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Topical Reading: Histories of Unfreedom and Bloodshed on Korean Peninsula


NOTE: this is the course description from 2021-2022

Admission requirements

This course is only available for BA3 students in Korean Studies who have successfully completed all the requirements for BA1 and BA2 and plan to write BA final papers (theses) in Spring 2020.


In dit college gaan we op systematische wijze na welke rollen in de Koreaanse geschiedenis onvrijheid en massamoord hebben gespeeld. In plaats van (dis-)continuïteiten te bekijken op politiek, economisch of cultureel vlak, kijken we naar hoe bijvoorbeeld slavernijstelsels elkaar hebben opgevolgd van Shilla tot Chosŏn en zelfs tot andere inflecties van onvrijheid in het huidige Noord- en Zuid-Korea. Ook besteden we aandacht aan massamoord als instrument en de gevolgen die massamoorden hebben gehad en nog steeds hebben in historisch Korea en beide hedendaagse Korea's.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, students are expected to:

  • to deepen knowledge related to the themes of this course;

  • to familiarize with academic debates in the themes of this course;

  • to learn various research methodologies;

  • to develop critical reading skills of written and visual materials (both in English and Korean);

  • to develop academic writing skills;

  • to develop group presentation skills using written, visual and/or audio sources

  • to find and formulate a research topic/question for a BA final paper (thesis);

  • to set up a research project for a BA final paper


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar.

Assessment method

  1. Participation (15%);
  2. Group Presentation (25%);
  3. Final Paper (60%).

To pass the course students must receive an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher and a passing grade for the paper assignment (5.5 or higher). Students who failed the course (receiving an overall mark of 5.49 [=5] or lower) or who failed the paper assignment must take a resit. The resit consists of a research paper of 5,000 words (worth 100% of the grade).

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. Students may make an individual appointment with the instructor within 30 days of the announcement of the exam grades in order to view their exam.

Reading list

A reading list will be included in the syllabus to be uploaded on Brightspace.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: VRIESHOF


As is the case for all Korean Studies courses, a strict attendance policy will be enforced. Attendance to all lectures and seminars is expected. Failure to attend results in a lower grade. If you do not attend more than three classes, you will not be able to continue attending the classes and your exam and/or paper may not be graded by the instructor. If you have a valid reason not to attend, you may get dispensation from this rule, but you have to consult the coordinator of studies on this.

10EC x 28 hours = 280 hours

  • attending classes: 39 hrs (3 h/w)

  • reading literature: 90 hrs (7,5 hrs/w)

  • reading Korean texts: 50 uur (4hrs/w)

  • individual presentation: 10 hrs

  • group project: 40 hrs

  • essay: 50 hrs