nl en

Seminar 1: Methods and Issues in Korean Culture


Admission requirements

This course is only available for BA students in Korean Studies.


This course will introduce major concepts and issues in Korean cultural studies through the examination of a range of texts and practices. Posing questions about the production, consumption, and exhibition of Korean culture both within and outside of Korea, we will discuss how Korean literature, cinema, digital media, traditional paintings, and folk tales have shaped or challenged our understanding of Korean culture and the approaches that Korean studies scholars and cultural critics have taken to investigate them. Each class will introduce selected texts or practices and integrate them into specific topics in the studies of Korean culture. These topics include, but are not limited to, South Korean cinema and transnationalism, Hallyu and digital media, North Korea as image, Korean literature and world literature, colonial modernity, postcolonial criticism, identity politics and the Korean diaspora, and social movements in South Korean democracy. This seminar course will consist of mini-lectures, class discussions, group presentations, and film viewings. By actively participating in these activities, students will be able to develop their critical thinking and analytical skills.

Course objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Discuss the specific form, style, and genre explored in each literary or visual text, considering the historical, sociocultural, and aesthetic factors related to the production, circulation, and consumption of Korean culture;

  • Analyze text by deploying theoretical concepts and literary or film terms developed in Korean studies, literary criticism, and cinema and media studies;

  • Enhance their intellectual skills through written and oral argumentation.



Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

  • Lecture

Course Load

  • Total course load for the course: 140 hours.

  • Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 28 hours.

  • Approximate time for studying the compulsory literature: 76 hours

  • Approximate time for writing the assignments: 36 hours

Assessment method

  • Attendance: 10%

  • Active Class Participation (Blackboard Postings and Group Presentations): 10%

  • Formal Paper Assignments: 80%

Resit: students who fail the course (a grade below a 5.5) may resit the formal paper assignments if they have participated in class and in the active class participation.


Blackboard will be used for delivery of relevant reading materials and submission of assignments.

Reading list

Required Texts:

  • Shin Kyung-sook, Please Look after Mom

  • Timothy Corrigan, Short Guide to Writing about Film

Recommended Texts

  • David Bordwell, Film Art: Introduction

All readings will be on reserve at the East Asian library.
Suggested readings and useful websites will be mentioned on the Blackboard site.


Students are required to register for this course via uSis, the course registration system of Leiden University. General information about the Registration procedure


Mw. Dr. N. Han, Room 121 in the Arsenaal.


Compulsory attendance. Students who are absent more than five times during the semester will fail this course.
Co-ordinator of Studies Mw. S. Kraakman