East Asian Languages and Cultures | Survey of Korean Civilization
E233 | 26933 | Jung, Heon Joo


This course carries Culture Studies credit
This course carries A&H distribution credit

This course is an introduction to the history, society, values,
politics and economy of Korea.  We will focus on the comparative
importance of Korean civilization in its East Asian context as well
as its centrality to the evolution of East Asia in the twentieth
century.  For such a small and relatively remote nation, Korea has
played a key role in world history.  First, it has helped to shape
the larger regional culture of East Asia. Second, it has been the
center of struggle between East and West from the beginning of the
age of high imperialism in the late 19th through and through two
World Wars and the rise and fall of the Cold War in the Twentieth
Century.  Our goal is to gain an appreciation for this unique and
long-lived society and by doing so to better understand ourselves.
In learning about a very different world-view, we cannot help but
examine our own values and gain new appreciation for their strengths
and weaknesses.  We will sample and discuss as we go various aspects
of Korean society.  The first weeks are devoted to an examination of
Korea’s recent history, traditions, its political development as a
kingdom and its forceful inclusion in the world system and its
tumultuous experience during the Twentieth century.  For the second
half of the course, each class will deal with a variety of topics
including political and economic developments, gender issues,
education, religious issues, regionalism, inter-Korea relationship
and how South Korea has developed as a newly affluent consumer
society.  No previous background on Korea is expected.

Requirements will include three short response papers, midterm and
final examination, class attendance, and active participation.