Elon University Home

Crystal Anderson

Associate Professor of English
Alamance Building 305C
2338 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
canderson14@elon.edu (336) 278-6481

Professional Expertise

Comparative Ethnic Studies

Brief Biography

Crystal S. Anderson, PhD

Associate Professor of English

Academic Diversity Fellow (2010-2014)

Teaching Interests:  American literature, American Studies, Asian film and literature, ethnic studies, African American literature and culture, speculative fiction, modernism

Research Interests:  Comparative ethnic studies (African American, Asian, Asian American) focusing on literature, visual culture, popular culture


PhD, American Studies, 2000. The College of William and Mary. Williamsburg, VA.
M.A., English, 1994. University of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA.
B.A. magna cum laude, 1992. University of Richmond. Richmond, VA.

Employment History

Elon University.  Elon, NC.  2008-present.  Associate Professor, English Department.

University of Kansas.  Lawrence, KS.  2005-2008.  Assistant Professor, American Studies.

Ohio University. Athens, OH. 2001-2005. Assistant Professor, English Department.

Sweet Briar College. Sweet Briar, VA. 1999-2001. Minority Honors Fellow, Honors Program.

Courses Taught

Elon University

  • ENG 110: Writing: Argument and Inquiry
  • ENG 223: American Literature I
  • ENG 224: American Literature II
  • ENG 238: African American Literature to 1945
  • ENG 255: Asian Film and Literature
  • ENG 255: Science Fiction
  • ENG 328: Modernism
  • ENG 337: Asian Literature of Social Change
  • ENG 355: The Harlem Renaissance
  • ENG 359: African American Novels
  • ENG/AMS 370: The Atlantic World, 1440-1880
  • GST 239: The Korean Wave
  • AMS 210: Concepts in American Studies

University of Kansas

Undergraduate Courses

  • Understanding America (Introduction to American Studies)
  • Visual Culture and the Harlem Renaissance
  • Research Seminar in American Studies (Speculative Fiction and American Culture;  The Transnational; Comparative Ethnic Studies)

Graduate Courses

  • Theorizing America
  • Seminar in The Post-Soul Aesthetic

Ohio University

Undergraduate Courses

  • Surveys in African American Poetry, Fiction and Drama
  • Tales of African American Migration
  • Satire in the African American Novel
  • Ellison’s Invisible Man and the Black Literary Tradition
  • Writing and Reading: African American Literature, African American Speculative Fiction
  • Major American Authors:  William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!

Graduate Courses

  • Tricksters in African American Literature
  • African American Responses to Faulkner
  • The Post-Soul Aesthetic

Sweet Briar College

  • Race, Class and Gender in American Popular Culture, 1848-present
  • American Studies at the Millennium
  • The Immigration Experience
  • US Civil Rights Movements
  • Asian/African American Cultural Interaction
  • Thought and Expression (Freshman Composition) 

Leadership Positions

Academic Diversity Fellow, Elon University, 2010-2014.

Coordinator, American Studies Program, Elon University, 2010-2011.

Undergraduate Director, American Studies Program, University of Kansas, 2006-2008

Co-director, American Cultures Seminar, University of Kansas, Spring 2008

Co-coordinator, Interdisciplinary Jazz Studies Colloquium, University of Kansas, 2006-2007

Faculty Advisor, Black Graduate Council, Ohio University, 2002-2005

Campus Coordinator, Regional Planning Committee on VA Death Penalty Awareness Week, Sweet Briar College, 2000-2001

Current Projects

iFans: Mapping K-pop’s International Fandom. Principal investigator for qualitative study on global K-pop fandom and curator of digital humanities project that aggregates and curates information on global online K-pop fan communities. 

Hallyu Harmony: A Cultural History of Kpop. Curator of digital humanities project that chronicles the history of K-pop as well its major elements, including images, choreography and business and creative personnel.

KPK: Kpop Kollective.  Director of a collaborative focused on collaborative and discrete Hallyu-related (Korean Wave) research initiatives, including KPK: Kpop Kollective, a research blog that publishes collaborative and individual scholarship on Korean popular culture and digital humanities for the public and KPOPIANA, a collaborative database that aggregates and curates information about groups and artists of Hallyu-era Korean popular music.  

Grants Awarded

New Faculty General Research Fund Grant, University of Kansas Center for Research, 2007, $8,000

Teaching Seminar, Center for Teaching Excellence (deferred to Spring 2008), University of Kansas, $1,000

Internationalizing the Curriculum, International Programs, University of Kansas, 2007, $895

Best Practices Institute, Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Kansas, 2006, $1,000



Beyond the Chinese Connection: Contemporary Afro-Asian Cultural Production (University of Mississippi Press, 2013).
Using Bruce Lee’s films as a framework, this book interrogates cross-cultural dynamics within a transnational context.  It argues that Lee’s films prefigure negotiations with global culture by post-1990 Afro-Asian literature and visual culture that combine ethnic and national associations in ways that both challenge and reinforce homogenizing stereotypes produced by global culture. 

Hybrid Hallyu: Rhythm and Blues in K-pop. (Under contract with University of Hawaii Press).

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

“The Afro-Asiatic Floating World: Post-Soul Implications of the Art of iona rozeal brown.”  African American Review 41, no. 4 (2007): 655-666.

“ ‘The Girl Isn’t White’:  New Racial Dimensions in Octavia Butler’s Survivor.”  Extrapolation 47, no. 1 (2006): 35-50.

“Racial Discourse and Black-Japanese Dynamics in Ishmael Reed’s Japanese by Spring.” MELUS 29, no. 3/4 (2004): 379-396.

“Chinatown Black Tigers: Black Masculinity and Chinese Heroism in Frank Chin’s Gunga Din Highway.” Ethnic Studies Review 26, no. 1 (2003): 67-86.

Chapters in Peer-Reviewed Edited Collections

“That’s My Man!: Overlapping Masculinities in Korean Popular Music.” In The Korean Wave: Korean Popular Culture in Global Context, ed. Yasue Kuwahara (Forthcoming in Feburary 2014 from Palgrave MacMillian).

“Hybrid Hallyu:  The African American Music Tradition in K-pop.” In Crossroads: Asian Americans and Popular Culture, ed. Shilpa Dave, LeiLani Nishime and Tasha Oren. (Edited collection under contract with New York University Press)

“HallyU.S.A: America’s Impact on The Korean Wave.” In Hallyu Unbound: The Impact of South Korean Popular Culture in the World, ed. Valentina Marinescu. (Edited collection under contract with Lexington Books).

“When Were We Colored?: Blacks, Asians and Racial Discourse.” In Blacks and Asians: Crossings, Conflict and Commonality, ed. Hazel McFerson, 59-77.  Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2006.

"Panthers and Dragons on the Page: The Afro-Asian Dynamic in The Black Aesthetic.”  In The Black Urban Community:  From Dusk ‘Till To Dawn, ed. Gayle T. Tate and Lewis A. Randolph, 427-437. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2006.

“ ‘A Small Part of a Much Larger Story’: The Survival of Leonard Peltier.” In The Human Tradition in the Civil Rights Movement, ed. Susan M. Glisson, 289-308. Lanham, MD: Rowan and Littlefield, 2006.

Book Reviews

Review of Mulan’s Legend and Legacy in China and the United States, by Lan Dong. American Studies Journal 52, no. 1 (2012): 196-197.

Review of Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America, by Mimi Thi Nguyen and Thuy Linh Nguyen. MELUS 33, no. 4 (2008): 215-217.

Review of Caribbean Autobiography: Cultural Identity and Self-Representation, by Sandra Pouchet Paquet; Scarring the Black Body: Race and Representation in African American Literature by Carol E. Henderson; and Voices of the Fugitives: Runaway Slave Stories and Their Fictions of Self-Creation, by Sterling Lecater Bland. American Literature 76, no. 3 (2004): 608-610.

Digital Writing (non peer-reviewed)

Selected Digital Scholarship

"Pure Love f(x): Feminisms and K-pop Girl Groups." KPK: Kpop Kollective. May 12, 2013. http://bit.ly/11wLp3i.

“Can’t Stop Loving You: Fans Find Happiness, Solace in K-pop.” KPK: Kpop Kollective. December 14, 2012. http://bit.ly/11uPFuc.

“The ‘K’ in K-pop: Research Finds Korean Language, Culture Appeals to Global Fans.” KPK: Kpop Kollective. December 11, 2012. http://bit.ly/1boOktB.

“Noona, Unnie, Oppa, Hyung: Research Shows Adults Like K-pop For the Music.” KPK: Kpop Kollective. September 16, 2012. http://bit.ly/14PFqlk.

Selected Digital Essays (KPK: Kpop Kollective, research blog) 

“Is Collaboration the Only Way to Do DH?” KPK: Kpop Kollective. November 17, 2012. http://bit.ly/12BdMxH.

“Am I Doing This Right: Excavation of Korean Popular Music as Digital Humanities Project.” KPK: Kpop Kollective.  October 8, 2012. http://bit.ly/14sCdeE.

“Korean Popular Culture in Digital Humanities.” KPK: Kpop Kollective. August 3, 2012. http://bit.ly/M8WyOE.

“Let’s Call This Song Exactly What It Is: Defining K-pop.” KPK: Kpop Kollective. July 11, 2012. http://bit.ly/17CKbF3.

“The Unsung and the Unsaid in Kpop.” KPK: Kpop Kollective. January 1, 2012. http://bit.ly/tK3tpQ.

Selected Digital Essays (High Yellow, public blog)

“K-pop and Hip Hop.” High Yellow. January 20, 2013. http://bit.ly/10YiHFB.

“Of Misconceptions About Cultural Appropriation in K-pop.” High Yellow. January 12, 2013. http://bit.ly/UetqY0.

“In Defense of the Diverse K-pop Fan.” High Yellow. October 17, 2012. http://bit.ly/11rbHgg.

“Put Your Own Hair Up: Female Agency in the Historical Drama.” High Yellow. September 30, 2012. http://bit.ly/13xWmPk.

“What Does Gangnam Style Mean for (the) US?”  High Yellow. August 27, 2012. http://bit.ly/QmnuvG.

“Talking About Asians Behaving Badly: Fan Reaction to the Block-B-Jenny Hyun-MBC Blackface Controversies.”  High Yellow. March 31, 2012.  http://bit.ly/16Xprsh.

Selected Online Feature Writing and Editorials

“Where U At?: Calling the Fans of KHip-hop.” hellokpop. July 26, 2012. http://bit.ly/190CZjU.

“Lawsuits and Rice Wreaths: The Business of Kpop.”  hellokpop. May 2, 2012. http://bit.ly/12Bgkfb.

“Why Blackface is Wrong in Kpop.”  hellokpop. March 23, 2012. http://bit.ly/11rcYUH. .

“You’re In the Army Now: The Changing Impact of Enlistment on Kpop.” hellokpop. January 22, 2012. http://bit.ly/14PMK06.

“Can K-pop Break the U.S.?” The Korea Herald. October 3, 2011. http://bit.ly/1boW1zM



“Urban Geishas: Reading Race and Gender in iona rozeal brown’s Paintings.” Paper to be presented at Between African American and Japanese: Traveling Texts Symposium, New York University, October, 2013.

“Mansae in the USA!: “What K-pop Means in the United States.” Paper presented at Hallyu America: The Global Flow of K-pop, The Center for Korean Studies and Program in Asian American Studies, Binghamton University. April, 2013.

“Keep Calm and Be a K-pop Fan.” Presentation at KPOPCON, University of California, Berkeley. February, 2013.

“You Better Ask Somebody!: Kpop Fans Speak.” Presentation at KPOPCON, University of California, Berkeley. January, 2012.

“These—Are—the ‘Breaks’: A Roundtable Discussion on Teaching the Post-Soul Aesthetic.” Paper presented at Evolutionary Momentum in African American Studies: Legacy and Future Directions, Clark University. February, 2008.

“Aaron Douglas: African American Modernist.”  Gallery talk at Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, October, 2007.

“ ‘Because Some Things Never Change and Some Things Do’:  Afro-Asian Solidarity and Discord in The Matrix Trilogy.” Paper presented as part of the American Seminar—Hall Center for the Humanities, University of Kansas, November, 2006.

“The Cost of Liberty is Less than the Price of Repression: The Historical and Cultural Context of Jacob Lawrence’s John Brown Series.”  Gallery talk at the Holt/Russell Gallery, Baker University, June, 2006.

“Shaolin. . . With Rhythm: Asian Appropriations in Paul Beatty’s White Boy Shuffle.” Paper presented at Post-Soul Satire: A Symposium on the Fiction of Paul Beatty, Trey Ellis and Darius James, College of the Holy Cross, 2001.


Selected Papers Presented at National Conferences

“Imperial Fields of Gold: U.S. Cultural Empire and K-pop.” Paper presented at the Association of Asian American Studies Conference, Seattle, WA, April, 2013.

“Hybrid Hallyu: The American Soul Tradition In K-pop.” Paper presented at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference, Washington, DC, April, 2013.

"A Far East Movement: The Cultural Politics of Asian/Americans in Kpop." Paper presented at the Association of Asian American Studies Conference, Washington, DC, April, 2012.

“She Is Straight Gangster: Challenging Gender Roles in Korean Dramas.” Paper presented at the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, Honolulu, HI, January, 2012.

“ ‘Old Laces, Strange Embroideries, Dim Brocades”: Orientalisms in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand.”  Paper presented at the MELUS Annual Conference, Boca Raton, FL, 2011.

“Chinese School: Cross-Cultural and Transnational Strategies in Ping Pong Playa (2007).”  Paper presented at the Association of Asian American Studies Conference, Austin, TX, 2010.

“Orientalism and the Harlem Renaissance.”  Paper presented at the American Studies Association Conference, Oakland, CA, 2006.

“What Are You Looking At?”:  Mirrors as Reflectors of Race in the Art of Roger Shimomura and Iona Rozeal Brown.”  Paper presented at the Association of Asian American Studies Conference, Atlanta, GA, 2006.

“Harmonious Heritages: Lawson Inada’s Response to the Call of Jazz in Legends from Camp.”  Paper presented at the MELUS: Urban Ethnicities Conference, University of Chicago, 2005.

“Imagined Coalitions:  Pan-Ethnic Movements in the Fiction of W.E.B. Du Bois and George Schuyler.”  Paper presented at the Race, Nation and Ethnicity in the Afro-Asian Century Conference, Boston University, 2004.

“Stranger in the Village?: The Black Aesthetic in Maxine Hong Kingston’s Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book.” Paper presented at the MELUS: Transfronterismo: Crossing Ethnic Borders in U.S. Literatures Conference, University of Texas, San Antonio, 2004.

“The Wildest Seed Yet: New Racial Dimensions in Octavia Butler’s Survivor.” Paper presented at the College Language Association, Washington, DC, 2003.

“Nothing New Under the Sun: Race, Postmodernism and Literary Interpretative Strategies.” Paper presented at the MELUS Conference, Memphis, TN, 2001.

Papers Presented at Regional Conferences

"CrazySexyCool: Multiple Modes of Femininity in K-pop Girl Groups." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeast Conference/Association for Asian Studies, Duke University, 2014.

“Women and the Wuxia Series.”  Paper presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Southeast Conference/Association for Asian Studies: Transnational Asia: Art, History, Popular Culture and Political Economies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011. 

“Using an Orientalist Lens?: The Harlem Renaissance Photography of James Van Der Zee.”  Paper presented at the Harlem Renaissance:  Aesthetics, Values, Identity - The 23rd Annual Symposium on African American Culture and Philosophy, Purdue University 2007.

“Happily Ever After:  Asian/America in Tsui Hark’s Once Upon A Time in China.” Paper presented at the Comparative Literature Symposium on America's Asia, Asia's America, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, 2007.

“The New Color Line:  Black Authenticity and Transnational Context in African American Art.”  Paper presented at the Blacker Than Thou:  Authenticity and Identity.  The 22nd Annual Symposium on African American Culture and Philosophy Conference, Purdue University. Lafayette, IN, 2006.


2007. Commentator. “Watching the Detective: Race and Representation in Asian American and Latino Detective Fiction.” American Studies Association.

2004. Chair and Commentator. “African Americans, Asian Americans, and Whiteness in the West” Western History Association.

2003. Presider, “Writing the Dissertation.” Compact for Faculty Diversity’s Tenth Annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring.

2001. Commentator, “Race: An International Perspective” Panel, American Studies Association.

Professional Activities


Service to Journals

Co-guest editor with Doobo Shim (Sungsin Women's University, Korea), special issue on K-pop and K-drama fandoms, Journal of Fan Studies (forthcoming)

Editorial board, American Studies, 2012-present

Editorial board, Journal of Romance Studies, 2013-present

Reader, African American Review, 2005-2009

Other Service

Volunteer, Compact for Faculty Diversity:  Annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring. 2006-present

Graduate Faculty, Purdue University (2010-2013)


Coordinator, American Studies Program, Elon University, 2010-present.

Affiliated Faculty, Center for Law and Humanities, Elon University, 2008-present.

Affiliated Faculty, Asian Studies, Elon University, 2009-present.

Member, Interdisciplinary Jazz Studies Colloquium, University of Kansas, 2006-2008

Co-director, American Cultures Seminar, University of Kansas, Spring 2008

Co-coordinator, Interdisciplinary Jazz Studies Colloquium, University of Kansas, 2006-2007

Member, Aaron Douglass and the Harlem Renaissance Exhibit-Regional Committee, University of Kansas, 2005-2007

Member, Committee on Undergraduate Studies and Advising, University of Kansas, 2007

Member, CUSA Subcommittee on Advising, University of Kansas, 2007

Member, Templeton-Blackburn Scholars Selection Committee, Ohio University, 2001-2005

Faculty Advisor, Black Graduate Council, Ohio University, 2002-2005

Member, University American Studies Steering Committee, Ohio University, 2003-2005

Faculty Advisor, Ethics Bowl Team, Sweet Briar College, 1999-2001

Campus Coordinator, Regional Planning Committee on VA Death Penalty Awareness Week, Sweet Briar College, 2000-2001

Co-Curricular Advisor, Sweet Briar College, 2000-2001


Member, Literature Concentration Committee, 2008-present

Member, Special Projects Committee, 2012-present

Undergraduate Director, American Studies Program, University of Kansas, 2006-2008

Chair, Undergraduate Studies Committee, American Studies Program, University of Kansas, 2006-2008

Member, Undergraduate Studies Committee, American Studies Program, University of Kansas 2005-2006

Member, Search Committee, African American Race and Gender, American Studies/Women Studies, University of Kansas, 2005

Member, Graduate Committee, Ohio University, 2002-2005

Member, Graduate Admissions Subcommittee, Ohio University, 2002-2005

Member, Search Committee, African American Literature-African American Studies, Ohio University, 2002

Member, Search Committee, African American Literature Visiting Professor-African American Studies, Ohio University, 2001

Member, Search Committee, Nineteenth Century American Literature-English Department, Ohio University, 2001

Member, Search Committee, Minority Dissertation Scholar-in-Residence-English Department, Ohio University, 2001

Member, Honors Committee, Sweet Briar College, 1999-2001