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Culture & Society: Transnational Korea


Admission requirements Admission requirements and any restrictions.

This course is only available for BA students in Korean Studies.


Brief introductory description of the course. Please include course subject and teaching materials used.
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 course, “Culture and Society: Transnational Korea” seeks possible answers to these questions, examining Korean cinema, modern literature, television dramas, and popular music from transnational and historical perspectives. Students discuss a wide range of literary or cinematic texts that include short stories, novels, auteurs’ cinematic works, popular genre films, and documentary and experimental works. Cultural products made by non-Koreans are also introduced, providing a framework for comparison and contrast. Major course topics are multiculturalism and racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities in contemporary South Korea; regional politics and digital media in the global Korean wave; transnational imaginations of divided Korea; and the Korean diaspora. The course consists of mini-lectures, class discussions, student presentations, and film viewings.

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.


The timetable is available on the “ website”:

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 and Active Participation (10%) Group Presentation (Critical Reading Response, 10%) Individual Presentation (Final Paper Project, 10%)
Formal Writing Assignments——————————————————————————————————————-70% Weekly Postings (Minimum 100 words x 5 times = 500 words, 5%) Midterm Paper (Film or Literary Analysis, 1,000 words, 15%) Final Research Paper (3,500 words, 50%)


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

Reading list

Readings and DVDs are on reserve at the East Asian Library or available at the University Library.
Journal articles and useful websites are mentioned on the course Blackboard website (

W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research
David Bordwell, Film Art: Introduction
Amy Villarejo, Film Studies: The Basics
Timothy Corrigan, A Short Guide to Writing about Film
Youna Kim, ed. The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global


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

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Dr. Namhee Han

Co-ordinator of Studies: Mw. S. Kraakman


Absences will not be excused. Students who are absent more than three times during the semester will fail.
If students do not upload five weekly postings to the Blackboard site during the semester, they will fail the course.
Late midterm and final papers will be marked down by 0.5 of a grade for every day that they are late.