This study trip course on South Korea explores cultural consequences of the dramatic and tumultuous transformation of Korea, in four decades, from a war-torn agrarian society to an industrial and post-industrial society with dynamic urban centers.  Despite its small territory (equivalent to the size of Indiana State) and relatively small population (47 million people), Korea became the 11th largest economy in the world.  Such rapid economic change has been accompanied by Koreaís recent rise to a major center of the global popular cultural production in Asia.  In particular, Korean films have enjoyed growing popularity in the region.  Employing the medium of film, we will explore multifaceted meanings of the Korean War, industrialization, urbanization, and the recent process of democratization in ordinary peopleís lives.  Throughout the semester, we will also read scholarly articles, as well as fictional and non-fictional stories to understand the checkered historical and social context of those meanings of social change as experienced by ordinary women and men.  Designed as an integral part of this course, the two-week study trip to Korea will allow you to experience Korean people and their fascinating cultural, historical, and physical landscapes.
Required Books (Available at College Book Store and on Reserve)
Corrigan, A Short Guide to Writing about Film (Longman, 2001)
Cumings, Koreaís Place in the Sun: A Modern History (W.W. Norton, 1997).
Nelson, Measured Excess: Status, Gender, and Consumer Nationalism in South Korea (Columbia University Press, 2000).
Suh, Trans. The Rainy Spell and other Korean Stories (M.E. Sharpe, 1998).
Shin & Hwang, Contentious Kwangju: The May 18 Uprising in Koreaís Past and Present (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003).
Required articles will be handed out in class
Required films (available on reserve if not indicated otherwise)
Spring in my Hometown (2000), dir. Yi, Kwang-mo (personal copy)
To the Starry Island (1993), dir. Pak, Kwang-su
A Single Spark (1995), dir. Pak, Kwang-su
My Sassy Girl (2001), dir. Kwak, Chae-yong
Our Twisted Hero (1992), dir. Pak, Chong-wŏn
Peppermint Candy (1997), dir. Yi, Chíang-dong
Joint Security Area (2000), dir. Park, Chían-wook
Attack the Gas Station (1999), dir. Kim, Sang-jin
Take Care of My Cat (2001), dir. Chŏng, Jae-ŭn   
NOTE: Throughout the semester, there will be a regular film screening at Sander 008 from 4:00-6:00 pm on Wednesdays.  I highly recommend that you make use of this screening time to organize your academic activities.  If not, you need to watch required films before you come to Thursday classes when we will focus on the discussion of film, informed by class readings and lectures.  When you check out the film for your individual viewing, be mindful of the following points: 1) Please make sure that you return them on time, and the films will be available for the regular screening.  2) To watch a Korean film in DVD form, you need to use DVD players designed for ìall regions.î This is available in the library.
Course Requirements and Grades:
Two film review essays (4-5 pages) informed by class readings (20% each)
Oral presentation of a group of individual project (20%)
Final term paper based on your project (30%)
Attendance and participation (10%)
At least one meeting with the instructor by 2/15.
Class attendance and timely submission of written assignments are fundamental aspects of our agreement on democratic teaching and learning.  Late papers without substantial reasons will result in downgrading.  Detailed instructions for course requirements will be handed out.
Disabilities Statement:
Academic accommodations are available for students with disabilities who are registered with the Office of Disability and Support Services.  Please schedule an appointment with the instructor early in the semester to discuss any accommodations for this course which have been approved by the Director of Disability and Support Services (X-7584) as indicated in your accommodation letter.
Course schedule
January 22.
Course overview and planning
January 27-29
Learning to watch film and write about it
Corrigan, chapters. 1-5
-- Impacts of the Korean War (1950-53) --
February 3
Bruce Cumings, ch. 5
Park, Wan-so, ìA pasque flower on that bleak dayî in
  The Rainy Spell & Other Korean Stories
February 5
Film Discussion 1: Spring in My Hometown      
  (screening date: Wed. 2/4)
February 10 
Yoon, Heung-gil, ìThe Rainy Spellî in The Rainy Spell &  
  Other Korean Stories
Hwang, Sun-wŏn, ìPierotî in The Rainy Spell & Other
  Korean Stories
ìThe Korean War in the Lives and Thoughts of Several
  Major Writersî (handout)
February 12    
Film Discussion 2: To the Starry Island
  (screening date: Wed. 2/11)
 -- Building of the Industrial Economy and Consumerism --
February 17   
Bruce Cumings, ch. 6
Cho, Se-hee, ìA Dwarf Launches a Little Ballî       
Hagen Koo, ch. 5 Workers and Students, in Korean
  Workers (handout)
February 19    
Film Discussion 3: A Single Spark
  (screening date: Wed. 2/18)
February 24     
Laura Nelson, chs. 2-5
February 26  
Film Discussion 4: My Sassy Girl
  (screening date: Wed. 2/25)
  Guest Speaker: Prof. Nancy Abelmann, University of
                          Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
March 2  
Presentation and discussion of group or individual projects to be explored during the study trip
March 4 
Study Trip Orientation
March 5 to
March 18
 -- Ongoing Struggle for Democratization --
March 23   
Bruce Cumings, ch. 7
Gi-Wook Shin, Introduction
Lewis & Byun, ch. 5 From Heroic Victims to Disabled
Jean Underwood, ìAn American Missionaryís Viewî in  
  Contentious Kwangju
March 25.   
Film Discussion 5: Our Twisted Hero
  (screening time: Wed. 3/24)
  Second film review essay due by 4/20.         
March 30  
Seungsook Moon, ch. 5 The Decline of Militarized 
  Modernity and the Rise of the Counter hegemonic
  Discourse of Democratization, in Militarize Modernity
  and Gendered Citizenship in South Korea, 1963-2002
Park, Wan-so, ìMy Very Last Possessionsî (handout)
Kong, Ji-young, ìHuman Decencyî (handout)
April 1       
Film Discussion 6: Peppermint Candy
  (film screening date: 3/31)
  Guest Speaker: Prof. Hyeweol Choi
                          Arizona State University
April 6   
Bruce Cumings, ch. 8
Chíoe Yun, ìHis Fatherís Keeper,î in The Rainy Spell &
  Other Korean Stories 
April 8     
Film Discussion 7: Joint Security Area (JSA)
  (film screening date: Wed. 4/7)
 -- Urbanization and Youth Culture --
April 13   
Stephen Epstein, ìAnarchy in the UK, Solidarity in the 
Punk Rock Comes to Koreaî (handout)
Mimi Bong, ìAcademic Motivation of Korean Adolescentsî
  International perspectives on Adolescence (2003).
Our Nation: A Korean Punk Rock Community (in-class screening)
April 15   
Film Discussion 8: Attack the Gas Station
  (film screening date: Wed. 4/14)
April 20
Lee, So-hee, ìThe Concept of  Female Sexuality in Korean
  Popular Cultureî in Under Construction (handout)
Sunhwa Lee, ìWomenís Education, Work, and Marriage in 
  South Koreaî in Womenís Working Lives in East Asia 
April 22  
Film Discussion 9: Take Care of My Cat
  (film screening date: Wed. 4/21)
April 27  
Concluding Discussion      
            The final term project is due on TuE. 5/11 (by noon)
(This class ends a week earlier because we were taking the study trip for two weeks during the spring break.)