Lecture Schedule (tentative), with reading assignments and questions to ponder
Sept. 4 Introduction to the Course:
Introduction to the course: Different ways of approaching Korean history.
What are Yangban?
How were secondary sons treated in Chosŏn Korea?
Was Chosŏn Korea a slave society? (What is a slave?)
When did women begin losing their inheritance rights, and why?
Why do you think Korea society was structured the way it was?
Were community compacts evidence of sprouts of democracy in pre-modern Korea?
What sort of popular rebellions do we see in Korea at this time?
Sept. 9-11 Sources, “Education”
Hwang, chapters 7-8 (pp. 60-79)
How were upper-class women expected to behave in Chosŏn Korea?
What was the impact of Confucianism on Korean society and politics?
Was there universal elementary education?
How practical was the material taught in Chosŏn schools?
Sept. 16 Sources, “Politics”
Hwang, chapters 9-10 (pp. 80-98)
Was Chosŏn Korea a "feudal" society?
What was the nature of politics in the kingdom of Chosŏn?
What sort of relations did Chosŏn have with Japan?
What sort of relations did Chosŏn have with China?
Discussion Question: How severe was factionalism in Chosŏn Korea and what caused it?
Sept. 18. Hwang, chapters 11-12 (pp.99--117)
Sources “Reform Proposals”
Sources, “The Encounter with the West” “Culture and National Identity” Hwang, chapter 13 (pp 118-128) What was the Korean reaction to Western science in the 17th and 18th centuries?
Why did the Chosŏn government treat Catholics more harshly than it treated Buddhists and shamans?
What was the nature of religion in Korea in the 18th century?
Sept. 23 Sources “Reform Proposals”
“Culture and National Identity”
What was the nature of the Chosŏn economy?
How commercialized did the Chosŏn economy become?
How “practical” were the reform proposals of the “Sirhak” school?What was Korean about Chosŏn culture?
How strong was Korean cultural identity during the Chosŏn dynasty?
Sept. 25 Sources “Domestic Disquiet and Foreign Threats”
Who was the Taewŏn’gun?
What new foreign policy problems did Korea face?
“Negative Responses to Western Civilization” “Development of Enlightenment Thought”
“The Tonghak Uprisings and the Kabo reforms”
Hwang, chapter 14 (pp.129-137)
What role did China play in Korea in the last quarter of the 18th century?
Why did the Enlightenment party fail?
How nationalistic were Koreans before the 20th century?
Was Tonghak a religious or a political movement?
Why did the Kabo reforms fail?
Oct. 2 Hwang, chapter 16 (pp.150-160)
Sources “The Independence Club and the People’s Assembly”
Hwang, chapter 15 (pp.138-149)
Why did the Independence Club fail?
Why did the Righteous Armies fail?
What was the Ilchinhoe?
Why was there not more resistance to annexation in 1910?
How did Korean religious culture change after 1900?
How did Korean literature, music, and art change after 1900?
Discussion Question: Did the Enlightenment Party and the Independence Club propose practical solutions to the problems Korea faced in the last two decades of the 19th century?
Oct. 7 Sources “The Nationalist Movement”
Hwang, chapter 17 (pp. 161-171)
Why were Koreans much more nationalistic in 1919 than in 1910?
What were the different strategies for regaining independence?
Did many Koreans “collaborate” with Japanese rule?
Oct. 9. Sources “National Culture During the Colonial Period”
Hwang, chapter 18 (pp. 172-182)
The lecture can be downloaded from dropbox:
How did annexation affect the Korea self-image?
What was the impact of colonial rule on Korean historiography?
What was the impact of colonial rule on Korean self-identity?
Oct. 14 Sources “The Communist Movement”
Hwang, chapter 19 (pp.183-194)
How did Korean culture change under Japanese colonial rule?
What role did Japanese colonial rule play in Korea’s modernization?
What was the impact of colonial rule on women?
Oct. 16 Hwang, chapter 18-19 (pp.172--194)
Sources, pp. 340-366.
What sort of resistance to Japanese rule do we find?
Were Communists also nationalists?
What was the appeal of Marxism and Communism?
Oct. 21 Review of Kyung Moon Hwang's A History of Korea
You can find a video of the lectures on the chapters in that book by going to:
Oct. 23 Hwang, chapters 20-21 (pp.195-212) Sources, pp. 367-70, 382-93. Armstrong, chapter 1 (pp. 1-20)
Dropbox link to video of lecture for today.
Go to youtube and watch the first five episodes of Korea: the Unknown War
Or you can download it from Dropbox:
Did Korea gain independence right after liberation?
Why was Korea divided in 1945?
What happened on Cheju before 1950?
What is the origin of the Korean War?
Why did the war end in a stalemate?
How had Korea changed between 1910 and 1945?
How had Korea changed between 1600 and 1910?
Oct. 28 mid-term Exam
Oct. 30 Armstrong, chapter 3 (pp. 57-88) Hwang, chapters 21-22 pp. 205-2224) Sources, pp.367-375, 419-430.
Why did the Korean War start on June 25, 1950?
Who was Kim Il Sung?
How did Kim Il Sung become the paramount leader in North Korea?
How did the North Korean economy grow so fast in the 1950s and 1960s?
What is Chuch’e (Juche)?
plus an article by me: "Memory Wars and Prospects for Reconciliation in South Korea"
Nov. 4 Armstrong, chapter Two (pp. 21-56)
Sources, pp. 382-395.
What was the legacy of Syngman Rhee for South Korea?
Discussion Question: Was the Korean War a civil war?
Nov. 6 Hwang, chapter 22-24 (pp. 225-248)
How did Park Chung Hee modernize the Korean economy?
Was it necessary for Park Chung Hee to become a dictator?
What is the legacy of Park Chung-hee for the ROK today?
For a video of the lecture, click:
Nov. 11 Remembrance Day--no class
Nov. 13 Hwang, chapter 25 (pp. 249-260)
Why has the North Korean economy fallen so far behind the South Korean economy?
Why has the DRPK government been more stable than the ROK government?
What are North Korea’s relations with its neighbours?
How did North Koreans survive the hard times of the late 1990s?
How did the North Korean government survive the failure of its economy?
Nov. 18 Hwang, chapter 26 (pp. 261-269(
Sources, pp.411-418, 431-445.
Why did it take so long for South Korea to establish a stable democracy?
Were Kim Chiha or Ham Sŏkhŏn too idealistic?
What happened in Kwangju in May, 1980?
Were the Chun Doo Hwan years good or bad for Korea?
Discussion Question: What is the relationship between economic development and democracy?
Nov. 20 Hwang, chapter 27 (pp. 270-280)
How has South Korea’s religious culture changed since 1945?
How has South Korean self-identity changed since 1945?
How has the popularity of Korean popular culture affected Korean self-identity?
How has South Korean society, including family life, changed since 1945?
How has South Korean politics changed since 1980?
What is the nature of the South Korean economy today?
For a video of the Nov. 20 lecture, click on:
Nov. 25 Armstrong, chapter 5 (pp. 131--165)
Why is North Korea so belligerent in its language?
Is North Korea a republic or a kingdom?
Why have there been no major rebellions against the government in North Korea?
How has the relationship between North Korea and China changed since 1990?
Do most people in North Korea believe what they government tells them?
Nov. 27 Koreans outside Korea---
Armstrong, chapter 6 (pp. 89--129, 167-175.
Term Paper Due
Which Korea today is more “Korean,” North Korea or South Korea? (How do we define “Korean”?)
How Korean are people with Korean parents who have grown up outside of Korea?
How Japanese are Koreans in Japan?
Why are so many Koreans in North America Christians?
What does the future hold for North Korea?
What does the culture hold for South Korea?
Will the Koreas ever be one Korea again?