Faculty of Arts


Korea through TV Drama and Film


When Psy’s “Gangnam Style” became the first video to reach one billion hits on YouTube it was widely considered to be a surprising yet singular happening which did not indicate any significant change in the map of the globalised media culture. However, a close look at the viral success of his music video will confirm the ongoing contact between Korean popular culture and overseas audiences since the early 1990s through the spread of Korean films, television dramas and popular music across neighboring Asian countries. The course aims to investigate such encounters between national and local cultures and the globalised media landscape with Korean contemporary popular culture as an example.

Firstly, the course will offer students the overview of the Korean wave, or Hallyu, a term that refers to the broad popularity of Korean popular culture in Asian markets and beyond. By reading the contexts of the Korean wave students can understand the multi-faceted link between Korea’s historical, social, political and economic dimension and its popular media culture.

Each week the course will help students analyse an exemplary Korean film or television drama in close relation to Korea’s path to modernity as well as to becoming the developed, multicultural nation it is now. Students can enhance the scope of their critical reading of cultural texts by learning relevant theoretical approaches that will remain useful for their further study of society and culture. Ultimately, "Korea through TV Drama and Film" will guide students so that they can develop necessary skills for critical reading of a modern society through popular media texts of everyday life.

No knowledge of Korean language is required.


Coursework + exam

Availability 2020

Semester 2




Readings will be available on the comprehensive course website. All viewing materials with English subtitles will be available in the AV library.


10% Participation

20% Text anaylsis

30% Research essay

40% Final exam


KOREAN 205: 15.0 points


30 points at Stage I in Asian Studies, Chinese, Japanese or Korean or 30 points from COMMS 100, FTVMS 100, 101, MEDIA 101 or 45 points at Stage I in BA courses



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