• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies

This course introduces students to the world of pop culture in East Asia including collecting, advertising, movies, cosplay, manga & anime, games and gadgets, fashion, K-pop and online communities. Students are introduced to a number of major theoretical paradigms in cultural studies, which they are then encouraged to apply to aspects of popular culture in East Asia, with slight emphasis on Korea. Not all topics will deal with the present, as important aspects of pop culture during the early years of the twentieth century are also deliberated.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Discuss popular practical and theoretical paradigms that apply in cultural studies;
2. Examine the historical, social and cultural environments that produce pop products and use this knowledge to develop their critical thinking, and their analytic and research skills;
3. Demonstrate an understanding of what may nurture the formation of fan communities;
4. Publicly present their ideas and defend their positions.

Indicative Assessment

Five literature reviews of 1000 words 35%
Participation 15%
Presentation 10%
Final essay (2500 words) 40%

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The course comprises a weekly load of three contact hours. It demands five hours of tutorial preparation, including assigned readings, and review of lectures.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed 36 units of university courses.

Preliminary Reading


A list of recommended reading will be available on Wattle, including:

Jeanne NEMETH, “Contemporary Collecting: Examining Passionate Pursuits,” Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education 23 (2005): 41–51.
Shin Dong KIM, “Culture Industry and Cultural Capital: The Making of the Korean Wave and Transnationalization of Media Culture in East Asia.” Unpublished speech, 2005, pp. 1–5.

Mark Wheeler MACWILLIAMS, “Japanese Comics and Religion: Osamu Tezuka’s Story of the Buddha.” In Japan Pop! Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture, ed. by Timothy Craig (Armonk NY: M.E.Sharpe, 2000), pp. 109–137.
Anne ALLISON, “A Male Gaze in Japanese Children’s Cartoons, or, Are Naked Female Bodies Always Sexual?” In Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan (Berkeley & LA: California University Press, 2000), pp. 29–49.

Hee-Eun LEE, “Seeking 'others' within us: Discourses of Korean-ness in Korean Popular Music.” In Medi@sia: Global Media/tion In and Out of Context, ed. by Todd Joseph Miles Holden and Timothy J. Scrase (New York: Routledge, 2006), pp. 128–46.
Heather WILLOUGHBY, “Image Is Everything: The Marketing of Femininity in South Korean Popular Music.” In Korean Pop Music: Riding the Korean Wave, ed. by Keith Howard (Folkestone, Kent: Global Oriental, 2006), pp. 99–108.

Daniel BLACK, “Wearing Out Racial Discourse: Tokyo Street Fashion and Race as Style,” The Journal of Popular Culture 42:2 (2009): 239–56.
Laura MILLER, “Youth Fashion and Changing Beautification Practices.” In Modern Japanese Culture Vol. 2, ed. by D. P. Martinez (London & NY: Routledge, 2007), pp. 88–103.

Millie R. CREIGHTON, “Imaging the Other in Japanese Advertising Campaigns.” In Occidentalism: Images of the West, ed. by James G. Carrier (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), pp. 135–60.
Perry JOHANSSON, “Consuming the Other: The Fetish of the Western Woman in Chinese Advertising and Popular Culture,” Postcolonial Studies 2:3 (1999): 377–88.
Koichi IWABUCHI, “How ‘Japanese’ is Poke´mon?"" In Pikachu’s Global Adventure: The Rise and Fall of Poke´mon, ed. by Joseph Jay Tobin (Duke University Press, 2004), pp. 53–79.
Emiko OKAYAMA and Francesco RICATTI, “Tokidoki, Cute and Sexy Fantasies between East and West: Contemporary Aesthetics for the Global Market,” Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies 5:2 (July 2008): 1–23.

Florence CHEE, “The Games We Play Online and Offline: Making Wang-tta in Korea,” Popular Communication 4:3 (2006): 225–39.
Mia CONSALVO, “Convergence and Globalization in the Japanese Videogame Industry,” Cinema Journal 48:3 (Spring 2009): 135–41.

Sun JUNG, “Chogukjeok pan-East Asian soft masculinity: Reading Boys over Flowers, Coffee Prince and Shinhwa fan fiction.” In Complicated Currents: Media Flows, Soft Power and East Asia, ed. by Daniel Black, Stephen Epstein and Alison Tokita (Melbourne: Monash University ePress, 2010), pp. 8.1–8.16.
Fabienne DARLING-WOLF, “SMAP, Sex, and Masculinity: Constructing the Perfect Female Fantasy in Japanese Popular Music,” Popular Music and Society 27:3 (2004): 357–70.

Hideaki FUJIKI, “Benshi as Stars: The Irony of the Popularity and Respectability of Voice Performers in Japanese Cinema,” Cinema Journal 45:2 (Winter, 2006): 68–84.
Kuei-Fen CHIU, “The Question of Translation in Taiwanese Colonial Cinematic Space,” The Journal of Asian Studies 70:1 (Feb. 2011): 77–97.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $2718
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4779 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions