Gyu Tag Lee

Gyu Tag Lee

Gyu Tag Lee

Assistant Professor

Cultural Studies, Media Criticism, Music Industry, Music Criticism, History of American Popular Music, K-Pop, Hallyu, Media and Society, etc.

Gyu Tag Lee received his bachelor’s in English language and literature from Seoul National University, South Korea. After completing his three-year military service in the Republic of Korea Air Force, he received his master’s in communication from Seoul National University. In 2013, he earned his doctorate in Cultural Studies from George Mason University. Since 2014, he has been teaching at George Mason University-Korea.

He is an expert of popular music, media studies, globalization of culture, and especially, K-Pop. He has been writing books and articles about K-Pop, popular music and Hallyu for a number of on- and off-line media, and is a committee member of Korean Music Awards. Additionally, he has been interviewed by a number of Korean domestic and international media such as Netflix's documentary Explained, Wall Street Journal, Joong-Ang Ilbo, Chosun Ilbo, KBS, MBC, SBS, etc.


Current Research

K-Pop and nationalism, East Asian Cultural Convergence, etc.

Selected Publications

Lee, Gyu Tag (2020). "Globalization of K-Pop and Personal Internet Media Platform". In The Empire of Media Platforms: Challenge and Future Prospects미디어 플랫폼 제국의 도전과 대응 (in Korean).

Lee, Gyu Tag (2020). "BTS: Sincerity as a Brand". In Brand of Brand브랜드의 브랜드 (in Korean).

Lee, Gyu Tag (2020). K-Pop in Conflict: Between Local and Global Music갈등하는 케이, 팝: 한국적인 동시에 세계적인 음악 (in Korean).

Lee, Gyu Tag (2019). "Faraway, So Close: Produce 48 and the Cultural-Industrial Collaboration between K-Pop and J-Pop". Korean Journal of Popular Music, Vol.24 , pp. 251-288 .

Lee, Gyu Tag (2019). "Gen Z, Sincerity, and Nationalism: The Meaning of BTS's Global Success젠지, 진정성, ‘K’: BTS의 성공이 보여주는 것들 (in Korean)". In/Outside: English Studies in Korea, Vol. 47, pp. 208-234.

Lee, Gyu Tag (2019). "BTS: New Directions for K-Pop’s Ongoing Global Success". East Asia Foundation Policy Debates, No. 116.

Lee, Gyu Tag (2018). "BTS: New Generation and Emotional Labour방탄소년단: 새로운 세대의 새로운 소통 방식, 그리고 감정노동" (in Korean). Culture and Science, Vol. 93, pp. 278-291.

Lee, Gyu Tag, Jung, Young-ah and Kim Dae Young (2017). “Cultural Transnational Activities: The Consumption of Transnational Media”. In Transnational Communities in the Smartphone Age: The Korean Community in the Nation’s Capital

Lee, Gyu Tag and Kim, D.W. (Trans.) (2017). Motown: The Sound of Young America모타운: 젊은 미국의 사운드 (in Korean).

Lee, Gyu Tag (2016). "K-Pop and the Global Active Audience: The Transnatoinality of Naver Webcast Service ‘V-Live'실시간 인터넷 방송과 케이팝, 그리고 수용자: 네이버 ‘브이앱’을 중심으로" (in Korean). Journal of Arts Management, Vol. 39, pp. 33-65.

Lee, Gyu Tag (2016). Globalization and Digitalization of Popular Music대중음악의 세계화와 디지털화 (in Korean).

Lee, Gyu Tag (2016). The K-Pop Age케이팝의 시대 (in Korean).

Lee, Gyu Tag (Trans.) (2016). The Uses of Literacy교양의 효용 (in Korean).

Lee, Gyu Tag (2015). "K-Pop Branding and Motown Soul케이팝 브랜딩과 모타운 소울" (in Korean). Korean Journal of Popular Music, Vol. 14, pp. 8-39.

Lee, Gyu Tag (2011). "Between Globality and Locality: Emerging Korean hip-hop한국 힙합 음악 장르의 형성을 통해 본 대중문화의 세계화와 토착화" (in Korean). Korean Studies, Vol. 36, pp. 59-84.

Courses Taught

ANTH 114 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

ANTH 399 K-Pop, Hallyu, and Korean Society

CULT 320 Globalization and Culture

KORE 320 Korean Popular Culture in a Global World

MUSI 102 Popular Music in the US

PROV 105 American Culture


PhD. Cultural Studies, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

MA. Communication, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

BA. English Language and Literature, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

In the Media

  • Mnet documentary BTS Special 'Dynamite' (2020)


  • The Korea Times Debates: Should K-Pop be apolitical vs. political (2020).


  • Arirang TV News Show News In-Depth (2020)


  • SBS TV Unanswered Questions그것이 알고 싶다 (2020)


  • TBS eFM News Show Korea, Factual (2019)