This course introduces students to the world of pop culture in East Asia including collecting, advertising, movies, 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 a slight emphasis on Korea overall. 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; as part of their assessment students are expected to submit a final essay on an aspect of East Asian popular culture from before 1980.
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.
This is a co-taught course. Any cap on enrolments in one course applies to both courses combined.
Indicative AssessmentFive literature reviews of 1000 words each 40%
Participation in discussion 10%
Presentation 15%Final essay (2500 words) 35%
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WorkloadThe course comprises a weekly load of three contact hours. It demands five hours of tutorial preparation, including assigned readings, and a review of lectures. The total workload for the course is 130 hours including in class time and independent study.
Requisite and Incompatibility
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.
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 Pokémon, 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.
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.
Assumed KnowledgeBasic tertiary-level training in the humanities is essential.
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- Unit value:
- 6 units
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