Dr. Dal Yong Jin, Director and Distinguished Professor, School of Communication

Dal Yong Jin completed his Ph.D. at the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Jin’s major research and teaching interests are on digital platforms and digital games, globalization and media, transnational cultural studies, and the political economy of media and culture. Jin has published numerous books and journal articles. Jin’s first book, titled Korea’s Online Gaming Empire, was published by MIT Press in 2010. He has continued to publish several books, including New Korean Wave: transnational cultural power in the age of social media (University of Illinois Press, 2016) and Smartland Korea: mobile communication, culture and society (University of Michigan Press, 2017). His new book includes Globalization and Media in the Digital Platform Age (Routledge, 2019).

Hyejin Jo (she/her), PhD Candidate, School of Communication

Hyejin's research focuses on the intersections of popular culture, digital platforms, and gender. She is currently working on her doctoral thesis about how human feelings and labour are platformized in the K-pop scene.

MA Thesis: A Feminist Political Economy of the Korean Popular Music Industry

Woochul Kim, PhD Student, School of Communication

Woochul Kim has an MSc, Media, Communication, & Development, London School of Economics and Political Science and another MA in Korean Film Studies, Chungang University, Korea. He has worked as a news photographer, journalist, and TV program producer for major broadcast television networks in Korea. He also shared his field experiences with university students as a lecturer in Korea. His interest lies in transnational media and culture, audience participatory culture, and media and fan activism.

Seoyeon Park, PhD Student, School of Communication

Seoyeon has an MA in Mass Communications from Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea. He has been focusing on how capitalist society and new media technologies have driven each other's changes. His recent research interest is to understand the role of capital and state in constructing the social meaning and function of new technology with the critical lens of the political economy of communication and STS. In 2021, He published a book based on his MA thesis: 메가플랫폼 네이버: 한국인터넷 산업의 성장과 그늘 [Megaplatform Naver: The development of the Korean Internet industry and its shadow]. 

Ben Scholl, PhD Student, School of Communication

Ben has an MA in Communication & Social Justice and Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Business Administration Co-op, from the University of Windsor. He situates his research within games studies, with a strong interest in esports. His ethnographic research has explored the institutionalization of Canadian collegiate esports from the perspective of student-athletes. While studying in SFU’s PhD program his attention has shifted towards place-making and affect in transdigital assemblages, specifically competitive gaming, live streaming, and virtual music festivals. More broadly his interests include: games studies, transnational culture, algorithmic culture, ethnography, institutionalism, political economy, and new-materialism.

MA Thesis: An Ethnography of Early Canadian Varsity Esports

PhD Dissertation: Material After All: Re-framing the material constitutive elements of transdigital-place in Canadian varsity esports (working title)

Judy Yae Young Kim, MA Student

BA with Distinction, Communication, Simon Fraser University

Judy (Yae Young) Kim received her BA (with distinction) at Simon Fraser University in Communication with a minor in Sociology. As a member of the Korean diaspora and an avid K-pop fan, she has always been fascinated with the globalization of Korean pop culture (Hallyu). For her MA, she hopes to study how the growth of the international popularity of Korean pop culture has had an impact on the representation of East Asians in Western mainstream media and in turn, how Asian media systems shape themselves for a global palette. Her other research interests include critical race studies, feminism studies, and cultural studies.

Tvine Donabedian, MA

MA, Communications, Simon Fraser University
BA, Anthropology, Concordia University

Situating itself within the frameworks of musical affect and relational labour, Tvine's research focuses on individual healing practices among music fans, as informed by their fan communities and idols. Her dissertation looks at the ways in which BTS fans approach the group, its members, and the fandom structures as avenues of healing. Her creative and academic work has been featured in a variety of publications including Asia Marketing Journal, Arc Poetry magazine, Graphite Publications, and Nectar Poetry. Tvine has chapters in the two forthcoming edited volumes "New Queer Television: From Marginalization to Mainstreamification" and a BTS book project stemming from the 2021 BTS conference proceedings at California State University, Northridge. 

Courtney McLaren, MA

Exploring the ways in which fan communities interact with fannish objects and each other in both digital and physical spaces, Courtney’s research seeks to create space for fan voices in order to better understand how affect and perceived community belonging influence the ways in which the contemporary digital mediascape impacts cultural interaction, negotiation, and exchange. Her thesis explores these themes through an investigation of K-pop fans in Canada, and examines how the affective identities and attachments K-pop fans form as a result of their fandom plays a role in fan participation within fandom as well as impacts the development of perceptions and understandings of differences across cultures. Her co-written paper titled “You Can’t Help But Love Them”: BTS, Transcultural Fandom, and Affective Identities drawing from her thesis research was published in Korea Journal in 2020. More broadly, Courtney’s research interests include transcultural fandom, affect theory, relational labour, and perceptions of authenticity within fan communities.

MA Thesis: ‘They Make Me Very Happy’: Practices, Perceptions, And Affective Connections of K-pop Fans in Canada

Jasmine Proctor, MA

Jasmine Proctor's research explores the relationship between fan communities and mainstream media, and understanding how fan work online can be utilized in the political sphere. Her thesis previous work focused on the intersections of fan labour, government policies, and corporate strategies that have allowed for Korean popular music to be leveraged as a soft power tool. More broadly, she is interested in queer theory, digital cultures, labour, and transcultural fandom. Jasmine’s academic work has appeared in the Asia Marketing Journal, and she has a forthcoming chapter in the “BTS: A Global Interdisciplinary Conference II” edited volume.

MA Thesis: From Gangnam to Global: K-pop transcultural fan labour and South Korean soft power.