Good news for BTS fans in Malaysia!
After the success of the third BTS Global Interdisciplinary Conference in Seoul last July, it has been announced that the fourth conference will be held at the Universiti Malaya (UM) in Kuala Lumpur on August 16-17.
The event will be hosted by the International Society for BTS Studies (ISBS) and organized by the Department of East Asian Studies at Universiti Malaya. ISBS is a group of academics and fans from different countries who are interested in studying the phenomenon of BTS and the dedication of its fandom, the Army.
The themes for the next BTS Global Interdisciplinary Conference in Kuala Lumpur are "BTS in Southeast Asia" and "BTS and the Future". The "BTS in Southeast Asia" section will highlight the influence of BTS in the region and explore the important developments and changes taking place among the members and their fans in the region.
Although BTS is a famous boy band from South Korea, the main objective of this conference is to look at their impact in Southeast Asian countries as well as their projected future beyond the borders of their nationality.
The members themselves have proven that BTS' influence transcends borders, especially in connecting with fans around the world, demonstrating the power of cultural exchange and the importance of promoting understanding and appreciation among diverse communities.
According to The Star, the organizers said in their statement that there are important questions regarding the future of BTS and its impact on the future, including how it will affect their fan base, especially the army. They believe that answering these questions through "BTS and The Future" will provide deep insights that can be shared academically among fans.
Referring to last year's Third BTS Interdisciplinary Conference in Seoul, many people from Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries in Southeast Asia attended. Hence the desire to organize the fourth conference in the region.
According to Professor Jimmyn Parc of the Department of East Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Universiti Malaya (UM), the purpose of the theme "BTS in Southeast Asia" is to showcase the achievements and impact of BTS in the region.
On the other hand, the conference was also held as an important part of the "New LEP" as this year marks the 40th anniversary of South Korea's Look East Policy (LEP).
In recent years, Malaysia has looked to South Korea and Japan as role models in its economic development efforts. While the LEP focuses primarily on economic aspects, it is important to note the significant impact of the cultural industry, which not only promotes culture and soft appeal, but also plays a role in stimulating economic growth.
Korean popular culture (K-pop), although initially on the fringes of the global market, has slowly but surely become a powerful force in shaping cultural trends around the world. Therefore, it is important to integrate South Korean popular culture and related industries as a crucial part of the "New LEP".
For your information, Malaysia's Look East Policy (LEP) is a foreign policy introduced by the Malaysian government in 1982. This policy aims to use South Korea and Japan as models of economic and social development for Malaysia.
Therefore, Malaysia wanted to study and emulate the practices and successes of the two countries in order to achieve sustainable economic growth and improved quality of life for its people.
The LEP is an integral part of Malaysia's foreign policy and spans many years of efforts to adopt best practices from South Korea and Japan in various fields to strengthen and advance the country.
More than 45 scholars from different parts of the world will present their scholarly works at the three-day conference. To submit a paper for the conference, participants must submit a 300-word abstract related to the themes of "BTS in Southeast Asia" and "BTS and the Future". The registration fee for conference participants and students is RM300, while the registration fee for presenters is RM500.