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Methods and Issues in Korean Studies


Admission requirements

This course is only available for BA students in Korean Studies who sucessfully completed Koreaanse geschiedenis tot 1876 and Text, thought and culture.


This seminar introduces research methods and issues in the study of Korean history and modern Korean culture through the examination of a range of texts and research practices. Questions about the production, consumption, and circulation of Korean culture/history will be addressed in the course of this seminar. How our understanding of Korean culture/history is shaped; how culture/history comes to us in various media/forms and how historians, scholars and cultural critics investigate these is the subject of this seminar.
The seminar consists of two parts: methods and issues in modern Korean culture, taught by Dr. Namhee Han (6 weeks) and methods and issues in Korean history, taught by Dr. Koen De Ceuster (6 weeks). Two parallel groups will run back to back
Each class will introduce selected texts or practices, focused on specific topics and approaches in the study Korean culture/history. What historical/cultural identity is and how it is constituted is a core concern that drives this seminar. At the heart of the seminar is the question of identity or Koreanness: is there a pre-conceived notion of Korean culture or Korean identity? What aspect of Korean culture do texts or practices comment on? What do they tell us about other identity markers such as nation-state, class, gender, or ethnicity? The seminar will consist of mini-lectures, class discussions, group and individual presentations, and film viewings.

Course objectives

Oral presentation skills:
1. to make clear and substantiated arguments;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in accord with disciplinary criteria;
c. using up-to-date presentation techniques;
d. keeping the audience in mind;
3. to actively participate in class discussion of the presentation.

Collaboration skills:
1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.
Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:
1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyse and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. To critically review and report both orally and in writing on this literature.

Writing skills:
1. to write up clear and substantiated reading reports;
2. to answer a research question concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured written presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques;
d. aimed at a student audience.


For more information see: [Timetable]((

Mode of instruction Choose from:


Course Load

  • Total course load for the course: 140 hours. (1) Hours spent on attending lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks + 2 hours x 6 Academics Skills = 36 hours (2) Time for studying the compulsory literature and preparation for the lectures: 6 hours per week x 10 weeks = 60 hours (3) Preparation for papers: 44 hours

Assessment method

The seminar consists of two parts that are assessed separately. The final grade is the average of both grades. In order to pass the course, students need passing grades (5.50 or higher) for both parts. No passing grade can be obtained if the term paper (i.e. academic paper and/or book review) is graded 5.49 or less.

  • Methods and Issues in Korean Studies - Culture (100%)
  1. Attendance + Active Class Discussion/Participation: 10%
  2. Group Presentation (Critical Reading Response + Class Presentation): 20%
  3. Individual Assignments [Blackboard Postings + Research Paper Presentation (proposal + bibliography+Class Presentation)]: 20%
  4. Research Term Paper: 50%
  • Methods and Issues in Korean Studies - History (100%)
    Attendance and Active Class Participation: 15%
    Group/Individual Presentation: 10%
    Writing assignments: 75% (including a 1,250 word book review [50%] term paper)

Resist: In order to pass the course, students need passing grades (5.50 or higher) for both parts: “Methods and Issues in Korean Studies - Culture” and “Methods and Issues in Korean Studies - History”. Only students who attended class and fulfilled all course requirements and assignments are entitled to a resit. Only the term papers are eligible for a resit.


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

Reading list

•Specific readings are listed in the course syllabus. Readings and DVDs are on reserve at the East Asian Library or available through the University Library.

•Recommended Texts:
W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research
David Bordwell, Film Art: Introduction
Timothy Corrigan, Short Guide to Writing about Film
John Lewis Gaddis, The Landscape of History: How Historians Map History
Keith Jenkins, Re-thinking History
Ludmilla Jordanova, History in Practice
Amy Villarejo, Film Studies: the Basics


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

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Dr. Namhee Han Dr. Koen De Ceuster


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 is possible in consultation with the coordinator of studies and for valid reasons only.
Failure to fulfil the assignments counts as an absence.
Late submission of term papers will be marked down by 0.5 of a grade for every day that they are late.