nl en

Methods and Issues in Korean Studies


Admission requirements

This course is only available for BA students in Korean Studies who successfully completed the BA1 course Koreaanse geschiedenis tot 1876.


This seminar introduces research methods and issues in various fields in Korean Studies through the examination of a range of texts and research practices. Students choose two 6-week (1 block) modules from the list below that they follow during the semester. Each of the modules is available during the 1st and 2nd block of the semester. Groups have a maximum number of 15 students, and application happens on a first come, first served basis.
The modules cover the following fields:

  • Dr. Koen De Ceuster / Korean history: Through a close reading of a diverse set of research articles, history as a science is dissected. Beyond a discussion of the specific topical issue addressed in the weekly reading, this seminar asks what the questions are that historians ask, and how they frame their questions? What are relevant source materials and how are they analyzed? What are the ordering principles and concepts that structure history?

  • Dr. Chris Green: Sociologies of Modern Korea: This course uses a range of research articles to explore themes in the evolution of the post-war North and South Korean societies. As well as investigating the research, the course looks at the methods used: how do others go about answering questions about the driving forces of modern society?

  • Dr. Seyoung Jang / IR (international relations as part of broader political science discipline) and diplomacy (more specifically, diplomatic history): This module introduces students to 1) basic knowledge of major IR theories and methodologies; 2) various ways to understand Korean issues in broader theoretical frameworks of IR; 3) practical information regarding how to look into Korea's diplomatic relations using, for example, such methods as archival research and digital search.

  • Dr. Elmer Veldkamp / Representations of (South) Korean culture: What is considered to be ‘Korean Culture’ by whom, and how are these perceptions shaped and maintained? This module will explore a range of everyday cultural phenomena and the way they are made to function as indicators of Korean cultural identity.

Each module introduces selected texts or practices and focuses on specific topics and approaches in the above fields. The core concern of this seminar is to investigate what some of the main debates in each field are, and how they can be approached through research. The seminar sessions consist of mini-lectures, class discussions, group and individual presentations, and film viewings (to be decided by the individual instructors).

Course objectives

Oral presentation skills:

  1. to make clear and substantiated arguments;
  2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
  3. to actively participate in class discussion of the presentation

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 critically review and report both orally and in writing on this literature;

Writing skills:

  1. to write up clear and substantiated reading reports;
  2. to answer a research question concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course


For more information see: Timetable

Mode of instruction Choose from:

The course consists of two blocks of seminars.

Course Load

Total course load for the course: 140 hours.

  1. Attendance of seminars: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks + 2 hours x 6 weeks (Academics Skills) = 36 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: 44 hours

Assessment method

The seminar consists of two parts that are assessed separately. The final grade is the average of both grades. In order to pass the course, students need passing grades (5.50 or higher) for both parts. No passing grade can be obtained if the term paper (i.e. academic paper and/or book review) is graded 5.49 or less.

For all modules, the following assessment structure will be used. Specific requirements for the assignments will be communicated by the individual instructors.

  • Assignments (oral, written): 30%

  • Final term paper: 70%

Resit: in order to pass the course, students need passing grades (5.50 or higher) for both of the modules they take, including a 5.50 grade or higher for the final assignments. Only students who have complied with the attendance policy and fulfilled all course requirements and assignments are entitled to a resit. The resit consists of a second attempt for the final assignment of the module, to be handed in within two weeks of receiving the initial grade.


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

Reading list

Specific readings per week are listed in the course syllabus for each module. Readings and other materials are on reserve at the East Asian Library or available through the University Library.
Recommended Texts (*=available online via the UB Catalogue):

  • Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. 3rd ed. Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.*

  • Beuving, Joost, and G. C. De Vries. Doing Qualitative Research : The Craft of Naturalistic Inquiry.* 2015.

  • Gaddis, John Lewis. The Landscape of History How Historians Map the past. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.*

  • Jenkins, Keith. Re-thinking History. London (etc.): Routledge, 1991.

  • Jordanova, Ludmilla J. History in Practice. London : New York: Arnold; (etc.) ; Oxford University Press, 2000.


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. K. de Ceuster

Dr. C.K. Green

Dr. S.Y Jang

Dr. E. Veldkamp


  • Attendance policy: a strict attendance policy is imposed. Missing more than three sessions during the semester gets you barred from further attending the course and your papers may not be graded. Any absences must be notified in advance. Dispensation from the attendance rule for extenuating circumstances can only be given following consultation with the coordinator of studies.

  • Deadlines are to be kept. Failure to fulfill the assignments counts as an absence. Late submission of final assignments may result in a grade deduction of 0.5 per day.

  • Students can make an appointment with the instructor to view the assessment of their final assignments within 2 weeks of receiving the grade.