Scott Wells studies the transformation of language and literacy practices in Korea at the turn of the twentieth century. Beginning in the late nineteenth century and extending well into the twentieth, Korea’s inscriptional and literary practices transitioned in stages from the use of Classical Chinese toward a greater and eventually exclusive use of written vernacular Korean. Scott’s work examines the beginnings of this transition in the final decades of the Chosŏn dynasty (1392–1910), focusing not on the rise of the written vernacular per se (as is commonly the case in scholarship on this transition), but on the continued learning and use of Classical Chinese during this period in light of the vernacular’s rise. He examines in particular, the motives and methods of including Classical Chinese instruction in the period’s new state and private school curricula by analyzing the content and background of Classical Chinese textbooks published in the decades prior to Japan’s 1910 annexation of Korea.

Winter 2017

ASIA317 The Rise of Korean Civilization Sections

The evolution of a distinctive Korean civilization within the East Asian cultural sphere. Primary focus on cultural, social and political development from the earliest times to the sixteenth century.

Winter 2017

ASIA307 Korean Language and Writing in Culture and Society Sections

An examination of Korean language and writing using approaches from sociolinguistics, the sociology of language, and linguistic anthropology.