Stephanie Choi


Stephanie Choi headshot.

Stephanie Choi


Stephanie Choi


Postdoctoral Associate
Asia Research Institute

Research Interests

popular music culture and consumerism, digital media circulation, postcolonial feminism, immaterial labor, affective economy in South Korea and Korean diaspora


  • PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara, Music, 2020 
  • MA, Wesleyan University, Music, 2012
  • BM, Seoul National University, Music, 2008

Current Research and Biography

My research interrogates how intimacy is transacted digitally in the global entertainment business of K-pop. Employing a range of ethnographic methods and media analysis, I explore K-pop’s unique form of affective economy established upon fans’ digital surveillance, media tribalism, and gendered and racial fetishization of idol bodies. I am currently preparing my first book project, Intimate Capital: Gendered Fandom and Commodified Citizenship in Globalizing K-pop, which expands upon studies of global gender politics, affective labor, and political economies in digital media, taking into consideration case studies that investigate how international fans translate mediatized idol bodies as a way of proclaiming cultural diversity, postcolonial feminism, and anti-racism in their (trans)local societies.

Selected Publications

“Alpeseu (RPS) and Business Gay Performance in the Korean K-pop World.” Women We Love In and Around K-Pop and K-Drama in the Hallyu Era, Hong Kong University Press (forthcoming).

“Idol Training System in the K-pop Industry and Fandom.” Cambridge Companion to K-pop, Cambridge University Press (forthcoming).

Dynamic Korea and Rhythmic Form, by Katherine In-Young Lee (Wesleyan University Press, 2018), Journal of Korean Studies 24, no. 2 (2019): 422-426.


The Lise Waxer Prize, Popular Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology, 2018 

Ki Mantle Hood Prize, Southern California and Hawaii Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology, 2018

Graduate Student Dissertation Support, University of California Humanities Research

Institute, 2018

Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2018

IHC Dissertation Fellowship, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2017

Korea Foundation Fellowship for Field Research, the Korea Foundation, 2016

AKMR Prize for the Best Student Paper, the Association for Korean Music Research of the Society for Ethnomusicology, 2015

Wong Tolbert Prize (Honorable Mention), the Section on the Status of Women of the Society for Ethnomusicology, 2015

Thesis Grant and Award, the Academy of Korean Studies, 2011