Type of Credit: Elective
Number of Students
This course aims to examine how Taiwan’s popular culture is imagined, performed, and practised in global, national and local contexts. The course covers different aspects of popular culture, including talk shows, popular music, film, performing arts, festivals, mega-events and exhibition production. The course synthesizes theoretical approaches and empirical studies, and includes some extra off-campus learning activities in the form of participatory observation.
Part I of the course introduces some key concepts and theories in popular culture: from cultural studies, sociology tradition to nationalism studies. Part II aims to historicize Taiwan’s popular culture in relation to hybrid national identity, politics and modernity. Part III locates Taiwan’s popular culture in the global-local nexus. Part IV discusses the current issues, trends and studies in Taiwan’s popular culture. It concludes that various issues in popular culture in Taiwan have become entwined, creating the potential for rethinking our knowledge, materials and national identity.
Structure of the Course:
Part I: Theorizing popular culture and nationalism
Part II: History, modernity and hybridity
Part III: Identity and everyday life: the Global-local nexus
Part IV: Taiwan’s popular culture: Issues, Trends and studies
1. Understand the key theories and concepts of popular culture from the perspective of cultural studies, sociology and nationalism studies
2. Apply the related theories and concepts to your own research interest
3. Critically evaluate the cutting-edge issues, trends and studies in Taiwan’s popular culture
Attendance and participation: 10%
Presentations: 30% (assigned literature reviews or summary)
Final: Term paper: 50% (English essay, 4,000 to 5,000-words):
Face-to-face discussion & oral examination 10%
OK for ≦ 4 times (weeks) absences
Part 1: Theorizing popular culture and nationalism
Week 2: Cultural studies tradition
Du Gay, Paul, et al. Doing cultural studies: The story of the Sony Walkman. Sage, 2013. (Introduction, Ch. 1)
Storey, J. (2009). Cultural theory and popular culture: An introduction. Routledge. (Ch. 1)
Hall, S. (1986a), ‘Popular Culture and the State’, in Bennett, T., Mercer, C. and
Woollacott, J. (eds), Popular Culture and Social Relations. Milton Keynes: Open
Williams, R. (1961) The Long Revolution. New York: Columbia University Press. (Ch.2)
Week 3: Sociological perspective
Giddens, A. (1991) Modernity and Self-identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age.
Cambridge: Polity Press. (Ch. 1)
Becker, H. S. (1982). Art worlds. Univ of California Press. (Ch. 1)
Peterson, R. A. and Anand, N. (2004) ‘The Production of Culture Perspective’, Annual
Review of Sociology, 30: 311–34.
Week 4: Nationalism studies and popular culture
Anderson, B. (1991) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso. (Ch. 1,3)
Billig, M. (1995) Banal Nationalism. London: Sage Publications Ltd. (Ch. 1)
Smith, A. D. (1991) National Identity. Reno: University of Nevada Press. (Ch.1)
Edensor, T. (2002). National identity, popular culture and everyday life. Bloomsbury Publishing. (Ch. 1)
Part 2: History, modernity and hybridity
Week 5: Historicizing Taiwan’s popular culture
Cho, Y. (2016). Historicizing East Asian pop culture. In Routledge Handbook of East Asian Popular Culture (pp. 27-37). Routledge.
Moskowitz, M. L. (2010). Cries of joy, songs of sorrow: Chinese pop music and its cultural connotations. University of Hawaii Press. (Ch. 1)
Week 6: Roots/Routes and differences: the making of Taiwan’s popular culture
Moskowitz, M. L. (2010). Introduction: The power of the popular. In Popular Culture in Taiwan (pp. 13-34). Routledge.
Yip, J. (2004). Envisioning Taiwan: fiction, cinema, and the nation in the cultural imaginary. Duke University Press. (Intro., Ch. 1)
Moskowitz, M. L. (2010). Cries of joy, songs of sorrow: Chinese pop music and its cultural connotations. University of Hawaii Press. (Ch. 3)
Chien Wei-ssu & Kuo Chen-ti (2003) Viva Tonal: The dance age (Documentary film)
Part 3: Identity and everyday life: the Global-local nexus
Week 7: Material culture and identity
Slater, D. (2005). The sociology of consumption and lifestyle. The Sage handbook of sociology, 174-187.
Willis, P. (1990) Common Culture: Symbolic Work and Play in the Everyday Cultures of the Young. Milton Keynes: Open University Press. (Ch. 1)
Appadurai, A. (1986) ‘Introduction: Commodities and the Politics of Value’, in A. Appadurai (ed.), The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Yueh, H. I. S. (2016). Identity politics and popular culture in Taiwan: A sajiao generation. Lexington Books.
Ko, Y. F. (2000). Hello Kitty and the Identity Politics in Taiwan. Taipei: Department Public Communication Hsih-Shin University.
Week 8: Global flows and imagination
Smith, A. D. (1990). Towards a global culture?. Theory, culture & society, 7(2-3), 171-191.
Appadurai, A. (1996) Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. (Ch. 2)
Chun, A. (2010). Nomadic ethnoscapes in the changing global–local pop music industry: ICRT as IC. In Popular Culture in Taiwan (pp. 98-116). Routledge.
Iwabuchi, K. (2016). East Asian popular culture and inter-Asian referencing. In Routledge Handbook of East Asian Popular Culture (pp. 38-47). Routledge.
Gold, T. B. (1993) ‘Go With Your Feelings: Hong Kong and Taiwan Popular Culture in
Greater China’, The China Quarterly, Special Issue: ‘Great China’, 13 (December): 907–25.
Ko, Yu-Fen (2004), "The Desired Form: Japanese Idol Dramas in Taiwan," Feeling Asian Modernities: Transnational Consumption of Japanese TV Dramas, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, p.107-128.
Week 9: Presentation of proposal
Week 10: Scene, locality and places
Yu, S. D. (2004). Taiwan's Night Market Culture. The minor arts of daily life: Popular culture in Taiwan, 129.
Shin, Hyunjoon (2016) The legendary live venues and the changing music scenes in Taipei and Beijing. In Routledge Handbook of East Asian Popular Culture. Routledge.
Albanese, Dale (2011) An education innovation model for Taiwan: two examples of disruptive innovation in performing arts education. (Ch. 4)
Appadurai, A. (1996) Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. (Ch. 1)
Part 4: Taiwan’s popular culture: Issues, Trends and studies
Week 11: Call-in shows: Taiwan’s Mediated politics
Lee, W. C. (2011). Mediated Politics in Taiwan: Political Talk Shows and Democracy. Taiwan Journal of democracy, 7(2).
Chu, A. (2004). Taiwan’s mass-mediated crisis discourse: pop politics in an era of political tv call-in shows,’. The Minor Arts of Daily Life: Popular Culture in Taiwan, 89-110.
Dahlgren, P. (2009). Media and political engagement: Citizens, communication and democracy. Cambridge University Press.
Week 12: Music: Nation, mediation and identity
Guy, N. (2002). " Republic of China National Anthem" on Taiwan: One Anthem, One Performance, Multiple Realities. Ethnomusicology, 46(1), 96-119.
Ho, W. C. (2007). Music and cultural politics in Taiwan. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 10(4), 463-483.
Chen, Kuan-Hsing. “The Formation and Consumption of KTV in Taiwan.” Consumption in Asia. Ed. Beng-Huat Chua. London: Routledge, 2000. 159-182.
Week 13: Film: Nostalgia, nations and politics
Yip, J. (2004) ‘Toward the Postmodern: Taiwanese New Cinema and Alternative Visions of Nation’ in Envisioning Taiwan: fiction, cinema, and the nation in the cultural imaginary. Duke University Press.
Tang, S. C., & Fujimaki, M. (2018). The unredeemed nations: the Taiwanese film KANO and its trans-border reception. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 19(1), 21-39.
Green, F. H. (2017). All under heaven KANO: The politics of nostalgia and the making of a new Taiwanese identity in Wei Te-sheng’s Taiwan-Japan trilogy. East Asian Journal of Popular Culture, 3(2), 169-182.
Appadurai, A. (1996) Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. (Ch. 4)
Week 14: Performing arts: Performing national identity?
Guy, N. A. (1995). Peking Opera as" National Opera" in Taiwan: What's in a Name?. Asian Theatre Journal, 12(1), 85-103.
Chao, Y. L. (2000). Dance, culture and nationalism: The socio-cultural significance of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre in Taiwanese society (Doctoral dissertation, City University London).
Lu, Y. J. (2011). Decolonized imagination: modernity and modern dance in 1970s Taiwan. Art Review, TNUA (21), 1-38.
Guy, N. (2005). Peking opera and politics in Taiwan. University of Illinois Press. Introduction.
Dayan, D., & Katz, E. (1994). Media events. harvard university press.( Ch. 1)
Week 15: Festivals/Exhibitions: Exhibiting national identity, city images and
Liu, J. C. (2012). The strategy of city cultural governance: 2009 Kaohsiung world games and globalized city cultural images. Journal of Leisure Studies, 10(1), 47-71.
Dicks, B. (2004). Culture on display: The production of contemporary visitability. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).
Lin, C. (2015). Special exhibitions and national museums in Taiwan: an investigation (Doctoral dissertation, School of Museum Studies).
Lai, Chia-ling (2004). “Art exhibitions travel the world”, Tourism, Mobilities, edited by John Urry and Mimi Sheller. London: Routledge.