Korean Studies Courses for Fall 2017

Junior Level Courses

37571 Governance and Human Security in East Asia (Professor Brendan Howe, Ph.D.)

This course examines the duty to care incumbent on those who govern towards those who are governed in East Asia. It starts with an inquiry into the concept of “governance,” examining the multitude of political, economic, and ethical dilemmas and theoretical issues associated with it from the perspective of the universal entitlement rights and concurrent responsibilities associated with the concept of global citizenship. It then moves on to discussing the pragmatic issues generated by concerns about human security, organizing them around a set of “responsibilities” towards the most vulnerable sections of national and international society.  The world of today seems to be prone to conflicts, some of which are so violent that they pull down governance and public administration institutions and structures. In such instances, the whole governance and public administration system and structure must be rebuilt from “scratch.” The process is not only long and highly expensive, but also requires careful analysis of the causes of the conflict in the first place, and the nature of the governance and public administration that should be put in place to avoid the recurrence of conflict and destruction.

37569 Korean Business Ethics: Korean Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (Professor Jasper Kim, JD/MBA, Attorney at Law (Washington, DC))



This course combines Korean business ethics and negotiations using “business simulations”, “experimental games” and “core concepts” that mirror real-world situations. Such unique opportunities will allow you to “apply” the theories and concepts related to business ethics in a “real world”, “hands-on” context. Issues such as cultural factors influencing business ethics in South Korea and beyond as well as trends in business ethics and corporate social responsibility will be covered primarily from a negotiation context. Moreover, questions such as following will be covered: How do you “win” negotiations in an ethical manner? What is “success” in negotiations? What can you do to become a better and more ethical negotiator? This highly engaging will directly expose you to both the “theory” and “practice” of ethics and negotiations as a process within a strategic communication and negotiation framework.

For clarity, no prerequisite course exists for this course. Although the course will be in English, the course instructor will make best efforts to accommodate those who are still improving their language skills. The course’s enrollment is limited so early registration is highly recommended.

37552 Reading Academic Korean II (Professor Ji-hye Ha, Ph.D.)


This course is the second course to improve academic reading ability. To this end, they can develop the ability to understand the structure and contents of the text after reading topical writings in various fields such as politics, economy, society and culture. Furthermore, they can also improve the analytical ability of the text. Through this course, foreign students will be able to read and understand even the texts of professional areas by improving the overall Korean reading ability. Korean ability of Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) Level 4 or above is required. It is not mandatory, but recommended for students taking Reading Academic Korean I.

37570 Korean Studies Seminar: Korea and Empires (Professor Sang-ho Ro, Ph.D.)

This seminar examines historical interactions between Korea and Empires from the nineteenth century to the twentieth century. As a key area of regional security, hegemony, and economy, Korea has been dynamically engaged with global and regional powers in East Asia. In this seminar, we will analyze how Korea resisted, negotiated, and collaborated with Empires – China, Japan, Russia, and the US – for the last two centuries. The emphasis is on contested national identity, colonialism, nationalism, and Korean choices in the changing regional and global order in East Asia. This seminar is an upper-level course for those who are major in East Asian, Korean studies or history.

Sophomore Level Courses

37561 North Korean Society and Culture (Professor Kyong-Mi Danyel Kwon, Ph.D.)

With the recent passing of Kim Jŏng-il and the new “supreme leader” Kim Jŏng-ŭn staking his claim on North Korea, the world has renewed its interest in what may be one of the most closed-off and the least known countries in the world. In order to gain better insights to North Korean society, the course provides a comprehensive overview of its history and culture through films and comics produced by North Koreans, South Koreans, and others. The course aims to investigate the actual lives of North Korean people vis-à-vis the image that the regime tries to project to the world versus the international community’s biases othering North Korea given that the country is closed off to the outside world and allows only a parochial view of the people and their everyday lives. Topics such as nationalism, diaspora, gender and sexuality, as well as the revolutionary aesthetics will be explored in order to deepen our understanding of North Korea and the two Koreas at large.

37559 Introduction to Premodern Korean Literature (Professor In-Hye Han, Ph.D.)

Introduction to Premodern Korean Literature is a survey course examining various forms and themes of Korean literature from Silla to late Chosŏn periods. Premodern writer and intellectuals viewed that literary, philosophical and historical knowledges and writings were invariably intertwined and inseparable, a stance that contradicts the modern idea about an independent discipline. This course focuses on reading exemplary texts from premodern Korea and analyzing the intersection of genre, theme, and philosophy (or religion) that constitutes each literary work. Firstly, literary genres we look at include hyangga, sijo, kasa, p’ansori, folk drama, poetry, fiction and literary criticism. Secondly, themes of literature that we read range from love, suffering, and women, to family, monarch, and enlightenment. Finally, philosophy and religion underlying premodern literature include (Neo-) Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism, shamanism, geomancy, and indigenous beliefs. By comparing discursive modes of literature to those of philosophy and religion, we investigate how premodern Korean literature created and otherwise unattainable cultural space.

37558 Introduction to Korean Music (Professor Heather Willoughby, Ph.D.) 

Sorry. This course is cancelled.

This course is designed to introduce the student to a variety of music cultures from Korea.  By studying specific pieces of music, we will explore some of the ways in which Koreans have historically and culturally approached concepts of sound, acoustic arts, music and performance practices.  In the process the student will increase her listening skills, gain a vocabulary with which to intellectually discuss music, and learn to analyze certain aspects of music, meaning, and culture. (However, the no prerequisite knowledge of or experience with music is necessary.) In so doing we will investigate issues of identity (including gender identity), class, historiography, aesthetics and cultural and philosophical ideologies.


37556 Introduction to Korean Culture (Professor Sharon Yoon, Ph.D.)


What is culture? How do we study it? Is culture defined and confined by national boundaries? How might one nation’s culture change and/or be influenced by external forces? This course answers this set of questions. In particular, we will study how various social institutions—such as the family, the workplace, the nation, and the school system—help shape contemporary understandings of Korean culture. Each week focuses on the influence of a specific type of institutional force through formal lectures, classroom discussion, and students’ presentations.

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Korean Studies Courses for Spring 2018