gathered at Kingston University
Dozens of ARMY and scholars from different parts of the world united during the weekend of January 4th and 5th, 2020 in London for Kingston University’s first BTS Global Interdisciplinary Conference.
The Conference, which was organized by Dr. Colette Balmain, member of the Advisory Board of the The Rhizomatic Revolution Review  (R3), welcomed presentations, keynotes, and workshops about BTS’s musical and visual content, their economic and sociocultural effects, and the dynamics of ARMY; in addition to musical & dance performances that celebrated the Korean group’s musicality.
More than 100 presentations took place, encompassing a wide range of fields and themes, including: visual art, history of South Korea, education, economy, tourism, marketing, fandom culture, cyberculture, activism, gender studies, and others. Besides Dr. Balmain, several members of R3 attended and presented their work at the conference.
Professors Lee Jiyoung and Lee Jeeheng, members of our Advisory Board and authors of BTS, Art Revolution and BTS and ARMY Culture, respectively, were amongst the conference’s keynote speakers, as well as Kim Youngmi, who spoke about her experience organizing “Beyond&Behind [BTS],” the first international forum dedicated to BTS.
Dr. Balmain, in addition to hosting the Conference, presented her work “Queering the heteronormative script: empowerment and agency in BTS’s fanfictions.” Members of our Editorial Board Lyna Etienne, Dr. Candace Epps-Robertson and Dr. Chelsea Murdock were also present.
In a panel focused on Academics and Education, Dr. Epps-Robertson presented her work “A Global ARMY of Hope: BTS and a Pedagogy for Global Citizenship.” Epps-Robertson presented an analysis on the relationship between BTS and ARMY as a case study for critical pedagogies that seek to support global citizenship. A touching moment occurred when she introduced her 13-year-old daughter, through whom she was introduced to BTS, and with whom she shares the love and appreciation for the group’s music and message.
Dr. Murdock led a workshop on “BTS Transmedia: English Composition and Participatory Culture / The BTS Transmedia Escape Room,” in which she shared lessons about incorporating BTS into English composition classes based on her own experience. Participants then solved clues in a BTS-themed “escape room.” In the end, participants had to share their name and a story to escape.
You can check the complete program of the BTS Global Interdisciplinary Conference at the event’s page in Kingston University website. You can also check more pictures and enthusiastic stories scrolling through the hashtag #BTSandKU on Twitter!
R3 also had a booth at the Conference, and we had the pleasure to meet lots of lovely people who expressed interest in our journal.
We hope to receive their applications soon, and hereafter, we expect many of them to publish with us!