Mathieu Berbiguier is a PhD candidate in Korean Studies (Asian Languages and Cultures) at UCLA, currently (hopefully) wrapping up. He has been a K-pop fan for 15 years. During that time, he was always interested in observing how other people were enjoying it but also in self-reflecting on his stances and experiences as a K-pop fan who lived in France, Korea, and the US. This inspired the focus of his thesis that tries to assert K-pop as a relevant object of study in Korean Studies (it may sound obvious for people outside the field, but it’s not!) by looking at the power dynamics between K-pop fans inside AND outside Korea.
Even though he loves fandom and fandom studies, he cannot say that he is a very “active” fan. He is more of a lurker and enjoys reading discourse rather than producing it. He has been through several stages of fandom and also had his BTS Army phase — but right now, he is more focused on NCT.