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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 factors driving consumption, the convergence of major cultural phenomena, and the mechanics of related policies, Roald analyses Korean cultural industries, performance, and fandom from the early twentieth century to the present. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Korean Studies (Univ. of Hawai`i) and the Journal for Korean and Asian Arts (Korean National University of Arts).
In previous years he has served on the editorial boards of The Review of Korean Studies (Jan. 2018–Dec. 2020), Situations: Cultural Studies in the Asian Context (Oct. 2018–Dec. 2019), Korean Journal of Popular Music (Oct. 2015–Jan. 2019), Korea Journal (March 2017–March 2019), Seoul Journal of Korean Studies (Jan. 2012–May 2018), Asian Ethnology (Jan. 2008–Dec. 2016), Journal for Asian Musicology (Sept. 2015–Oct. 2016), East Asian History (Jan. 2010–Dec. 2016), and Korean Histories (June 2009–Dec. 2015).

Career highlights 

Associate Dean, Student Experience (2020–present); President, Korean Studies Association of Australasia (KSAA; 2019–present); 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 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

  • ANU Commendation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, in 2012.
  • “Wattle Oscar” for the online learning environment of Modern Korean 1, in 2011.

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."
  • Evi Eliyanah (PhD, 2018) - “Reconfiguring Masculinity: Reel New Man and Gender Politics in Indonesia.”
  • 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
  • Entertainment and Popular Culture


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