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Historiography of Korea


Admission requirements

This class is open to BA Korea/Japan/China Studies and BA International Studies students with a maximum of 20 students. Graduate students may be allowed to audit or take the course with prior notification.


Historiography is the study of how people have studied the past. As the past constitutes a library of case studies of social, cultural, and political problems, a study of how one makes rational knowledge about the past provides an exploration of that history as well as of the methods involved in analysis. Hence this class offers an introduction to the some of the key topics in the study of Korea, of Korea in the region, and of a few common research methods in the social sciences and humanities.

Course objectives

  • Deepen students’ understanding of Korean history

  • Further develop critical thinking and analytical skills through research-focused methods

  • Practice multi-scalar, complex empirical and theoretical analysis

  • Deepen written communication skills and familiarity with strategies of argumentation

  • Introduction to the fundamentals of thesis and research production


For more information see: Timetable

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total workload: 140 hours

  • Contact hours (2 hours per week x 12 weeks): 24 hours

  • Time for the study of the compulsory literature (4 hours pw x 12 weeks): 48 hours

  • Preparation of written assignments and presentations: 78 hours

Assessment method

  • (20%) Active Class Participation, hereby defined as all assignments and work for this course other than Paper 1 and 2, which may include but is not limited to the following: in-class quizzes, attendance & active participation in class discussions, presentations, research lab assignments, short postings, Chicago citation and bibliograpy take home quiz.

  • (30%) Paper 1 Secondary Source Analysis, on a monograph of the student’s choice approved by the instructor. The student will come up with a thesis of their own making. Please consult Dr. Park’s list for an appropriate title. This assignment is not a summary; executing an argument through evidentiary analysis while demonstrating critical thinking is the objective. Consult the Rampolla text further for more information on this and other common writing assignments. Length: no more than 2500 words. Recommended: 1750-2500 words.

  • (50%) Paper 2 Historiography/literature review situating works in the field, not to exceed 6000 words, recommended length is 4000-6000 words The analysis is expected to encompass roughly 2-3 monographs or 5-7 articles. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with more than the number of texts explicitly discussed in the paper in order to demonstrate a larger grasp of the field.

Attendance policy: Missing more than three sessions means your papers may not be graded.

Work is accepted ahead of time but no late assignments are accepted.

The instructor reserves the right to require student submission of any notes, first drafts, outlines or prepatory work for any assignment.

Students who failed the course (receiving an overall mark of 5.49 [=5] or lower) can take a resit. Only one resit is possible and it consists of a research paper of 4,500 words (100% of the grade). No supervision is provided in the case of a resit. Students must notify the instructor within 36 hours of the final grade being made available that they want to take a resit; no resits will be granted for requests made outside of that time window. It is the responsibility of the student to check the final grades in a timely manner.

The course is an integrated whole. All categories must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


This course uses Blackboard in addition to other modes of communication in order to disseminate critical information. For Dr. S. Park’s version of this course, the latest syllabus will be available on Blackboard; students are expected to check Blackboard frequently.

Reading list

See the syllabus for course readings. There is no required purchase of assigned texts.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch


Dr. Saeyoung Park
In order to expedite efficient communication, if there are TAs (teaching assistant) assigned to this course, please consult with them first in case of questions.