CFP for Issue 3.1

Call for papers for a special issue of Global Storytelling: Journal of Digital and Moving Images, 3.1 (July 2023), East Asian Serial Dramas in the Era of Global Streaming Services

Issue editors: Lina Qu (Michigan State University) and Tze-Lan Sang (Michigan State University)

This special issue of Global Storytelling: Journal of Digital and Moving Images focuses on East Asian serial dramas in the era of global streaming services and addresses aspects of the interplay between local productions and global subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platforms such as Netflix and Disney+ in the US and iQiyi in China. In 2021, Squid Game, a South Korean dystopian television series created for Netflix, became an international sensation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and ranked as Netflix’s most-watched show ever. The Squid Game phenomenon has since put a spotlight on East Asian serial dramas on streaming platforms and rekindled the crave for K-dramas since the formation of the Korean Wave in the 2000s. The enormous success of Squid Game demonstrates a new future offered by global SVOD platforms to TV producers in East Asia; meanwhile, East Asian producers must balance their pursuit of “global appeal” against local political, ideological, cultural, and economic concerns.

The emergence of SVOD has revolutionized television industries as new ways of watching TV are made possible by non-linear media. The programming logics for internet-distributed television have thus shifted from scheduling to curation, as a number of scholars have argued. What and how catalogs of diverse content are curated and/or commissioned for production and how such curated programs are perceived globally and locally have emerged as central questions for the industry practitioners as well as academic researchers. This special issue approaches the question from the perspective of East Asian television studies. We ask how East Asian serial dramas are curated and/or commissioned for production by global SVOD platforms as well as investigate the interplay between the global streaming industry and the production, distribution, and reception of East Asian serial dramas.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

· new opportunities and challenges for East Asian TV producers in the global streaming industry

· the transformation of K-dramas or other East Asian TV dramas under the influence of global streaming services

· how the SVOD platforms promote East Asian serial dramas to foreign viewers

· how new ways of TV viewing like binge-watching reshape the global reception of East Asian serial dramas

· the role of algorithms in curating East Asian serial dramas on the SVOD platforms

Important dates:

- Abstract submission date: by August 15, 2022; see below for details.

- Acceptances / rejections (and comments): by September 1, 2022

- Full paper submission: by November 30, 2022

- Peer Reviews completed/resubmissions: by February 28, 2023

- Manuscripts finalized and delivered for production: by March 31, 2023

- Special issue published: July, 2023

Abstract Guidelines:

Please submit an abstract of 500 words (including references) that states the paper’s main argument, method, and contribution to the theme of this special issue. Abstracts should be accompanied by a short biography (approx. 200 words).

Submissions (abstracts and full papers) should follow Global Storytelling’s guidelines.

Please send abstracts and enquiries to:

Lina Qu (

Tze-Lan Sang (

Ying Zhu (