Grace Kao


SOCY 081, ER&M 081, MUSI 081

Race and Place in British New Wave, K-Pop, and Beyond

This seminar introduces you to several popular musical genres and explores how they are tied to racial, regional, and national identities. We examine how music is exported via migrants, return migrants, industry professionals, and the nation-state (in the case of Korean Popular Music, or K-Pop). Readings and discussions focus primarily on the British New Wave (from about 1979 to 1985) and K-Pop (1992-present), but we also discuss first-wave reggae, ska, rocksteady from the 1960s-70s, British and American punk rock music (1970s-1980s), the precursors of modern K-Pop, and have a brief discussion of Japanese City Pop. The class focuses mainly on the British New Wave and K-Pop because these two genres of popular music have strong ties to particular geographic areas, but they became or have become extremely popular in other parts of the world. We also investigate the importance of music videos in the development of these genres.

Term: Fall 2023
Day/Time: M,W 4:00 PM - 5:15 PM
SOCY 310, ER&M 363

Hallyu: The Korean Wave Through K-Pop and K-Dramas

This class explores the Hallyu (한류  or 韓流) or The Korean Wave, primarily with respect to K-Pop and K-Dramas. No knowledge of Korea, K-Pop, or K-Dramas is required, but some familiarity with K-Dramas and/or K-Pop is helpful. Korea has been extraordinarily successful in exporting these cultural products and in doing so, it has exposed the friction in cultural understandings of national origin, race, gender, and sexuality. In addition to the readings, you are expected to watch some K-Dramas and K-Pop. Specifically, each student is part of a team that watches one entire short K-Drama (usually 8 episodes) or half of a typical length K-Drama (16 episodes) during the first part of the class. Once we turn to K-Pop, there are weekly YouTube playlists of music videos for you to watch. You also read and comment on two episodes of 2 Korean webtoons. 

Term: Spring 2024
Day/Time: Th 3:30 PM - 5:20 PM