Introduction to Modern Korean Literature

This course explores the evolution of Korean literature in the modern era. In this course, students will examine major writers from the early twentieth century to the present. In reading their works, students will be guided to identify key thematic and formal issues in modern Korean literature and to situate them within a larger historical and cultural context. Topics to be discussed include colonial legacies, the Korean War, national division (and the Cold War paradigm), authoritarian rule, democracy movements, nationalism, developmentalism, class struggles, gendered modernization, and globalization. This course, however, does not regard literary texts simply as a reflection of historical conditions; its main concern instead rests with understanding the distinctive perspectives and styles Korean writers have fostered in confrontation of historical changes. In doing so, students will gain not only basic knowledge of literary traditions in Korea, but also the skills for critical engagement in debates on Korean society and culture.

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  • Seung-hwan Shin

Course Type