Skip to content

Korean Wave, K-Pop, and Monster Kitsch: The Politics and Aesthetics of the K-Culture Industry

204 Maxwell Hall

Add to: Outlook, ICal, Google Calendar

Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs 

East Asia Program 


Korean Wave, K-Pop, and Monster Kitsch: The Politics and Aesthetics of the K-Culture Industry 

A Talk by Jake Levine, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Keimyung University, Korea 

This talk explores the “poetic consequences of K-pop,” as poet Emily Jungmin Yoon puts it, writing about how when she sees “BTS singing in Korean on American television and when I see their American fans—many of them young people of color, I have noticed—chanting along to the Korean lyrics… I want to believe... That they, in turn, engage with translation, with imagination and creativity. That they find poetry in that process.” What in K-pop is being translated? Does this kind of cultural product require translation? The talk examines the aesthetics of the K-pop culture industry, the rise of K-pop as a global export, and some of the forces behind its production. 

Jake Levine is an American translator, poet, and scholar. He received both his BA and MFA from the University of Arizona and is currently A.B.D in a PhD program in Comparative Literature at Seoul National University. He works as an assistant professor of creative writing at Keimyung University and as a lecturer at the Literature Translation Institute of Korea. He is the assistant editor at Acta Koreana and the editor for the Korean poetry series Moon Country at Black Ocean. His most recent translations are Kim Yi Deum’s Hysteria (Action Books, 2019), Kim Kyung Ju’s Butterfly Sleep (Tupelo Press, 2019) and Kim Kyung Ju’s Whale and Vapor (Black Ocean, 2019). His work has appeared in Boston Review, Granta, Hallyu Magazine, The Margins and many other places. 

Sponsored by Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, East Asia Program, Humanities Center,  Asian/Asian American Studies Program, Korean Peninsula Affairs Center, International Relations Program, and Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics


Contact Havva Karakas-Keles for more information:

Open to




Contact to request accommodations