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Spring 2024 Courses

Korea-focused Content Courses – Spring 2024


Religion and Culture in Korea – RLST 121/EALL 269/EAST 391

Instructor: Hwansoo Kim

Day/Time: Monday, 1:30pm–3:20pm

Location: GR109 ROSENFELD

Description: Introduction to Shamanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Christianity, and new religions in Korea from ancient times to the present. Examination of religious traditions in close relationships with social, economic, political, and cultural environments in Korean society. Examination of religious tensions, philosophical arguments, and ethical issues that indigenous and foreign religions in Korea have engaged throughout history to maximize their influence in Korean society.


Gender and Sexuality in Korean Literature and Film – EALL 274/EALL 574

Instructor: Kyunghee Eo

Day/Time: Tuesday, 1:30pm–3:20pm

Location: HQ 129

Description: In this course, students explore how cultural representations of gender and sexuality in Korea and the Korean diaspora have changed over the twentieth century. Primary sources include literary texts, narrative and documentary films, as well as scholarship on themes and historical context relevant to the materials. We begin by exploring how gendered selfhood in Korea was constructed in relation to the colonial modernization process in the first half of the twentieth century. We then move onto stories of how women and men survived the Cold War, developmentalist, and dictatorial regimes of South Korea from 1945 to 87. In the last segment of the course, we focus our attention to voices from the contemporary moment, to examine how present-day Koreans of various gender and sexual identities contend with the challenges of an increasingly neoliberalizing social order.


Studies in Korean Popular Culture – EALL 353

Instructor: Kyunghee Eo

Day/Time: Thursday, 1:30pm–3:20pm

Location: HQ 213

Description: This advanced seminar examines the dissemination, visibility, and prominence of Korean popular culture, both within and outside its national borders. We spend time exploring a wide variety of cultural forms such as music, film, television, fashion, performance, and new media from the early twentieth century to the present-day moment, focusing our attention to the following questions: How did Korean cultural values and historical experiences shape the content, style, and aesthetics of contemporary Korean popular culture? What is the ideological, economic, and socio-political function of popular culture in South Korea today? What makes Korean popular culture attractive to a global audience who are not necessarily familiar with the Korean language and culture? How do they embrace and smooth over linguistic and cultural differences in the process of consuming Korean cultural content? In answering these questions, we examine Korean popular culture in relation to major historical events that took place in Korea over the twentieth century such as Japanese occupation and the Korean War, as well as the military dictatorships, democratization and neoliberalization of South Korea.


Hallyu: The Korean Wave Through K-Pop and K-Dramas – SOCY 310/ER&M 363

Instructor: Grace Kao

Day/Time: Thursday, 3:30pm–5:20pm

Location: WLH 002

Description: This class explores the Hallyu (한류 or 韓流) or The Korean Wave, primarily with respect to K-Pop and K-Dramas. No knowledge of Korea, K-Pop, or K-Dramas is required, but some familiarity with K-Dramas and/or K-Pop is helpful. Korea has been extraordinarily successful in exporting these cultural products and in doing so, it has exposed the friction in cultural understandings of national origin, race, gender, and sexuality. In addition to the readings, you are expected to watch some K-Dramas and K-Pop. Specifically, each student is part of a team that watches one entire short K-Drama (usually 8 episodes) or half of a typical length K-Drama (16 episodes) during the first part of the class. Once we turn to K-Pop, there are weekly YouTube playlists of music videos for you to watch. You also read and comment on two episodes of 2 Korean webtoons.


Critical Themes in Korean Popular Music – MUSI 382/EAST 389

Instructor: Bo kyung Im

Day/Time: Monday, 3:30pm–5:20pm

Location: HQ 127

Description: This advanced seminar examines Korean popular music from academic perspectives informed by ethnomusicology, Korean studies, and transpacific studies. The course first historicizes the Korean music industry’s dialogical formation with modern political, economic, religious, and military forces such as Western imperialism, Protestant missions, Japanese colonization, the Cold War, military dictatorship, state-sponsored internationalization, and global technosociality. While the first half of the course emphasizes the Korean domestic industry, the second half pivots outward, focusing on reverse directional flows obtained in the late 20th and early 21st century. We interrogate K-pop’s role in the constructions of Korea and Asia in the North Atlantic cultural imaginary and pay particular attention to continuities and disjunctures between K-pop and “world music,” a genre conventionally marking non-Westerners’ colonial difference in the Western music industry. Themes such as race and racialization, gender and sexuality, migration and diaspora, voice and voicing, and media and technology inform our conversations throughout the semester.


Buddhism and Violence – RLST 410

Instructor: Jonathan Feuer

Day/Time: Tuesday, 3:30pm–5:20pm

Location: HQ 213

Description: This course focuses on Buddhism and violence in the modern world, with a particular emphasis on Korean Buddhism. Buddhism is often perceived to be a pacifist religion; however, all across the modern Buddhist world, from Japanese Zen Buddhists during World War II, to Vietnamese Buddhists during the Vietnam War, to Buddhists in the contemporary United States, Buddhists have been complicit in and even supported state-sanctioned violence. Can Buddhism be deemed less (or more) violent than other major religions? We cover introductory topics on Buddhism, going back in history to see the fundamental philosophical debates on violence and killing in the tradition. Using Korean Buddhism as a case study, we explore in what ways, if any, these ancient debates relate to the modern world.


Korea-inclusive Content Courses – Spring 2024

Globalization Space – GLBL 252/LAST 318/ARCH 341/URBN 341/ENV 782/ARCH 4261

Instructor: Keller Easterling

Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 10:30am–11:20pm

Location: LORIA 250

Description: Infrastructure space as a primary medium of change in global polity. Networks of trade, energy, communication, transportation, spatial products, finance, management, and labor, as well as new strains of political opportunity that reside within their spatial disposition. Case studies include free zones and automated ports around the world, satellite urbanism in South Asia, high-speed rail in Japan and the Middle East, agripoles in southern Spain, fiber optic submarine cable in East Africa, spatial products of tourism in North Korea, and management platforms of the International Organization for Standardization.


East Asia’s Engagement in Afro-Asian Solidarity – GLBL 286/HIST 307J

Instructor: Hao Chen

Day/Time: Wednesday, 9:25am–11:15pm

Location: HQ C65

Description: This course studies the political, diplomatic, ideological, economic, and cultural interactions between post-World War II East Asian states and the Third World (primarily the continents of Afro-Asia) in the process of post-colonial national development. It raises two key questions: What were the East Asian perceptions of and reactions to Third World decolonization, in particular the movement of Afro-Asian solidarity? How was their engagement with Afro-Asian solidarity related to their own trajectory of post-war reconstruction, national liberation, state building, and cultivation of developmental model? By addressing these questions, this seminar examines the development of Afro-Asian solidarity and discusses the involvement of various East Asian states, including the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan), Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK, South Korea), the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea), the Republic of Vietnam (ROV), and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV). These discussions compare the East Asian states regarding their similarities and differences in interactions with the Third World. In the cases of ‘divided states’ in East Asia (i.e., China, Taiwan, North-South Koreas, and North-South Vietnams), this course also emphasizes how one’s relationship with Afro-Asian solidarity affected that of the other side, and vice versa.


Japanese Cinema and Its Others – EALL 281/FILM 304/EALL 581/FILM 873

Instructor: Aaron Gerow

Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday, 11:35am–12:50pm; Thursday, 7:00pm–10:00pm

Location: WLH 001 (Monday & Wednesday); LORIA 351 (Thursday)

Description: Critical inquiry into the myth of a homogeneous Japan through analysis of how Japanese film and media historically represents “others” of different races, ethnicities, nationalities, genders, and sexualities, including women, black residents, ethnic Koreans, Okinawans, Ainu, undocumented immigrants, LGBTQ minorities, the disabled, youth, and monstrous others like ghosts.

Korean Language Courses – Spring 2024

Elementary Korean II – KREN 120

Instructor: Varies by section

Day/Time: Monday–Friday, 9:25am–10:15am (Sections 01 & 02); Monday–Friday, 10:30am–11:20am (Sections 03 & 04); Monday–Friday, 11:35am–12:25pm (Sections 05 & 06)

Location: Varies by section


Intermediate Korean II – KREN 140

Instructor: Varies by section

Day/Time: Monday–Friday, 10:30am–11:20am (Section 01); Monday–Friday, 11:35am–12:25pm (Section 02)

Location: Varies by section


Intermediate Korean for Advanced Learners II – KREN 142

Instructor: Angela Lee-Smith

Day/Time: Monday–Friday, 10:30am–11:20am (Section 01)

Location: WTS B60


Advanced Korean II: Korean Language and Culture through Media – KREN 151

Instructor: Angela Lee-Smith

Day/Time: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 11:35am–12:25pm

Location: WTS B60

Description: This course is content and project-based to further develop integrated language skills-spoken and written, including grammar and vocabulary, as well as intercultural competence through Korean media. Through a variety of media, such as print media, publishing, digital media, cinema, broadcasting (radio, television, podcasting), and advertising, students explore and reflect on a wide range of topics and perspectives in Korean culture and society. The course learning activities include interactive, interpretive, and presentational communication; critical analysis; creative and authentic language applications in formal/informal contexts.


Advanced Korean IV: Korean Sociocultural Practices and Perspectives – KREN 153

Instructor: Varies by section

Day/Time: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9:25am–10:15am (Section 01); Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10:30am–11:20am (Section 02)

Location: Varies by section


This course is an interdisciplinary content-based advanced course in modern Korean. It aims to advance language skills in all four areas and cultural competence to communicate with fluency and accuracy. Students build up wide-ranging vocabulary and grammar, while registering and deepening their understanding of cultural aspects through authentic materials and communicative tasks across a variety of topics, such as social, academic, or career interests.



Past Courses

Fall 2023

Spring 2023

Fall 2022

Spring 2022

Fall 2022

Spring 2021

Fall 2020