This course explores the dynamic relationship Korea has shared over its long history with China, Japan and the world. Through a thematic and chronological approach, we examine interactions and connections between global, regional and local developments, while emphasizing the cross-cultural and transnational aspects of Korean history. Class topics include world religions, railroads, colonial cities, the Cold War, apology politics, and the globalization of Korean culture. Primary sources, secondary scholarship, films, and short story translations allow us to connect and compare Korea with East Asia and the world.
No prior knowledge of Korea or East Asia required.
Attendance and class participation (20%)
Bulletin board postings, 1 page/session (20%)
Midterm take-home exam, 4-6 pages (25%)
Final research paper, 8-10 pages (35%)
Attendance and class participation
Students are expected to attend all classes and actively participate in classroom discussion. Ample time will be provided in each session for questions and discussion. All assigned materials must be read prior to class.
Korea in the World Journal
Students will keep a weekly journal, in which they are to record and reflect on the "world" parts of the material they encounter in class readings, lectures and discussions. By the end of the semester, this will be a valuable narrative on Korea in East Asia and the World. Class time will be set aside for the discussion of journal entries.
Midterm take-home exam
Exam questions, distributed in class Feb. 28, will be based on the weekly reading assignments and classroom discussions. Due in class March 9.
Final research paper
The final paper will explore themes of the class. There will be short mandatory meetings with the instructor between 3-7 April, followed a week later (April 13) by a one-paragraph description of your topic, as well as a short bibliography. All papers should be analytical as well as descriptive. Style, syntax, writing form and organization are all considered in the grading of papers. Please note that plagiarism is considered a major offense; papers submitted that are not written by the student’s own hand are considered plagiarized and disciplinary action should be expected. Due by final exam day (TBA).
Course Reader and Texts
The following books are required and available at Labyrinth (536 W. 112th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam):
Holcombe, The Genesis of East Asia: 221 BC-907 AD (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2001).
Pomeranz and Topik, The World that Trade Created: Society, Culture and the World Economy, 1400 to the Present (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2000).
For those unfamiliar with Korea, the following text is recommended:
Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun, Updated Edition (NY: W.W. Norton, 2005).
The remaining reading selections are on the course website.
Session One: January 17
Questioning the “Hermit Kingdom” Paradigm
2. OLD WORLDS AND EARLY CONNECTIONS
Session One: January 19
Early Trade and Cultural Exchanges
Philip D. Curtin, Cross-Cultural Trade in World History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), pp. 1-14; 60-89.
Session Two: January 24
East Asia in the World
Read “Chinese Accounts,” Chinese accounts of Rome, Byzantium and the Middle East. Hirth tr. (1885), ed. by Dr. Jerome S. Arkenberg (Paul Halsall's East Asian History Sourcebook) OR read Weilue "The Peoples of the West" from the Weilue: A Chinese description of the West, including the Roman Empire (Da Qin), translated and annotated by Mr. John Hill (Cooktown, Australia); both found on the Silk Road Narratives: A Collection of Historical Texts, (Silk Road Seattle Project), http://depts.washington.edu/uwch/silkroad/texts/texts.html
Charles Holcombe, The Genesis of East Asia: 221 BC-907 AD, (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2001), pp. 8-29; 53-77.
Jerry H. Bentley, Old World Encounters: Cross-Cultural Contacts and Exchanges in Pre-Modern Times, pp. 29-35.
Session Three: January 26
The Silk Road
Read “The Han Histories,” (206 BCE - 220 CE), Some fascinating material about the nature of Chinese relations with the nomads, the development of the Inner Asian trade, and a Chinese perspective on the culture and geography of Inner Asia. Silk Road Narratives: A Collection of Historical Texts, (Silk Road Seattle Project), http://depts.washington.edu/uwch/silkroad/texts/texts.html
Xinru Liu, The Silk Road (American Historical Association Essays on Global & Comp. Hist. Series, 1998), pp1-32.
Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun, pp. 18-39; 87-94.
3. SCHOLARS, MONKS, AND BARBARIANS
Session One: January 31
Spread of World Religions
Read “Faxian (Fa-Hsien),” Travels of a Chinese monk through Central Asia to India, Silk Road Narratives: A Collection of Historical Texts, (Silk Road Seattle Project), http://depts.washington.edu/uwch/silkroad/texts/texts.html
Jerry H. Bentley, Old World Encounters: Cross-Cultural Contacts and Exchanges in Pre-Modern Times, pp 67-84; 89-110.
Session Two: February 2
Early Korea and Japan
Peter H. Lee and Wm. Theodore de Bary, eds. Sources of Korean Tradition, 34-56; 237-239.
"A Memorial Presenting a List of Newly Imported Sutras and Other Items," in Kūkai: Major Works, trans. Yoshito S. Hakeda, (New York: Columbia UP, 1972), pp. 140-150.
Charles Holcombe, The Genesis of East Asia: 221 BC-907 AD, pp. 165-194.
Session Three: February 7
Wm. Theodore de Bary, et al., eds., Sources of Chinese Tradition, pp. 697-714.
Peter H. Lee and Wm. Theodore de Bary, eds. Sources of Korean Tradition, pp. 342-345; 349-375.
Charles Holcombe, The Genesis of East Asia: 221 BC-907 AD, pp. 194-214.
Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun, pp. 39-45.
4. GALLEONS AND JUNKS
Session One: February 9
Early Maritime Trade and Commerce
Pomeranz and Topik, The World That Trade Created, pp. 3-48; 51-55.
Select One to Read:
Derek S. Linton, “Asia and the West in the New World Economy—The Limited Thalassocracies: The Portuguese and the Dutch in Asia, 1498-1700.” In Ainslie Embree and Carol Gluck, eds., Asia in Western and World History: A Guide for Teaching, pp 63-82.
Janna Waley-Cohen, The Sextants of Beijing (New Yrok: W.W. Norton, 1999), pp. 92-93, 96-106, 122-128.
Session Two: February 14
Korea and East Asian Trade, 14th-19th Centuries
Peter H. Lee and Wm. Theodore de Bary, eds. Sources of Korean Tradition, pp. 107-112.
Pomeranz and Topik, The World That Trade Created, pp. 147-178.
Robinson, Kenneth R. "From Raiders to Traders: Border Security and Border Control in Early Choson, 1392-1450." Korean Studies 16 (1992), 94-115.
Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun, pp. 45-57.
Session One: February 16
Extracts from Gari Ledyard, "The Kangnido: A Korean World Map, 1402." In Jay A. Levenson, ed. Circa 1492: Art in the Age of Exploration. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991).
Jeremy Black, Maps and History: Constructing Images of the Past (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), pp. 1-26.
Session Two: February 21
Early Maps of Asia and Korea,
Donald F. Lach, Asia in the Making of Europe: A Century of Wonder, Book 3: The Scholarly Disciplines, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994 edition), pp. 446-489.
Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun, pp. 57-76.
6. EARLY EUROPEANS IN EAST ASIA
Session One: February 23
Western Faith, Eastern Lands
China in the 16th Century: The Journals of Matthew Ricci, 1583-1610 (Random House: New York, 1953), pp. 77-92.
Chang T'ing-yü [Zhang Tingyu] et al, "The Jesuits," "The Rites Controversy," Clement XI, "The Papal Bull of 1715," from Dun J. Li, China in Transition, 1517-1911 (New York: Van Nostrand, 1969), pp. 1-7; 14-24.
Charles Dallet, Histoire de l’Eglise de Coree, (tr. Gari Ledyard), pp.1-23.
Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun, pp. 76-85; 94-107.
Session Two: February 28, Midterm Essays Distributed
Viewing the Other
Matthew C. Perry, The Japan Expedition, 1852-1854: The Personal Journal of Commodore Matthew C. Perry (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1968), pp. 187-198.
Peter H. Lee and Wm. Theodore de Bary, eds. Sources of Korean Tradition, pp. 221- 226; 235-244.
Extracts from Hamel’s World: A Dutch-Korean Encounter in the Seventeenth Century, V. Roeper & B. Walraven, eds., [translation from the Dutch: Jean-Paul Buys ... et al.] (Amsterdam : Sun, 2003).
Frank Carpenter, “Sketch of Korea” Boston Globe (Dec. 23, 1888), “Koreans at Home,” The Cosmopolitan: An Illustrated Magazine, Feb. 1889.
Cumings, 2nd edition, Korea’s Place in the Sun, pp. 76-85; 107-138.
7. RAILWAYS IN EMPIRE
Session One: March 2
Yi Sang, “Wings” (Moon Hi-kyung, tran.) in Chung Chong-Wha, ed., Modern Korean Literature (New York: Kegan Paul International, 1995), pp.104-123.
Pomeranz and Topik, The World That Trade Created, pp. 48-53; 71-73.
Arnold Pacey, Technology in World Civilization (Oxford: Basil Blakwell, 1990), pp. 150-167.
Session Two: March 7
Ha Keun-chan, “The Suffering of Two Generations,” (Kevin O’Rorke, trans.) in Ten Korean Short Stories (Seoul, Yonsei University Press for), 1973, pp 1-10.
Kim Dong-In, “Bare Hills,” (Hong Myoung-Hee, tran.) in Korean Short Stories (Seoul: Il Ji Sa Publishing Co., 1975), pp. 7-16.
Ronald Robinson, “Introduction: Railway Imperialisms” In Clarence Davis and Kenneth Wilburn, eds., Railway Imperialism (New York: Greewood Press, 1991.), pp 1-6.
Hong Seong-tae and Kang Nae-hui, tr., “From Mount Baekak to the Han River: A Road to Colonial Modernization [Impact of Modernization on the Lives of People in Seoul],” in Thomas Lamarre and Kang Nae-hui, eds. Impacts of Modernities (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2004), 121-135.
Cumings, 2nd edition, Korea’s Place in the Sun, pp. 141-184.
8. NATIONALIST, COMMUNINTS AND CAPITALISTS
Session One: March 9, Midterm Essays Due in Class
Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (New York: Verson, 1991), pp, 37-46; 141-154.
Michael Weiner, “The Invention of Identity: Race and Nation in Pre-war Japan,” in Frank Dikotter, ed., The Construction of Racial Identities in China and Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1998), pp, 96-117.
Andre Schmid, "Rediscovering Manchuria: Sin Ch'aeho and the Politics of Territorial History in Korea." The Journal of Asian Studies 56:1 (February 1997), 26-46.
Spring Break, March 13-17
Session Two: March 21
Cold War, Hot Korea
Kun-Ho Lee, “The Character of the Invader,” in John Riley, Jr. and Wilbur Schramm, The Reds Take a City (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1951), pp. 46-64.
Robyn Lim, The Geopolitics of East Asia: The Search for Equilibrium (New York: Routledge, 2003), 83-112.
Session Three: March 23
Selections from Kang Chol-Hwan, Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag (New York: basic Books, 2001).
Peter H. Lee and Wm. Theodore de Bary, eds. Sources of Korean Tradition, pp.419-425.
Bruce Cumings, North Korea: Another Country (New York: The New Press, 2004), pp.128-154.
Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun, pp. 83-112; 255-298; 394-433.
9. SOUTH KOREAN INDUSTRIALIZATION
Session One: March 28
Peter H. Lee and Wm. Theodore de Bary, eds. Sources of Korean Tradition, pp.395-400.
Pomeranz and Topik, The World That Trade Created, pp. 214-239.
Seung-Kyung Kim, Class Struggle Or Family Struggle?: The Lives of Women Factory Workers in South Korea (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 1-18.
Session Two: March 30
Labor Pains, Labor Gains
Peter H. Lee and Wm. Theodore de Bary, eds. Sources of Korean Tradition, pp.400-416.
Hagen Koo’s “The State, Minjung, and the Working Class in South Korea,” in Hagen Koo, ed., State and Society in Contemporary Korea (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993), pp. 131-162.
Cumings (2005), Korea’s Place in the Sun, 299-336.
10. MIDDLECLASS CONSUMPTION IN EAST ASIA
Session One: April 4
Food and Society
James L. Watson, Golden Arches East: McDonald's in East Asia (Stanford UP, 1997), "Introduction: Transnationalism, Localization, and Fast Foods in East Asia", pp. 1-38.
Sangmee Bak, “McDonald’s in Seoul: Food Choices, Identity and Nationalism,” in J.L. Watson, ed., Golden Arches East (Stanford: Stanford University Press, pp. 136-160.
Select One to Read:
Robert Pemberton, “Wild-gathered foods as countercurrents to dietary globalization in South Korea,” in Katarzyna Cwiertka, ed., Asian Food: The Global and the Local (U of Hawaii Press, 2002), 76-94.
Walraven, Boudewijn. "Bardot Soup and Confucians' Meat: Food and Korean Identity in Global Contex," in Katarzyna Cwiertka, ed., Asian Food: The Global and the Local (U of Hawaii Press, 2002), 95-114.
Session Two: April 6
New Wealth and Social Mobility
Pak Wanso, "She Knows, I Know, and Heaven Knows," Chun Kyung-ja, et. Al, trans., My Very Last Possessions and Other Stories (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1999), pp. 1-10.
Richard Robinson and David S.G. Goodman, “The New Rich in Asia: Economic Development, Social Status and Political Consciousness,” and James Cotton and Kim Hyung-a van Leest, “The New Rich and the New Middle Class in South Korea: The Rise and Fall of the ‘Golf Republic,” in Richard Robinson and David S.G. Goodman, eds., The New Rich in Asia: Mobile Phones, McDonald’s and Middle-Class Revolution (New York: Routledge, 1996), pp. 1-18; 185-206.
11. APOLOGY POLITICS
Session One: April 11
Revisiting the Past
Brian A.Weiner, Sins of the Parents: The Politics of National Apologies in the United States (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005), chap. 1, (book will be placed on reserve).
Raymond Cohen, “Apology and Reconciliation in International Relations,” in Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov, ed, From Conflict Resolution to Reconciliation (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 177-196.
Koen De Ceuster, “The Nation Exorcised: the Historiography of Collaboration in South Korea,” Korean Studies (Honolulu) 25, no.2 (2001), 207-242.
Session Two: April 13, Paper Outlines and Biblio Due in Class
From Textbooks to Tokdo
Maps of “East Sea/Tokdo-Sea of Japan/Takashima.” Edward Vickers and Alisa Jones, eds., History Education and National Identity in East Asia (New York : Routledge, 2005), Alisa Jones, chap 1, “Shared Legacies, Diverse Evolutions: History, Education and the State in East Asia.”; chap 7, Chris Wilson, Danton Ford, and Alisa Jones, “The History Text: Framing Ethno-Cultural and Civic Nationalism in the Divided Koreas”; and chap 9, “Japanese Politics and the History Textbook Controversy, 1945-2001.”
12. GLOBAL ASIA, GLOBAL KOREA
Session One: April 18
Japanese Manga, Chinese Action Flicks
Jeff Yang, Terry Hong and Dina Gan, Eastern Standard Time: A Guide to Asian Influence on American Culture, From Astro Boy to Zen Buddhism (Houghton Mifflin, 1997), select two chapters, (book on reserve).
Allen Chun, Ned Rossiter and Brian Shoesmith, eds. Refashioning Pop Music in Asia: Cosmopolitan Flows, Political Tempos and Aesthetic Industries (New York: Routledge Curzon, 2004), pp. 1-14.
Keith Howard, "Exploding Ballads: The Transformation of Korean Pop Music" in Craig and King, eds. Global Goes Local: Popular Culture in Asia (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2002), pp. 80-95.
Movie Screening: Take Care of my Cat (2001)
Session Two: April 20
The Korea Wave
Film and Reading Discussion
13. Course Review and Conclusion, April 25-27
Final Thoughts and Discussion