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State of the field seminar: History as Social Process


Admission requirements



History, in the sense of the representation of the past, is a crucial element of human culture in general, but carries a particular significance in Korea. Historical narratives have been and are highly relevant to many social and political debates. An awareness of this helps to understand both past and present of Korea and facilitates communication between historians of Korea from different national backgrounds. In this seminar we explore the many forms of the social process that historiography is in it essence, paying attention to the work of professional historians, but also to the contributions to the creation of historical narratives of non-professionals: novelists, film-makers, poets, painters, regional associations, lineages, religious communities etc. We will also be concerned with the interactions between these different representations of the past. Students will present the results of their explorations in oral presentations, a discussion paper to be presented during an international intensive course for graduate students held in Leiden in October, and in a research essay. Participation in this intensive course will also involve attending a two-day workshop on “History as a Social Process”.

Course objectives

The aim is to achieve a deeper understanding of Korean historiography, by uncovering the social processes that lurk behind the creation of historical narratives. The seminar will also offer opportunities to reflect on the theory of history, to hone analytical skills and improve oral presentation and writing.

Time table

For more information, check timetable

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Active participation in class, including

  • oral presentations (35%),

  • discussion paper (25%) and

  • research essay (40%)


Reading list

To be announced


Via uSis

Contact information

Please contact Prof. Dr. B.C.A. Walraven


Course load

  • 2 hours a week for 12 weeks,

  • 40 hours intensive course and workshop,

  • 220 hours preparation for classes and writing of discussion paper and essay.