Korean popular culture has received attention from across the globe for more than 20 years through K-drama, K-cinema, K-pop, K-beauty, webtoon, video games, mukbang (a live-streamed eating show), and so on. This course examines the global popularity of Korean popular culture, known as the Korean Wave (Hallyu). In addition to providing a comprehensive understanding of contemporary Korean culture, society, and politics through popular cultural products, the course will teach a variety of critical tools to interpret them. For example, how would you interpret the inclusion of traditional Korean games for children in Squid Game and its relevance to contemporary Korean society? How would you interpret the scene with the bomb under the bridge in Psy's "Gangnam Style" music video in relation to Korean history? Why is mukbang popular among younger generation in Korea? Through readings, screenings, listening, and discussions, students will learn why and how popular culture is inevitably tied to history, culture, and society. The class will also look at the role of media in understanding how South Korea comes to create a vibrant pop culture scene and why global audiences from diverse racial and generational backgrounds relish Hallyu. Successful students will gain the skills to critically interpret Korea through popular culture and understand the impact of media on cultural globalization. No background in Korean language, history, or culture is required.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU IS; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM