Research activity per year

Personal profile


BA/MA (Leiden), PhD (SOAS)

Research interests

  • Korean culture and society
  • Consumption and everyday life
  • East Asian entertainment and popular culture
  • Heritage and cultural conservation


Fascinated by the mechanics of cultural policy and the convergence of major cultural phenomena, Roald analyses cultural industries, performance and consumption in Korea from the early twentieth century to the present. He currently serves as President of the Korean Studies Association of Australasia (KSAA), and is a member of the editorial board of Korean Studies (Univ. of Hawai`i), The Review of Korean Studies (AKS), and the Journal for Korean and Asian Arts (Korean National University of Arts).

Career highlights 

Convener, Master of Asian and Pacific Studies (2019-2020); Director, Korea Institute (2017–2019); School DA and Deputy Director HDR (2016–2017); Head, CHL Dept of East Asian Studies (2015–2017); KSAA board member (since 2012); Program Director, Master's in Contemporary Asian Studies (University of Amsterdam, 2005); Branch Head, International Institute of Asian Studies (University of Leiden, 2005); Program Coordinator, SEPHIS, International Institute of Social History (Amsterdam, 2004-2005); Food Critic, Time Out (1995-2000).

Research awards

  • Korean Ministry of Education award for excellence in Korean studies — for his co-edited volume K-pop: The international rise of the Korean music industry, in Dec. 2016.

Teaching awards/nominations

  • Nominated for College Teaching Award for Excellence in Supervision, in 2017.
  • Nominated for “Wattle Oscar” for Modern Korean 2, in 2014.
  • ANU Commendation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, in 2012.
  • “Wattle Oscar” for the online learning environment for Modern Korean 1, in 2011.
  • Nominated for College Teaching Award across 6 categories, incl. Excellence in Supervision, in 2011.
  • Nominated for College Teaching Award across 2 categories, in 2010.

Research interests

Current student projects


Researcher's projects

  • Accelerating Movements: The Introduction of Modern Time Management in Japanese Colonies. This project investigates the Japanese government's efforts to promote modern timekeeping regimes in its former colonies Korea, Taiwan, and Manchuria. Like other colonial powers, the Japanese regarded colonial subjects as being behind the times and lazy. The Western calendar and associated time-keeping standards represented modernity; by promising cultural progress and increased productivity, their introduction helped justify annexation and became a priority for businesses that relied on effective time management. How did the Japanese government promote the notion of punctuality in Korea and its other colonies, and how did it affect the colonial experience?

Past student projects

  • Catherine Hallett (PhD, 2020) - "Deconstructing Hierarchy and Power Relations in the Traditional Performing Arts of Japan: The Music of Kamigata Rakugo."
  • Benny Tong (PhD, 2019) - "Singing in Life's Twilight: Serious Karaoke as Everyday Aging Practice in Urban Japan."
  • Meghan Downes (PhD, 2016) - "(Un)toward Progress: Stories of Modernity and Development in Indonesian Film and Fiction."

Expertise Areas

  • Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology
  • Consumption and Everyday Life


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