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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. For example: 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 and society, taught by Dr. Elmer Veldkamp (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 and focus on specific topics and approaches in the study of Korean culture/society and history. The core concern of this seminar is to investigate what historical/cultural identity is and how it is constructed. The seminar sessions 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
3. to actively participate in class discussion of the presentation

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


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%)
    Attendance and Active Class Participation: 5%
    Group Presentation: 10%
    Writing Assignments: 85% (Blackboard postings + Research paper proposal + bibliography: 25%, Research term paper: 60%)

  • Methods and Issues in Korean Studies - History (100%)
    Attendance and Active Class Participation: 5%
    Group Presentation: 10%
    Writing assignments: 85% (including a 1,250 word book review [60%] term paper)

Resit: In order to pass the course, students need passing grades (5.50 or higher) for both parts: “Methods and Issues in Korean Studies - Culture/society” 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.

Debriefing: Students may make an individual appointment with the instructor within 30 days of the announcement of the assessment grades in order to discuss their work.


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
G. Beuving, J. de Vries, Doing Qualitative Research: the Craft of Naturalistic Inquiry
Brian Fay, Contemporary Philosophy of Social Science: a Multicultural Approach
John Lewis Gaddis, The Landscape of History: How Historians Map History
Keith Jenkins, Re-thinking History
Ludmilla Jordanova, History in Practice


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. Elmer Veldkamp Dhr. Dr. K. 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.