ASIA 337: The Korean People in Modern Times

ASIA 337 is a journey through Korea’s modern history, tracing Korea’s transformation from a Confucian agricultural monarchy into, in the south at least, a prosperous democracy that now ranks as one of the most advanced, and culturally attractive, countries on earth.  This course will explore how Koreans were able to transform their country so dramatically despite the many obstacles that Korea faced over the last four centuries.

To better understand how the people of Korea were able to create the Korea we see today, we will examine both records left behind by Korean themselves since 1600 as well as studies by scholars trying to explain how that transformation occurred. We will also read novels and watch videos to gain more insight in why Korean history has unfolded the way it has.