The aim of The Rhizomatic Revolution Review (R3) is a rigorous, interdisciplinary examination and exploration of the art, fandom, economic effects, and sociocultural forces of and surrounding BTS (방탄소년단).
R3 is founded on the belief that the artistry of BTS, as well as their relationship with fans, encourages a message of mutual respect, active participation, and collective creation. Our journal aspires to create a space that facilitates engagement in these activities, with an emphasis upon supportive feedback and quality production.
The Rhizomatic Revolution Review  (R3) is an online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal focused on the impact of BTS. R3 acknowledges that academic work does not exist in isolation. Likewise, we believe that the world can benefit from the sharing of stories and art. This core belief supports the three dimensions of R3:
- Academic Articles
- Creative Collections
- Supplemental Stories
It is our hope that by providing this space for sharing, we will encourage you to place your voices and creations into conversation with the “academic” work of R3.
Work submitted under peer-review categories will undergo a blind review by a team of ARMYs, scholars, and professionals, with the intention of equipping submitted work with the benefits of collective knowledge. Reviewer feedback will be provided to the submitting creator(s) by editorial staff, with recommendations to be addressed in order to be considered for publication.
R3 encourages submissions from scholars, teachers, artists, activists, and community members whose work is accessible in all media forms suitable for web-based publication and distribution. Submissions can take a variety of forms: essays, multimedia pieces, films (videos), digital installations, as well as others.
R3 is non-profit and publishes for educational purposes only. We are independent of any institution, are not affiliated with BigHit Entertainment, and are 100% volunteer-run.
R3 currently publishes in English. However, as we continue to grow and develop our editorial staff, we look forward to the day when we may offer translations and accept submissions in a variety of languages.
How we began
Like the title of the song Serendipity, or ‘the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way,’ the BTS phenomenon itself embodies serendipity.”— Lee, J. (2018). BTS Art Revolution: BTS Meets Deleuze. Seoul: Parrhesia, p. 18
In September 2019, Twitter and serendipity brought together a group of BTS’s ARMY. In a tweet, Twitter user BTS & Books had fervently asserted that BTS’s HYYH series, which focuses on an exploration of youth, “the most beautiful moment in life,” must be recognized as a work of truly complete artistic expression. That post was the genesis of a thread that enthusiastically grew as one ARMY comment led to another, and the discussion about art and analysis spontaneously sparked the idea of writing scholarly articles about various aspects of BTS’s artistry and influences. Once that core idea was explicitly voiced by KT-June, it rapidly and organically blossomed into a group chat about producing an independent, online, scholarly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to work related to BTS. The passion within the group was immediate and an unusual synergy among strangers emerged.
The group includes ARMYs from many disciplines and backgrounds, each of whom brings specific talents and knowledge to the endeavor. As the chat grew, we identified our mission and short-term goals and tasks to complete. In a very short time, the vision took shape and The Rhizomatic Revolution Review  began. The title of our journal pays homage to ARMY, BTS’s many impacts, and their debut date.
Dr. Lee’s book, quoted above, was one of the inspirational forces behind the genesis of this group. We are very grateful to her for her scholarship and support. The English version of her book can be purchased in digital (Kindle) or paperback from Amazon.
This is not a collection of part-objects but a living block, a connecting of stems by which the traits of a face enter a real multiplicity or diagram with a trait of an unknown landscape… Thus opens a rhizomatic realm of possibility effecting the potentialization of the possible, as opposed to arborescent possibility, which marks a closure, an impotence.”— Deleuze G., Guattari F., (1987). A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. B. Massumi, University of Minnesota Press, p. 190
Our journal name was inspired by the philosophical concept of the rhizome, developed by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in their book A Thousand Plateaus, and later applied to the “BTS Phenomenon” in the book by Dr. Lee Jiyoung, BTS, Art Revolution: BTS Meets Deleuze.
The original botanical term refers to plants, such as ginger and tumeric, whose roots emerge from nodes and fuse with other rootstocks as they grow horizontally to form a complicated and intertwined subterranean network. If any part of the rhizome is separated from the main system, it may live on and sprout a new plant.
Deleuzian philosophy adopts this term to describe systems that demonstrate an acentric and horizontal (non-hierarchical) structure. A rhizomatic system is defined by constant change. Its dimensions increase as new connections form. The rhizomatic system is marked by its ability to assimilate that which is “other” — it is an assemblage of heterogeneities without a clear subject or object.
Dr. Lee’s book explains in great detail how the “BTS phenomenon” (the unique and symbiotic relationship between BTS and their fanbase ARMY, as well as the affiliated activities of both) demonstrates the principles of a rhizomatic system. As such, it is not something that can be fully characterized by studying any node in isolation. She then coins the term “network-image” to describe an artform constituted by a collection of work that is continually co-produced by both artist and spectator through mobile sharing in the digital age.
The Rhizomatic Revolution Review  (R3) is founded on the understanding that a comprehensive analysis of BTS requires an interdisciplinary approach. We welcome submissions from all fields, and encourage the study of the diverse assemblage of topics embodied by the “BTS phenomenon” and their “network-image.”
Editorial Board 2020
Dr. Candace Epps-Robertson
Dr. Chelsea Murdock
Kelly Van Houten-King