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Modern Korean History


Admission requirements

Excellent reading, listening, and writing skills in English.


This course offers an essential overview of the history and historiography of Korea after 1876, contending with the political, economic and social reforms implemented in Korea during a tumultuous 150 years. The central themes we encounter are imperialism and colonization, nationalism and modern nation-building, collaboration and resistance, national division and the Cold War. The course arms the student with necessary context to inform their future studies.

Parallel to the course lectures, a regular tutorial is provided for students of Korean Studies by a teaching assistant (TA) in which the material is further discussed. Discussion of and instructions about the course assignment will also be discussed here.

Course objectives

This course has four primary objectives:

  • Foster knowledge of the modern history of Korea;

  • Introduce divergent historical interpretations of that modern history;

  • Cultivate critical approaches to concepts salient to modern Korean history; and

  • Learn sensitive handling of primary documents.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Tutorials

Assessment method


  • Assignment (30%);

  • Written exam with open questions (70%)


The final mark for this course is the weighted average of all test components. The written exam must be completed with a pass (5.50 and higher).


Only those students who have participated in all parts of the lecture will be admitted to the resit. The resit consists of a written exam with open questions worth 100% of the course grade.

Inspection and feedback

Information concerning exam review meetings will be released alongside the exam results at the latest. 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

There is one course text, which is available digitally via the university library:

  • Buzo, Adrian. The Making of Modern Korea (4th ed.). New York: Routledge, 2022.

A list of additional readings is contained in the course syllabus, which will be distributed in the period immediately preceding the beginning of the class.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.
Registration Contractonderwijs.
Not applicable.


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

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


Attendance to all lectures is expected. You are advised to inform the teacher by e-mail in advance if you will be absent.