The Postglobal Closet: Representations and Projections of Sexual Taboos in Twitter K-Pop Fanfiction

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Adrián Menéndez de la Cuesta González


The proliferation of (frequently gay) fanfiction based on K-pop idols in English or Spanish provides a good example of the current postglobal paradigm. Marginal cultures that had previously attracted few Western attention, such as Korean, are becoming hotspots that draw Western audiences and influence mainstream production in the Global North. However, when approaching experiences and perceptions of sexuality, important gaps exist between the referenced Korean society and the communities that produce and consume this fanfiction. To build their fictional Korea, authors tend to represent, project, or displace closet dynamics, taboos around same-sex attraction, and overall homophobia. To study this phenomenon, a sample of K-pop fanfics published in Twitter has been selected. The corpus is bilingual (English and Spanish). This covers the two biggest Western linguistic communities on the Internet, including Panhispanic communities and international English as koine. Both texts and reader interactions are analyzed to ascertain how Otherness is negotiated when approaching orientalized, queer-perceived people/characters. To what extent do imaginaries of the sexualized Orient shape these dynamics? Are closet-related plots a reality-effect device or do they work as generic topoi to drive the narrative?

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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