Abstract: K-Pop and Visual Literacy: Engaging Students by Interpreting Korean Music Videos

Accepted Abstract for the National Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association Conference, presented in Seattle, WA on March 22, 2016.

Teaching college freshmen to interpret visual texts is an important step in the overall development of their literacy skills. They are surrounded by visual texts in their everyday lives, and while some students have learned to be critical of select types of visual texts, such as advertisements, other forms go unexamined. This presentation will examine an in-class activity in which students experience visual texts through the interpretation of “Dumb Dumb,” a K-Pop video by Red Velvet. K-Pop, or Korean Pop music, is ideal because Korean is a language that few of the students speak. Students must rely on visuals and sound, not the lyrics. In the lesson, students analyze how their unique experiences and preconceptions lead to different interpretations. Not only does this lesson engage students and draw them into discussion through the use of popular culture, it teaches them to be critical of all forms of visual texts and analyze the world outside of the classroom.

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