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Methods and Issues in Korean Culture


Admission requirements

This course is only available for BA students in Korean Studies who sucessfully completed Koreaanse geschiedenis tot 1876 and Text, thought and culture.


Brief introductory description of the course. Please include course subject and teaching materials used.
This course will introduce major methods and issues in studying modern Korean culture through the examination of a range of texts and practices. Posing questions about the production, consumption, and circulation of Korean culture both within and outside of Korea, we will discuss how Korean literature, cinema, and digital media shape or challenge our understanding of Korean culture and what approaches scholars and cultural critics take to investigate them. Each class will introduce selected texts or practices, integrating them into specific topics and approaches in the studies of modern Korean culture. We will consider visual and literary texts as historically constituting and collectively shared social aesthetic experiences and expressions. Throughout the course, the idea of identity or Koreanness is to be thoroughly explored: Are there any pre-conceived notions of Korean culture or Korean identity? What aspect of Korean culture do the texts and practices comment on? How do they complicate the notions of Korean culture through their questions about nation-state, class, gender, and ethnicity? By engaging with debates on politics and popular culture, representation of national division, film form and film style, and identity politics, we will discuss the uniqueness of the production, consumption, and circulation of Korean culture and its sociopolitical concerns in the modern world. This course will consist of mini-lectures, class discussions, group and individual presentations, and film viewings.

Course objectives

Oral presentation skills:

  1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
    1. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
      a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
      b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
      c. using up-to-date presentation techniques;
      d. aimed at a specific audience;
    2. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.

Collaboration skills:
1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.

Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:
1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question;
4. to design under supervision a research plan of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved;
5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.

Written presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured written presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques; d. aimed at a specific audience.

Students will be able to:

  • Discuss the specific form, style, and genre explored in each literary or visual text, considering the historical, sociocultural, and aesthetic factors related to the production, circulation, and consumption of Korean culture;

  • Analyze text by deploying theoretical concepts and literary or film terms developed in Korean studies, literary criticism, and cinema and media studies;

  • Enhance their intellectual skills through written and oral argumentation.


The timetable is available on the “ website”:

Mode of instruction Choose from:

Lecture, Seminar, Research

Course Load

  • Total course load for the course: 140 hours.
    (1) Hours spent on attending lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks = 24 hours
    (2) Time for studying the compulsory literature and preparation for the lectures: 6 hours per week x 10 weeks = 60 hours
    (3) Preparation for papers: 56 hours

Assessment method

Final grades will be determined by the following formula:
Attendance (12%) and Active Class Discussion Participation (3%)—————————————15%
Group Presentation—————————————————————————————————————————10%
Individual Presentation——————————————————————————————————————-10%
Writing Assignments———————————————————————————————————————-65% Weekly Postings (Minimum 100 words x 5 times = 500 words, 5%) Midterm Paper: Proposal and Bibliography (Minimum 500 words, 10%) Final Paper (2,500 words, 50%)

Resit: Students who fail the course (a grade below 5.5) may resit the final paper if they have attended class and fulfilled all course requirements and assignments.


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.
Recommended Texts
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, Short Guide to Writing about Film


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

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Contact information
Dr. Namhee Han

Co-ordinator of Studies: Mw. S. Kraakman
h3. Remarks
All other information.

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.