KOR, Introduction to Korean Studies, premodern (E18)

Course content

The aim of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the most significant aspects of Korean history, society and culture between the earliest recorded history and the opening of Chosŏn Korea in the late nineteenth century. Korea has an important place in East Asian history strategically placed geographically and culturally between China and Japan. Despite being surrounded by larger, more powerful countries, Korea has managed to maintain distinct cultural and social patterns while it has also adopted and cultivated different aspects of Chinese civilization. This course details crucial phases or aspects in the history of Korea such as the formation of states on the Korean Peninsula; the story of foreign relations with  China and Japan; the arrival of Buddhism upon the Korean peninsula and its impact, the formation of a central bureaucratic aristocracy during the Koryô dynasty; the establishment of the Chosŏn dynasty; the role of Neo-Confucianism in Chosŏn society; the Imjin Wars of 1589-94 and their impact upon the peninsula, the significance of factionalism in understanding Chosŏn period politics, the widespread outbreak of rebellion in the late Chosŏn period, and the “opening” of the country in late 19th century. This course also includes a four lesson section on the history of the Korean language, featuring key controversies in the Korean linguistic history like the origins of Han’gŭl, and the origins of the Korean language.


Curriculum for the BA programme 2015

Curriculum for the Elective Studies in Korean studies The 2007 Curriculum

Learning outcome

BA 2015-curriculum:
Introduction to Korean Studies, premodern: Korean history, culture and Korean language history up to the opening of Korea (HKOB00811E)

BA Elective 2007-curriculum
Introduction to Korean History and Culture before 1945 (HKOB10021E)

Lectures, discussions and student presentations

Recommended textbooks: Carter Eckert et al., Korea Old and New, Robert Ramsey et al., A History of the Korean Language.

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Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assessment
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Type of assessment

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 178,25
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • English
  • 206,25