New Korean Studies Course for Semester 1 2018

Popular Culture in North and South Korea, Hallyu and East Asian Cultural flows.

This course critically examines the recent popularity of Korean popular culture in East Asia and beyond. The focus is on South Korean pop music, gaming culture and TV dramas. However, we will also be considering North and South Korean graphic novels and cinema. The course also situates the recent Hallyu (Korean Wave) phenomenon within the history of cultural flows in East Asia and we examine the processes that have contributed to the increased consumption of Korean cultural product inside and outside the Korean peninsula. One primary focus will be on the analysis of critical approaches to the understanding of North Korean state media and commercial South Korean cultural output. In particular, we analyze how state centered promotion policies are tied up with notions of cultural nationalism. The aim is to move beyond fandom and to encourage students to situate the production of popular culture within the domestic and regional political, economic, commercial and industrial contexts and to critically analyze popular culture using a variety of methodological approaches. Each week students will be introduced to different methodological frameworks they can utilize to unpack popular culture. In their readings, they will also be exposed to a variety of approaches to the analysis of popular culture case studies.

The lessons will be based on the home reading of relevant academic materials and classroom discussions, presentations, mini-lectures and clips from films, TV drama, pop music videos.

The classes will be held in English and this course is suitable for students taking the class as an elective. Suggested pre-course reading: Andrew David Jackson & Colette Balmain. Korean Screen Cultures: Interrogating Cinema, TV, Music and Online games. Oxford: Peter Lang Ltd: January 2016; Youna Kim, The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global, Routledge: 2013. For non-Korean Studies students, there are NO pre-course formal requirements.