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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Asian Studies

Undergraduate Course: Unwritten Korea: Understanding Korean Society and Culture through Contemporary Arts and Films (ASST10153)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis innovative course introduces students to Korean culture, history, politics and socio-economic issues through the engagement of non-textual material. The course uses arts, films, dramas, music to lead students through a journey of how colonial rule, the Korea war, economic development, the financial crisis and the rise of inequality and polarisation, the emergence of a multicultural society in South Korea, and relations between the two Koreas can be narrated and understood in new and non-traditional ways.
Course description The course aims to familiarise students with Korean society and culture through an analysis of films, dramas, and music. The course is structured
chronologically, beginning with films and dramas set in the Joseon era, colonial rule, the Korea war, authoritarian rule and social contention, and, lastly, the more contemporary period. The course topics include Korean society in history and under the colonial rules, inequality, urban culture, gender inequality, Korean Noirs (the dark side of societies), generational gaps, and multi-culturalism. Students will use interdisciplinary methodology from social science debate to review and interpret arts and popular culture.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Mid-term assignments 40% (800 words) - students can choose various forms of assignments, including book reviews, film critics, blog posts, Wikipedia entries (2-3 group work possible), podcast (2-3 group work possible), video essay (2-3 group work possible), contrast two review articles or editorials

Final paper (Essay) 60% (3000 words)
Feedback * formative assessment with associated feedback for the final paper by week 7.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. develop critical thinking skills and employing them in their research.
  2. equip students with knowledge and concepts for comprehensive understanding of contemporary Korean society and visual cultures.
  3. explain the re-shaping of class, gender, and identity roles.
  4. analyse visual materials employing interdisciplinary methods of social sciences and humanities.
Reading List
Wall, B. (2016) Self-mockery of hallyu in the Korean drama My Love from the Star ( Byeol eso on geudae ) and the role of the seventeenth-century novel The Dream of the Nine Clouds ( Guunmong ). Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, 8(1), 73-87.
Jung, S. (2011) Korean Masculinity and Trans-cultural Consumption: Yonsama, Rain, Old boy, K-Pop Idols, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Kim, K. H. (2011) Virtual Hallyu: Korean cinema of the global era, Durham: Duke University Press.
Pacquet, D. (2010) New Korean Cinema: Breaking the Waves. New York: Wallflower Press.
Chung, S. (2014) Split Screen Korea: Shin Sang-ok and Postwar Cinema. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P.

Lee, H. (2006) South Korea: Film on the Global Stage, in Ciecko, T. Ed., Contemporary Asian Cinema: Popular Culture in a Global Frame, New York: Berg, 182-192.
Howard, C. (2008) Contemporary South Korean Cinema: National Conjunction and Diversity, in Hunt, L. and Leung, W.F. Eds., East Asian Cinemas: Exploring Transnational Connections on Film, London: IB Tauris, 88-102.
Jin, D. Y. (2006) Cultural Politics in Korea's Contemporary Films Under Neoliberal Globalization, Media, Culture & Society, 28(1):5-23.
Shin, C and Stringer, J (2005) New Korean Cinema edited by Chi-Yun Shin & Julian Stringer. New York University press.
Gateward, F Ed. (2007) Seoul Searching: Culture and Identity in Contemporary Korean Cinema. State University of New York Press.

Also recommended reviews & articles at

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills *Work independently, seeking relevant advice and support when necessary.
*Understand, interpret, and use scholarly resources.
*Gain global perspectives on the subject.
*Work on digital product development with confidence.
Keywordsurban culture,inequality,gender,Korean Noirs,generational gaps,multi-culturalism
Course organiserDr Youngmi Kim
Tel: (0131 6)51 1363
Course secretaryMr Iain Harrison
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