nl en

Culture & Society: Transnational Korea


Admission requirements

This course is only available for Korean studies incoming BA3 students who obtained the propaedeutic diploma and successfully completed all courses of BA1 and BA2.


What is Korean culture? Who is defining it in the process of production, consumption, and circulation? What sociocultural issues and aesthetic expressions do we see in it? This seminar course, “Transnational Korea” seeks possible answers to these questions, examining Korean cinema, modern literature, and television programs from transnational and historical perspectives. Students discuss a wide range of cinematic or literary texts that include auteurs’ works, popular genre films, documentary films, experimental works, and short stories. Cultural products made by non-Koreans are also introduced, providing a framework for comparison and contrast. Major course topics are transnational cinema, mainstream and alternative film forms and styles; multiculturalism and racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities in contemporary South Korea; regional politics in global Korean waves; and the Korean diaspora. The course consists of mini-lectures, class discussions, student presentations, and film viewings. By actively participating in these activities, students will be able to develop their critical thinking and analytical skills as well as advanced academic writing and reading skills.

Course objectives

This course has four main goals.
First, students are encouraged to call into question any presuppositions regarding Korean culture and challenge the geographically bounded definition of Korea.
Second, as the course progresses, students develop their own research projects, focusing on particular literary, cinematic, or digital texts that lead them to probe cultural, social and aesthetic aspects of Korea.
Third, students provide detailed and nuanced readings of course materials by practicing textual analysis.
Fourth, students gain a historically informed and theoretically sophisticated understanding of modern Korea by examining major essays in Korean cultural and media studies.


See for more information the Timetable

Mode of instruction

Lecture, Seminar, Research

Course Load

Total course load for the course: 5 EC = 140 Hours

  • Hours spent on attending lectures: 2 hours per week x 13 weeks = 26 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature and preparation for the lectures: 6 hours per week x 13 weeks = 78 hours

  • Preparation for papers: 36 hours

Assessment method

Final grades will be determined by the following formula:
Active Class Participation------------------------------------------------------------------30% •Attendance (5%) •Active Participation in Class Discussions (5%) •Individual Presentation (Final Research Paper Project, 10%) •Group Presentation (Critical Reading Response, 10%)
Formal Writing Assignments---------------------------------------------------------------70% •Weekly Postings or Quizzes (10%) •Midterm and Final Papers (60%)


Yes. Blackboard will be used for delivery of relevant reading materials and submission of assignments.

Reading list

Readings and DVDs are available at University Library.
Youna Kim, ed., Routledege Handbookk of Korean Culture and Society
David Bordwell, Film Art: Introduction
Amy Villarejo, Film Studies: The Basics
Timothy Corrigan, A Short Guide to Writing about Film


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Dr. Namhee Han


Students who are absent more than three times during the semester will fail.