Course Description

Course Name

Introduction to Korean History and Culture

Session: VSOU1522

Hours & Credits

3 Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Course Overview:

This class offers lectures and presentations on Korean history and culture for foreign students without a Korean educational background. During the first half of the semester, the course will cover major periods in Korean history in chronological order, giving emphasis to specific events and incidents as necessary. In the second half, emphasis will be given to Korean culture and how it relates to Korean identity and “Korean-ness.”

Instead of focusing on Korea has a ‘single nation with a distinct history,’ the course will take a civilizational approach with attention paid to the position of Korea in the context of regional and world history, as Korean history and culture must be viewed as products of interaction with the rest of the world and not of development in isolation.

Major events, such as wars, will be explained from the perspective of the international standing of Korean dynasties at the time and will be placed in proper geopolitical/international context. Lectures on culture will attempt to eschew stereotypes and entrenched ‘conventional wisdom’

Purpose of the Course:

Through the course, students are expected to achieve a general understanding of Korean history and culture. The goal is not simple transmission of information but provision of an array of information as well as several new perspectives on Korea that helps students to develop their own perspectives. In addition to in-class lectures, students will be given a choice of topics for weekly presentations related to the lecture topic. In addition, there will be an excursion during the course of the semester to augment the lectures and presentations with actual, out-of-class experience, while also serving to stimulate greater interest on subject matter being taught.

*Course content subject to change