Performing “Planned Authenticity”: Diasporic Korean Girls’ Self-Photographic Play

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This article explores the digital self-photographic play of contemporary diasporic Korean teen girls living in a Midwest campus town in the United States. Drawing on postcolonial notions of “hybridity,” this article highlights the ways these girls engage in ambivalent photo practices of both identification and dis-identification with their seemingly “authentic” Koreanness,1 allowing them to reclaim their desire as a recognizable “Other” (Bhabha, 1994). Their liminal tactics in their stereotypic photo gesture offers the diasporic girls a way to plan their own articulations of (in)authenticity that challenge dominant notions of “planned authenticity” (Min-ha, 1989, p. 89) so embedded in conventional approaches to multiculturalism. Their playful use of self-photography plays a significant role in allowing them to unlock a liminal, reflexive space where they can demonstrate relational connections between and within their cultural/social positions as global girls. This study concludes by offering art educators ways of thinking about pedagogical approaches to community-based art, informal learning, and public pedagogy—particularly for diasporic, ethnic communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-340
Number of pages14
JournalStudies in Art Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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