01:574:470/16:217:555 Seminar on Modern Korean History

Designed as a discussion-driven seminar, we will examine emerging scholarship and major debates in modern Korean history dealing with a variety of topics that include historiography, gender and women’s history, colonial modernity, the Korean War, and postwar developments in both North and South Korea. The course treats Korea beyond its geographic borders to include transnational movements of people, culture, and capital, such as the Korean diaspora and the Korean Wave. While questioning hegemonic concepts such as “modern” as opposed to “tradition,” modern Korean history conventionally refers to the “opening” of Korea in the late 19th century to the present. Readings will be drawn from a variety of disciplines and topics depending on recent publications in the field, but a solid grounding in historical methodology will drive analysis and discussion, in order to facilitate the completion of a final research project. (Note: the seminar is being offered as part of the Big Ten Academic Alliance course share, allowing graduate students from multiple campuses to interact remotely)

Course Goals:

  • Critique historical methodology and current debates in modern Korean history.
  • Understand key theoretical concepts in historical analysis.
  • Complete substantive research project, not only analyzing and synthesizing multiple primary sources, but articulating a persuasive and innovative argument of one’s own.

Classes will be led seminar-style with each member of the class taking turns leading the discussion in groups of two or three. Each week, every class member is responsible for submitting a written response (~300 words) by roughly midnight the day before class, which should lay out a critical reading and analysis of the readings, and 1-2 questions or issues to bring up for discussion.

Grading: Participation including fishbowls and paired-notetaking (10 weeks x 2 points) 20 Points, Seminar leaders 20 Points, Weekly responses (~300 words) (10 weeks x 2 points each) 20 Points, Draft project and peer review 10 Points, Final project 30 Points