Student working on a research project.

Globalization Of Romance In Asia

This project seeks to explain the globalization of romance and sexuality in literature, television, and other mass media through an application of cultural theory and a critical examination of nationalism’s role both in promoting and counteracting the flow of cultural products across borders and languages. To understand what Kim Hyeon-Mi has called the “simultaneity of desire” that has emerged among women belonging to the rapidly expanding middle classes of Asia will require knowledge of and interest in various popular media, including (but not limited to) Harlequin romances, film magazines, and television melodramas. Students will assist Prof. Walter Hakala in evaluating primary sources (novels, television dramas, advertisements, etc.) and secondary theoretical works for possible inclusion in undergraduate courses and publication in academic journals. Travel to the sites of cultural production (e.g., Harlequin Enterprises Ltd in New York City, Korean Broadcast System headquarters in Seoul Korea, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.) is encouraged. Preference will be given to applicants who are able to read academic prose in an Asian language. Prof. Hakala will assist students in requesting sources through UB Libraries, securing funding to visit Asian Studies library collections, and preparing a presentation at a research conference or paper for publication in a journal. Students interested in this project will need to read some introductory works on popular culture in Asia and demonstrate proficiency with bibliography software (e.g., EndNote, Bookends, Zotero) before beginning this project.

Research Project Information

Disciplines: Asian Studies, English, Media Studies, Communication, Transnational Studies, Global Gender Studies, Comparative Literature, History
Student Skill-Set Needed: reading knowledge of an Asian language (preferred), coursework on and/or travel experience in Asia (preferred), strong library research skills
Compensation: Academic Credit, Volunteer
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer


For further information on this opportunity, or to apply, contact:

Faculty Member: Walter Hakala
Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Asian Studies
Office: 315 Clemens Hall
Phone: 716-645-3419