Current Work: BTS, ARMY, and the possibilities for Change & Exchange

You will find a selection of Dr. Epps-Robertson’s current work on this page. Contact her for more information on this research, publications, or presentations.

BTS perform on stage at Sofi Stadium in December of 2021. In this image, BTS is on stage while confetti fills the air. The stadium is full of fans.

BTS and Pedagogy: Commitments to Joy and Social Justice

BTS is arguably one of the most popular bands in the world. With music that crosses genres and invites reflection, they provide their fans (known as ARMY) with joy, hope, comfort, and inspiration. As artists, they have inspired fans to develop philanthropic fanbase organizations, academic conferences, and much more; BTS’s influence surfaces and connects across borders and languages. As an educator with over twenty years in a variety of classrooms, Dr. Epps-Robertson has found BTS to be a source of inspiration for thinking about issues related to pedagogy, centering joy in teaching and learning, the importance of hope, and how active listening can aid us in the design of curricula and programs to help students think about their place in the world in relation to others. She is currently working on publishing essays and articles related to BTS and teaching. Please see the links below to explore her work in this area. 

Exploring Inspirations for Teaching and Learning: Making Room for Joy

Reflecting on BTS’s 2021 UNGA Address: A call to hope and a reminder to listen

(a) BTS influenced pandemic pedagogy: What’s given me a reason to hope, a reason to pause, and a push to keep going

Reflections on BTS and Critical Pedagogies (Presented at the BTS: A Global Interdisciplinary Online Conference, 2021)

A Global ARMY of Hope: BTS and A Pedagogy for Global Citizenship (Presented at the BTS: A Global Interdisciplinary Conference, 2020) 

#BTSSyllabus Project

The #BTSSyllabus Project is an in-progress, collaborative project aiming to make research, teaching, and writing about BTS more accessible. Using a crowdsource approach, we aim to catalog content from a range of genres (academic articles, film, vlogs, blogs, journalistic, archival) and authors/creators. This project is run by Dr. Candace Epps-Robertson, Dr. Jinha Lee, and Cassie Nguyen, from collective contributions.

For more on the history and impetus for the #BTSSyllabus, see “The #BTSSyllabus is a global resource fueled by an ARMY of experts” (The Conversation, June 2021)

BTS and ARMY: A Synergistic Experience

Dr. Epps-Robertson has offered lectures, presentations, and reflections about BTS and ARMY, focusing on social justice, fandom-led education initiatives, community archives, fan experiences, and transcultural exchange. Below, please find a selection of related topics and links.

Dr. Epps-Robertson appeared on Arirang TV’s Foreign Correspondents as a guest scholar sharing about BTS and global pop culture.

In an interview with students from Boston University’s COMLAB, Dr. Epps-Robertson discusses the cultural impact of BTS, and her ongoing journey of experiencing their music and art.

Listen to Dr. Epps-Robertson share her research on BTS for The Institute for the Arts & Humanities at the University of North Carolina.

In October 2020, Dr. Epps-Robertson presented a webinar, “BTS and ARMY: A Synergistic Experience in Transcultural Fandom,” as part of the webinar series sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea (Washington, D.C.). and the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University. This webinar introduced BTS, the fandom, and its impact in North America.

BTS and ARMY: A Case Study of Transcultural Fan Activism and Accountability

In this talk, Dr. Epps-Robertson highlighted the ongoing activism and public  education efforts of ARMY around social justice issues.


What can BTS and ARMY teach us about archival practices for representation  in rhetorical studies? Please see Dr. Epps-Robertson’s remarks from “The Octalog IV: The Politics of Rhetorical Study in 2021.”

You can find more on Dr. Epps-Robertson’s research and writing around literacy, archives, and social justice here

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