K-pop takes center stage at USC academic forum, concert and dance competition

On September 23, more than 3,500 USC students and community members attended the university’s first K-Pop Festa. The day’s events began with an academic forum analyzing the global phenomenon of K-pop. Provost Professor Henry Jenkins moderated a discussion with graduate students from USC Annenberg, the USC Thornton School of Music, the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Communication Hye Jin Lee led a conversation with Dom Rodriguez, senior vice president and head of SM Entertainment USA. In the evening, Korean mega-star Sejeong Kim and chart-topping boy group Kingdom performed a free concert, and teams competed in an international K-pop cover dance contest.

The event was hosted by the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, the Korea Foundation for International Cultural Exchange and the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to commemorate the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and the U.S. through cultural exchange. USC Annenberg and USC Dornsife’s East Asian Studies Center worked together to bring the spectacle to the USC University Park Campus.