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Topical Reading: State and Society


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 2021.


This course deals with a basket of important topics surrounding relations between state and society in modern Korea (North and South, both separately and together). It examines these topics through English-language scholarship, but also incorporates engagements with Korean-language sources that serve to introduce not only key vocabulary but also alternative ways of thinking about relatively common sociological questions in unfamiliar contexts. The course seeks to diversify the range of questions about Korean state(s) and societ(ies) that students might ultimately opt to answer in their undergraduate dissertations.

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


Visit MyTimetable.

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 final 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 final paper assignment (5.49 or lower) must take a resit. The resit consists of a revised and expanded version of the final paper.

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


Dr. C.K. (Christopher) Green Ph.D.


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.

Total course load: 10EC x 28 hours = 280 hours

  • Lecture and seminar: 2 hours per week x 13 week = 26 hours

  • Reading session (Korean materials): 1 hour per week x 13 week = 13 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 8 hours per week x 13 week = 104 hours

  • Weekly assignment: 3 hours per week x 10 week = 33 hours

  • Group presentation preparation: 30 hours

  • Preparation and writing of a final paper: 70 hours

  • BA3 final joint meeting: 4 hours