EVENT:  Presented by the UCI Center for Critical Korean Studies and Hyundai Motor America, the Korean Hip-Hop and New Explorations of Afro-Asian Identity Conference will bring together the world’s foremost Korean, Korean American and African American studies scholars working on hip-hop. Enriching academic talks on campus will be accompanied by the first Afro-Korean Hip-Hop Festival, with an evening concert featuring Tiger JK, Yoon Mi-rae, Bizzy and hip-hop legend Kurtis Blow.

WHEN/WHERE:  The conference is from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 7, in Room 1030 of Humanities Gateway (bldg. 611, grid D4 on campus map:(https://www.parking.uci.edu/maps/documents/UCI-CampusCoreMap.pdf). The concert is from 7-10 p.m. at the Irvine Barclay Theatre (bldg. 1, grid D5 on campus map).

INFORMATION:  The conference talks and panels are free and open to the public. Tickets to the concert range from $25 to $50 and are available here. Parking is available in the Student Center Parking Structure (grid C/D5 on campus map) for $13 per day or $2 per hour. Media planning to attend should contact Pat Harriman at 949-824-9055 or pharrima@uci.edu or Annabel Adams at 949-824-8925 or amadams@uci.edu.


8:30 a.m. Opening remarks by Tyrus Miller, dean of UCI’s School of Humanities

8:40 a.m. Keynote address by Adam Bradley, professor of English and director of the Laboratory for Race & Popular Culture at the University of Colorado Boulder

9:30 a.m. Panel on language and the making of Korean (American) identity, moderated by Joseph Jeon, UCI professor of English and director of the campus’s Center for Critical Korean Studies

1:10 p.m. Panel on Korean hip-hop communities within and beyond the metropole, moderated by CedarBough Saeji, visiting assistant professor of East Asian languages & cultures at Indiana University Bloomington

2 p.m. Conversation with music critics Kim Bong-hyeon and Kim Youngdae

3 p.m. Panel on challenging the mainstream, constructed Blackness and misogyny in Korean hip-hop, moderated by Shelleen Greene, associate professor of cinema & media studies at UCLA

4:45 p.m. Conversation with rappers Kurtis Blow, Tiger JK and Bizzy

A full schedule of events can be found here. 

BACKGROUND:  The conference is organized by Kyung Hyun Kim, founding director of the UCI Center for Critical Korean Studies and professor of East Asian studies; and CedarBough Saeji (identified above). Tiger JK is a South Korean rapper who has attained iconic status in Korean hip-hop and is often credited with bringing the genre of hip-hop into K-pop. Yoon Mi-rae, is widely regarded as the best female Korean rapper. Together with Bizzy, they form the musical group MFBTY. This concert will feature a special opening-act appearance by Kurtis Blow, who – with a catalogue of hits including “The Breaks” and “If I Ruled the World” – is a creative force in hip-hop, responsible for hits by The Fat Boys and Run DMC.


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