Crystal S. Anderson

Crystal S. Anderson

Crystal S. Anderson


Media studies, popular culture, popular music, visual culture, literature and audience and fan reception

Crystal S. Anderson (PhD) works within the fields of Transnational American Studies, Black Internationalism and Global Asias, focusing on cultural studies, including popular culture, media studies, visual culture, audience reception and literature. Her 2020 book, Soul in Seoul: African American Music and K-pop, explores the impact of African American popular music on contemporary Korean pop, R&B and hip-hop and the role of global fans as the music press. Her 2013 book, Beyond the Chinese Connection: Contemporary Afro-Asian Cultural Production, uses the films of Bruce Lee to interpret cross-cultural dynamics in post-1990 novels, films and anime. She has published articles on Afro-Asian cultural studies in several journals including African American Review, MELUS, Ethnic Studies Review and Extrapolation as well as book chapters on masculinity in K-pop and Afro-Japanese representation in art. She also manages several digital humanities projects, including KPK: Kpop Kollective, the oldest and only public scholarship site on K-pop for academics and fans. A veteran blogger on Asian popular culture, she is also a former associate chief editor for hellokpop.

Current Research

KPOPIANA. Collaborative information database that aggregates and curates information about Hallyu-era K-pop artist and groups using Omeka. Develops and implements research training programs for student research assistants.

KPOPCULTURE. 2012-present. Digital humanities project that curates global Korean popular music (K-pop) through digital exhibits on music, choreography and creative personnel using Omeka.  Develops and implements research training programs for student research assistants.

Selected Publications


Soul in Seoul: Black Popular Music and K-pop. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2020.

Beyond ‘The Chinese Connection’: Contemporary Afro-Asian Cultural Production. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2013.


Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

 “The Afro-Asiatic Floating World: Post-Soul Implications of the Art of iona rozeal brown.”  African American Review 41.4 (2007): 655-666.

 “These—Are—the ‘Breaks’: A Roundtable Discussion on Teaching the Post-Soul Aesthetic.” African American Review 41.4 (2007): 787-804.

 “ ‘The Girl Isn’t White’:  New Racial Dimensions in Octavia Butler’s Survivor.”  Extrapolation 47.1 (2006): 35-50.

 “Racial Discourse and Black-Japanese Dynamics in Ishmael Reed’s Japanese by Spring.” MELUS 29. 3/4 (2004): 379-396.

 “Chinatown Black Tigers: Black Masculinity and Chinese Heroism in Frank Chin’s Gunga Din Highway.” Ethnic Studies Review 26.1 (2003): 67-86.


Edited Collections

 “Hybrid Hallyu: The African American Music Tradition in K-pop.” Global Asian American Popular Culture. Ed. Tasha Oren, Shilpa Dave and Leilani Nishime. New York: New York University Press, 2016. 290-303.

 “Urban Geishas: Reading Race and Gender in iROZEALb’s Paintings.” Traveling Texts and the Work of Afro-Japanese Cultural Production: Two Haiku and a Microphone. Ed. William H. Bridges IV and Nina Cornyetz. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015. 31-44.

 “HallyU.S.A: America’s Impact on The Korean Wave.” The Global Impact of South Korean Popular Culture. Ed. Valentina Marinescu. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014. 123-134.

 “That’s My Man!: Overlapping Masculinities in Korean Popular Music.” The Korean Wave: Korean Popular Culture in Global Context. Ed. Yasue Kuwahara. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014. 117-132.

Anderson, Crystal S. and Doobo Shim, eds. Special Issue on K-pop and K-drama Fandoms, Journal of Fan Studies, 2014.

 “When Were We Colored?: Blacks, Asians and Racial Discourse.” Blacks and Asians: Crossings, Conflict and Commonality. Ed. Hazel McFerson. Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2006. 59-77.  

 “Panthers and Dragons on the Page: The Afro-Asian Dynamic in The Black Aesthetic.”  The Black Urban Community:  From Dusk ‘Till Dawn. Ed. Gayle T. Tate and Lewis A. Randolph. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2006. 427-437.


Courses Taught

Korean Popular Culture

African American Literature to 1945

Historical Asian Fiction & Film


The Harlem Renaissance

The Post-Soul Aesthetic

The Atlantic World

Concepts in American Studies

Speculative Fiction and American Culture

African American Fiction

The Immigration Experience

Civil Rights Movements



Ph.D., American Studies, The College of William and Mary, 2000.

M.A., English, University of Virginia, 1994.

B.A., English, University of Richmond, 1992.

Recent Presentations

Invited Talks

“We Write A Song: Collaboration, Elaboration and the Foundations of K-pop.” Black Lives in Global Contexts, New York University, 2021.

“Don’t Take Away the Music”: Intertextuality, Authenticity and Hybridity in K-pop.” California State University at Irvine, 2021.

“BTS and Beyond: The Future of K-pop Studies.” Keynote address at BTS: A Global Interdisciplinary Online Conference II, 2021.

Book Talk, Soul in Seoul: African American Music and K-pop. California State University-Dominguez Hills, 2021.

“Expectation vs. Reality: K-pop and the Media.” Presentation at Center for Korean Studies Colloquium Series,  Stony Brook University, 2021.

“Drop the Beat: Music Producers, K-pop and the Architecture of Sound.” Presentation at The Korean Wave in North American Conference, George Mason University, 2021.

“Kpop: Fandom, Politics and Digital Influence.” FSN-NA Plenary Panel. Fan Studies Network  - North America, 2020.

“Groovy Everywhere: Korean R&B/Hip-Hop as a Site of Cultural Community.” Presentation at the 28th Annual Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium in the Korean Humanities, George Washington University, 2020.

“From Big Mama to Mamamoo: The Reverberation of R&B Vocals in K-pop Girl Groups.” Presentation at the 27th Annual Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium in the Korean Humanities, George Washington University, 2019.

“Black American Music and K-pop.” Panel presentation at KCON, Los Angeles, 2017-2019.

“We Study Hallyu and You Can Too!” Panel presentation at KCON, Los Angeles, 2018, 2019.

“Urban Geishas: Reading Race and Gender in iona rozeal brown’s Paintings.” Paper presented at Between African American and Japanese: Traveling Texts Symposium, New York University, 2013.

“Mansae in the USA!: “What K-pop Means in the United States.” Paper presented at Hallyu America: The Global Flow of K-pop, The Center for Korean Studies and Program in Asian American Studies, Binghamton University, 2013.

“Aaron Douglas: African American Modernist.”  Gallery talk at Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, 2007.

“The Cost of Liberty is Less than the Price of Repression: The Historical and Cultural Context of Jacob Lawrence’s John Brown Series.”  Gallery talk at the Holt/Russell Gallery, Baker University,  2006.


National Conferences

“Sonic Historiography, Genre and K-pop.” Paper presented at the IASPM-US Conference, 2021.

“ ‘U Go Girl’: Transcultural Fandom and K-pop Girl Groups.” Paper presented at the International Communication Studies Conference, Washington, DC, 2019.

“Funky Divas: Transnational Femininities and K-pop and R&B Girl Groups.” Presentation at MoPOP Pop Conference, Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle, WA, 2017.

“Sharing Sonic Homes: K-pop, Citational Practices and Black Popular Music.” Presentation at the American Studies Association Conference, Denver, CO, November 2016.

“Listen to the Music: K-pop, Black Music and Citational Practices.” Paper presented at NCORE: 28th Annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education, Washington, DC, May, 2015.

“BlackPowerYellowPeril?: Representations of Afro-Asian Connections in the 1970s.” Paper presented at the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Memphis, TN, September, 2014.

“Imperial Fields of Gold: U.S. Cultural Empire and K-pop.” Paper presented at the Association of Asian American Studies Conference, Seattle, WA, April, 2013.

"A Far East Movement: The Cultural Politics of Asian/Americans in Kpop." Paper presented at the Association of Asian American Studies Conference, Washington, DC, April, 2012.

“ ‘Old Laces, Strange Embroideries, Dim Brocades”: Orientalisms in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand.”  Paper presented at the MELUS Annual Conference, Boca Raton, FL, 2011.

In the Media

“[MAMA : THE ORIGINAL K-POP AWARDS] Full Video part.1 (ENG/JPN).” Mnet K-POP. YouTube. 28 Oct 2021.

“[MAMA : THE ORIGINAL K-POP AWARDS] Full Video part.2 (ENG/JPN).” Mnet K-POP. YouTube 28 Oct 2021.

“Experts Explain How K-pop Exploded in America.” Expert Perspectives. The New Yorker. 8 Dec 2020.

“A Look At K-pop’s Black American Influence and Activism During Black Lives Matter.” Here and Now – WBUR. 15 Sept 2020. Web.

“Bruce Lee Brings Together Black and Asian-American Audiences.” The State of Things – WUNC North Carolina Public Radio. ” 10 Sept 2013. Web.

“No ‘Gangnam Style’ on This Dance Floor.” Columbia News Service. 18 Feb 2013. Web. 

Talk Asia. CNN International. 6 Oct 2012. Broadcast.

Pan, Deanna.  “Is ‘Gangnam Style’ a Hit Because of Our Asian Stereotypes?” Mother Jones – Mixed Media.  24 Sept 2012. Web.