While the phenomenon of the “Korean Wave” (Hallyu) has recently attracted a great amount of media and academic attention, this symposium aims to shed light on three relatively under-investigated aspects of Korea’s popular culture through the following sessions:

Session #1: “Before the Wave”

This session has a twofold objective: to identify older forms of Korean popular culture that existed before the onset of the Korean Wave phenomenon (late 1990s-early 2000s) and to examine the continuities and discontinuities between these older forms and the current Korean Wave.

Disciplines: Art History, Cultural History, Cultural Studies, Performance Studies, Media Studies, etc.

Session #2: “Behind the Wave”

This session aims to shed light on what is usually kept out of the spotlight by providing a behind-the-scenes look at forgotten, hidden or under-researched

aspects of the current Korean Wave.

Disciplines: Sociology, Anthropology, Media Studies,

Session #3: “Beyond the Wave”

This prospective session can be regarded as both a literary and reflection exercise on the question: what next? It is an open invitation to imagine what the Korean Wave will be like in the coming years. This session is open to writers and artists who are invited to submit a short text – (science-) fiction, essay, poem, comic strip, etc. – on this theme in Korean or in English. The selected texts will be read by their authors during this session.

Practical information

  • The symposium will take place in Leuven, Belgium
  • Presentations (c. 20 minutes) are to be given in English.
  • Travel expenses (within Europe) and accommodation costs (2 nights in Belgium) will be covered for all selected speakers.
  • The organizers plan to publish an edited volume with a selection of the papers presented at the symposium.


You are kindly requested to submit a proposal consisting of:

  1. for session #1 and #2, a 500-word abstract of the presentation; for session #3, a 2000-word abstract of the text.
  2. for all sessions, a brief (100 words maximum) profile (title, affiliation, current research, etc.).

Proposals must be digitally submitted by 31 July, 2023 to: korea@kuleuven.be


31/07/2023 Deadline for proposals submission

15/08/2023 Announcement of selection results

20/11/2023 Deadline for full paper submission

24/11/2023 International Symposium