Call for papers | From Koreanness to K-ness: Contemporary Korean Language, Culture and Society

From Koreanness to K-ness: Contemporary Korean Language, Culture and Society

Call for papers for an edited volume

Deadline for abstracts: 30 July 2023

Book editors
Dr Seryun Lee (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)
Dr Youkyung Ju-Zaveroni (SOAS University of London)

The popularity of Korean cultural content, which used to be limited to Asian countries in the past or sporadic fads such as ‘Gangnam Style’ in 2012, has now turned into a cultural phenomenon that attracts global attention. Beginning with the rise of the ‘Korean wave’, i.e. the so-called Hallyu, driven by Korean dramas in the 1990s, followed by the popularity of ‘K-pop’ in the 2000s and then the emergence of ‘K-culture’ as a broader cultural phenomenon from the 2010s onwards, the global appeal of South Korean culture has sparked an interest in various facets of Korean language, culture and society. These recent changes present a unique opportunity to reassess and reshape our approach to Korean studies, which has historically contributed to the theorisation of ‘Koreanness’ as a strong national identity significantly influenced by Confucian values. The evolving landscape of contemporary Korean culture and society invites new perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches.

Against this backdrop, this edited volume aims to conceptualise ‘K-ness’ as a way of understanding the underlying characteristics that shape the semiotic, cultural and sociological representations of contemporary Korean culture and society. By exploring themes, topics and theories linked to ongoing discussions and emerging trends in Korean studies, we seek to illuminate the multidimensional nature of ‘K-ness’. This exploration may provide not only an in-depth understanding of South Korea but also insights into interdisciplinary research on the intersection among the evolution of language, cultural diffusion and the representation of contemporary society.

Submission instructions

Contributions should be up to 6,000 words (inclusive of references, tables, figures, appendices and endnotes). Contributors must obtain copyright permission, where necessary, prior to publication. Abstracts of 400 words and a brief bio should be submitted through this form by 30 July 2023. Should you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact us ( and

Abstract submission: 30 July 2023
Notification of acceptance: 15 September 2023
Tentative publisher: Routledge