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Topical Reading: Contemporary Korea and Digital Humanities


Admission requirements

This course is only available for BA3 students in Korean Studies who have successfully completed all the requirements for BA1 and BA2 and plan to write BA theses in Spring 2023.


This course is an introductory class to help BA3 students prepare to write BA theses in the broadly-defined field of modern Korean sociology. The course deals with a basket of important topics surrounding relations between state and society in modern Korea (North and South; both separately and together). It examines these topics through English-language scholarship, but also incorporates engagements with Korean-language sources that serve to introduce not only key vocabulary but also unfamiliar ways of thinking about relatively common sociological questions in Korean contexts. The course seeks to diversify the range of questions about Korean state(s) and societ(ies) that students might ultimately opt to answer in their undergraduate dissertations in the second semester.

This course is designed for co-teaching with Digital Humanities, and as such divides into two separate sections. The first section is composed of weekly topical seminars on modern Korean state and society (2 hours x 12 weeks, 24 hours in total). The second section is organized by Digital Humanities which requires students to attend *Statistics for the Humanities (Statistics I) for 12 hours in the first block (2 hours x 6 weeks) and learn about basic principles and methods of quantitative analysis in the humanities. Attending the Digital Humanities course is not mandatory in the second block, but students may opt to do so.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, students are expected:

  • To have deep knowledge about the themes of the course and be familiar with related academic and social (media, etc.) debates;

  • To identify various research methodologies and their respective strengths/weaknesses;

  • To develop critical reading, academic writing, and group presentation skills; and

  • To find and formulate a research topic/question for a BA final paper (thesis).


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


This course consists of three parts that are assessed as below. The final mark is determined by the weighted average of the three assessment criteria.


  1. Participation (15%)
  2. Group Project on Research Methods (25%)
  3. Final Paper (60%)


To pass the course, students must receive an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher and a passing grade for the final paper assignment (5.5 or higher). Students who failed the course (receiving an overall mark of 5.49 [=5] or lower) or who failed the final paper assignment (5.49 or lower) must take a resit. The resit, which is only open to students who meet the attendance criteria for the course as a whole, consists of a revised and expanded version of the final paper worth 100% of the grade.

Inspection and feedback

Students may make an individual appointment with the instructor within 30 days after the publication of their final grades in order to review the grades.

Reading list

There is no course text. Weekly readings are listed in the course syllabus, which will be distributed in the period immediately preceding the beginning of the class.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.

General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website

Registration À la carte education, Contract teaching and Exchange

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of À la carte education (without taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of Contract teaching (with taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Vrieshof


A strict attendance policy is imposed. Missing more than three sessions during the semester may get you barred from further attending the course and your papers may not be graded. Any absences must be notified in advance. Dispensation from the attendance policy for extenuating circumstances can only be granted by the Board of Examiners after consultation with the teacher.