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Prospectus

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BA-eindwerkstuk seminar

Course
2017-2018

This is the course description from 2016-2017

Admission requirements

This course is only available for Korean studies students who obtained the propaedeutic diploma, successfully completed all courses of BA2 and BA3 Thesis reading & research seminar.

On the first day of class: students are expected to arrive with a research question and a bibliography comprised of five relevant, critical, peer-reviewed works.

Description

Building on earlier exercises in essay-writing and critical analysis, a bachelor’s thesis is the finishing paper of the program. It is a research paper of 8,500-10,000 words, which to a considerable extent is the result of research and writing that is executed independently by the student. As a capstone, the thesis is understandably the most difficult enterprise that most students will embark on during the course of their undergraduate careers. Students can expect to read more than 350 pages a week for seminar meetings in addition to the readings for their own research.

The aim of both the spring and fall thesis seminars is to guide students through the process of designing a research question; collecting literature, sources, data, and other materials that are necessary for answering the question; bringing logic and persuasive order in the material and in the arguments supported by it; and designing appropriate research methods.

Dr. Park’s research focuses on the intersection of politics and culture within state-society relations, and in particular, on how politics and culture are often seamlessly braided, allowing researchers to innovatively probe one through case studies/sources drawn from the other. Thesis courses will emphasize research methods and theories relevant to the study of political subjecthood, identity politics, state relations with non-sovereign actors, resistance, state violence, financialization, and state power. Chronologically specific, historically sensitive thesis topics on Korea are welcome. Topics on Korea in a regional or comparative context, or on Korea over a long durée are also possible.
Cultural studies, cultural history topics are also welcome, and can be fascinating when done well. However, a sense of proximity and familiarity can intellectually disarm researchers especially when we speak of popular culture artifacts and phenomena. Indeed, cultural studies topics often require far more of a researcher than a comparable topic in political history or security studies. Therefore, students that wish to write a thesis with a cultural studies topic must expect to expend additional effort to acquire the mastery of relevant cultural theories and comparative literature necessary for the study of their topic (i.e. a thesis on aesthetics and legibility of gender in Korean film or Kpop should minimally evince familiarity with theories of gender and sexuality politics (Butler et al), literature from musicology/film studies, and with scholarship on the body in non-Western contexts in addition to Korea-specific and Korean-lanugage primary and secondary sources). Students with cultural studies thesis topics must contact the lecturer for a list of additional readings (~10 works) as soon as possible.

Assignments within the seminar may include but are not limited to the following: designing a research question and plan, identifying an argument, primary and secondary source analysis, writing a literature review, and presenting one’s research.

Attendance is mandatory; no thesis can be submitted that has not been written in the context of a thesis seminar. The in-class assignments and discussions in the spring semester are especially critical for the successful completion of a thesis.

Apart from seminar supervision, students will receive individual or specific supervision in the spring semester that is more focused on the subject of their research. The thesis seminar leader is also a faculty member that provides this individual supervision, particularly in the fall semester.

The exact set-up of the seminars may vary somewhat, due to the nature of the area, the number of seminars taught for each area, and the didactic preferences of the seminar leader. In particular, a number of seminars will have a theme to lend focus to the class discussions, and provide extra guidance for students to decide on their research topic.

A library training session is required. If prescribed by a supervisor, sessions with the Writing Center are also mandatory.

Course objectives

  • work with research techniques that are current in the discipline(s) applied by them;

  • comprehend sophisticated academic debates;

  • report on their studies and research in good written English;

  • work and write under time-pressure, and deal with deadlines.

  • report on their studies and research in good spoken English;

  • participate in debates in an active, prepared and informed way, respecting other people’s convictions and emotions;

  • understand fundamental cultural differences and divisions.

The general academic skills covered by these aims are:

  • collect and select specialised literature using traditional and electronic methods and techniques;

  • analyse and evaluate this in terms of quality and reliability;

  • formulate a well-defined research problem based on this;

  • set up, under supervision, a study of limited size, taking into consideration the traditional and electronic methods and techniques relevant for the discipline;

  • formulate a reasoned conclusion on the basis of this;

  • explain research findings in a clear and well-argued way, both orally and in writing.

Timetable

See for more information the Timetable

Mode of instruction

Seminar

Course Load

Total workload: 140 hours

Assessment method

The final grade is the aggregate of four elements, with examples in parens drawn from the spring semester thesis seminar: 5% for participation in class; 5% for A1 (e.g. the research question and plan); 15% for A2 (e.g. the literature review), and 75% for A4 (e.g. the thesis itself). In order for a thesis to be accepted, the 75% grade for the thesis itself should minimally be a pass (5.50 or higher). For the fall semester, the four elements may be comprised of different thesis prepatory assignments.

The deadline is always on the date noted at 23.59 (GMT+2). For late submissions, 0.5 points per day can be deducted from the grade. The thesis supervisor may have additional penalties available on the syllabus.

In the literature review, the current state of research on the thesis’ topic is presented. Although the thesis should of course include a concise status quaestionis, the literature review is a separate document of substantial size which is not to be integrated into the thesis without revision.

Students who receive a fail grade for their thesis are advised to take another seminar in the next semester (theses can only be submitted in the context of a seminar; students who took a seminar in one semester, cannot submit, or re-submit, their thesis (or any other class assignments for that matter) in another). Theses are accepted twice a year in week 50 and in week 22. Students are not guaranteed specific, small group or individual supervision outside of the spring semester. No additional supervision is provided in case of resits.

If students so choose, they have the opportunity to submit a re-written thesis that addresses the criticisms that led to the fail. The maximum grade for a re-submitted thesis or any resit is a mere pass (6). Resits or a re-submitted thesis must be submitted within 3 weeks of the First Reader notifying the student of the fail. Each 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. Only one resit is permitted.

The maximum number of words for a BAKS thesis is 10,000 (including bibliography and notes); the format follows the Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed., long note form), Calibri or Gentium Plus font, size 11 or 12, standard margins of 1”and where applicable, Revised McCune-Reischauer (RMCR) romanization. Note that the Chicago Manual of Style offers further guidelines regarding margins, orthography, and other style and formatting issues. Students should first consult the manual before making enquiries. For the purposes of this document, the fall semester thesis course refers to BA3 Thesis Seminar: Reading and Research (R&R) and spring semester thesis course to BA3 Thesis Seminar: Research and Writing (R&W).

Supervision can be provided by faculty members in any or a combination of the following formats: a) classroom context (the thesis seminar), b) individually, and c) in smaller groups. The seminar is led by a faculty member, who is also responsible for the individual or more specific supervision (First Reader) in the fall semester; in other words, the same faculty person may be your first reader and supervisor. In the spring semester, a first reader (whose expertise may more closely reflect your thesis topic) that is not your supervisor may be assigned to a student to provide more curated supervision. Henceforth “specific supervision” refers to First Reader advising which can occur in individual or small group forms.

Students are not allowed to approach lecturers for supervision on their own initiative. Since the seminar leader will also be providing much of the supervision, students are to take this into account when deciding on their thesis topic.

It is the expectation of Korean Studies that BA3 students will take the fall and spring semesters of the BA thesis seminars in sequence.

Students enrolled in the BA3 Fall Thesis Seminar for the first time are not expected to finish their thesis by the end of that semester. At least two thesis seminars are required for the acceptance of a BAKS Thesis.

The exact set-up of the seminars may vary, due to the nature of the area, the number of seminars taught for each area, and the didactic preferences of the seminar leader. Thesis seminars may vary in content from semester to semester.

In the first semester, the schedule assumes six classroom meetings for general instruction, discussion and students’ peer feedback; as well as two small group meetings of approx. an hour each.
In the second semester, the schedule assumes six classroom meetings for general instruction, discussion and students’ peer feedback; as well as two small group meetings of approx. an hour each.

For the spring semester of 2017, specific supervision will be offered as follows:

  • 8: 22 Feb-23 Feb Students are matched and informed of their First Reader

  • 9: 27 Feb-March 3 First round of supervision, prior to submission of literature review, A3 (e.g.draft version)

  • 17: 24 April-28 April Second round of supervision, after submission of draft, but prior to submission of A4 (e.g.definitive version, thesis)

  • Attending the classroom meetings, library laboratory/training sessions is mandatory

  • No thesis can be submitted that has not been written in the context of a thesis seminar. Students must be aware that the amount of supervision is limited, and they should take care to benefit optimally by being well prepared for their meetings with the supervisor.

For the fall semester of 2016, the due dates are as follows:

  • 37: 12 Sept. submission of A1 (e.g. research question and plan)

  • 40: 4 Oct. submission of A3 (e.g. annotated bibliography)

  • 45: 7 Nov. submission of A4 (e.g.diachronic literature review)

  • 50: 12 Dec. submission of A2 (e.g. draft version of thesis)

For the spring semester of 2017, the due dates are as follows:

  • 8: 20 Feb. submission of A1 (e.g. research question and plan)

  • 11: 13 March submission of A2 (e.g. synchronic literature review)

  • 17: 25 April submission of A3 (e.g.draft version)

  • 22: 1 June submission of A4 (e.g.definitive version, thesis)

The due dates are non-negotiable. If students are in extraordinary circumstances that might justify some delay, they are to get in contact with the coordinators of study.

The above assignments may be supplemented. Common possible assignments include but are not limited to a) annoted bibliography, b) critical essay/primary source analysis, c) secondary source analysis, among others.

In the spring semester: the definitive and final version of the thesis is to be submitted within six weeks after submitting the draft version; during this period, one final small group supervision meeting is offered.

The deadline is always on the date noted above at 23.59. For late submissions, 0.5 points per day can be deducted from the grade. The thesis supervisor may have additional penalties available on the syllabus.

The final grade consists of four elements, with examples in parens drawn from the spring semester: 5% for participation in class; 5% for A1 (e.g. the research question and plan); 15% for A2 (e.g. the literature review), and 75% for A4 (e.g. the thesis itself). In order for a thesis to be accepted, the 75% grade for the thesis itself should minimally be a pass (5.50 or higher).

In the literature review, the current state of research on the thesis’ topic is presented. Although the thesis should of course include a concise status quaestionis, the literature review is a separate document of substantial size which is not to be integrated into the thesis without revision.

Students who receive a fail grade for their thesis are advised to take another seminar in the next semester (theses can only be submitted in the context of a seminar; students who took a seminar in one semester, cannot submit, or re-submit, their thesis (or any other class assignments for that matter) in another). Theses are accepted twice a year in week 50 and in week 22. Students are not guaranteed specific, small group or individual supervision outside of the spring semester.

Second readers may be appointed by the Board of Examiners on recommendation of the Directors of Studies of the Faculty’s academic institutes. Under no circumstances should supervisors or students themselves approach faculty members for this task.

Blackboard

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 a full list of course readings.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis

Contact

Mw. Dr. Saeyoung Park