Arts & International Affairs: Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2018 - Page 71

ARTS & INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS This leads to the third implication of this article’s findings regarding popular culture’s role in breaking down and reinforcing binaries and boundaries. Popular culture is more than the tool or products to enhance interests of the state or business. It creates a third space where people act to articulate their agency rather than operating as simple targets of state power or mere consumers seeking entertainment pursued by business interests. By evoking historical sensibilities and emotions, popular culture is where people can connect to others beyond national boundaries. As Ling notes, “emotions are not just multiple but also transgress cultures and reconstitute politics within and across bordered worlds” (2014:582). This includes “an intimate mixing of subjectivities, where the Self ’s boundaries begin to blur with those of the Other” (Ling 2002:144). Equally important is that popular culture reinforces nationalistic sentiments and reinstates borders as well. The flow of popular culture across national borders includes de-mixing of political subjectivities by sparking historical sensibilities and intense emotive reactions. As shown in this article, these contradictory and fluid processes that popular culture engenders to spur mixing and de-mixing of subjectivities across and within national borders suggest that a serious attention needs to be paid to the workings of popular culture for understanding global politics. Acknowledgments This article was presented at the 58 th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association in Baltimore, 22–25 February 2017. The author would like to sincerely thank L.H.M. Ling, Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, anonymous reviewer, and the editorial team of Arts and International Affairs for their helpful comments and suggestions on the earlier versions of this article. Jooyoun Lee (Ph.D. in Political Science, Syracuse University) is an Associate Professor of Global Studies and Political Science at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Her main research interests include international relations theory, international/Asian security, historical memory and identity, and popular culture. Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals including Asian Politics & Policy, The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, and Pacific Focus�as well as in an edited volume, Asia in International Relations: Unlearning Imperial Power Relations. She is currently a board member and Vice President of the Southwest Conference on Asian Studies (SWCAS), America’s regional conference of the Association for Asian Studies. 70