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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 theses in the following spring.


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 choose to answer in their theses.

Course objectives

This course has six primary goals:

  • Foster knowledge of the themes of this course and related academic debates;

  • Learn various research methodologies;

  • Develop critical reading skills of written and visual materials in English and Korean);

  • Acquire advanced academic writing skills;

  • Develop group presentation skills using written, visual and/or audio sources; and

  • Set up a research project for a BA final paper


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


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 fail the course (receiving an overall mark of 5.49 [=5] or lower) or who fail the paper assignment must take a resit. The resit consists of a revised and expanded version of the final paper.

Inspection and feedback

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.


Deadlines and extensions: if you foresee that you will not be able to keep a deadline because of extenuating circumstances, contact your instructor well in advance (at least one week before the deadline). For extensions beyond the end of the semester, please contact your instructor and the study coordinator and file a request with the Board of Examiners at least one week before the original deadline.

Reading list

Weekly readings are listed in the course syllabus, which will be distributed in the period immediately preceding the beginning of the class. There is no required course text.


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


  • 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 granted by the Board of Examiners after consultation with the Coordinator of Studies.

  • Deadlines are to be kept. Late submission of final assignments may result in a grade deduction of 0.5 per day.

  • Dispensation from the attendance policy for extenuating circumstances can only be granted by the Board of Examiners.