Usc fall 2013 ealc 344 Korean Literature and Culture

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USC Fall 2013

EALC 344 Korean Literature and Culture
Instructor: Sunyoung Park, Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Class Hours: MW 10:00-11:50 pm Classroom: THH 114

Office: THH 378 Office Hours: MW 3:30-4:30 pm

Email: TEL: 213-740-8256

Teaching Assistant: Kathryn Page-Lippsmeyer, Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Class Hours: F 10:00-10:50 am/ 11:00-11:50 am Classroom: VKC 207

Office: THH 361 Office Hours: WF 12:00-1:30 pm


This course explores fundamental patterns of Korean literature and culture from the ancient times to the modern era. Our readings will combine some of the finest masterpieces in the Korean literary tradition—from ancient myths and medieval love songs to modern and contemporary novels and poems—with core historical documents such as royal edicts, political memorials, and manifestoes of peasant revolutions. We will approach each literary work at once as a writer’s intellectual and artistic testimony and as a window into the culture and sensibilities of its time. The readings will be accompanied by the slide presentation of artworks and the screening of films. This class will combine lecture with discussion, and students will be strongly encouraged to participate. All the works will be read in English translation, and no knowledge of the Korean language is required.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities:

Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered to me or the TA as early in the semester as possible. DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The phone number for DSP is (213) 740-0776.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism: University policies concerning academic dishonesty will be strictly enforced, and students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with these policies. Plagiarism and/or cheating on exams is subject to the sanctions set forth in the Student Conduct Code and may include expulsion or suspension from the university. For a detailed description of plagiarism and other types of academic dishonesty and the sanctions pertaining thereto, please refer to “Trojan Integrity: A Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism”:
Classroom Etiquette:

The use of a laptop computer or a cell phone during the class is prohibited. Please turn off your laptops and cell phones before the beginning of the class.

Required Texts: Check with the Trojan Bookstore for their availability.

Kyung Moon Hwang, History of Korea (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

Kim Manjung, Kuummong: The Cloud Dream of the Nine (Kurodahan Press, 2003)

Ann Sung-hui Lee, Yi Kwang-su and Modern Korean Literature: Mujŏng (Cornell East Asia Series, 2005)

Sunyoung Park and Jefferson Gatrall, trans. and ed. On the Eve of the Uprising and Other Stories from Colonial Korea (Cornell East Asia Series, June 2010) [U]

Michael J. Pettid, trans. and ed. Unyŏngjŏn: A Love Affiar at Royal Palace of Chosŏn Korea (U.C. REGENTS, 2009)

Course Reader [R] Purchase at Magic Machine University Graphics, University Village Entrance #1 (behind Berger King), 3309 S. Hoover St., Los Angeles. (213) 744-1511

1. Attendance: Attendance is mandatory. More than five absences, including excused ones and those from discussion sessions, will result in your final grade falling by one third of a grade (e.g. from A to A-, B+ to B, etc.). Also, persistent tardiness will have a negative effect on your evaluation.

2. Participation (10%): Your active participation is essential for the success of this course. You are responsible for reading all assigned materials before coming to class, and you should make your best effort to contribute positively to class discussion.

3. Midterm and Final Exams (25% each): We will have a midterm exam on October 9 and a final on December 16. The exam questions will be based on our readings, lectures, and class discussions. The exams will require you to identify major literary and historical figures, identify and discuss excerpts, and answer essay questions. There will be no review session, but exam keynotes will be made available a week before the exam.
4. Response Paper (20%): Students are required to visit the Korean Art Gallery of LACMA at least once during the semester and write a response paper (6 pages; 1200 words in max) about their experience. Please submit your essay with the admission ticket stapled on the last page. The essay should discuss your observation of artefacts in relation to class materials. You can take either analytical or creative approach to this assignment. For an analytical essay, choose a theme of your choice and through a careful analysis of your sources, write an essay in which you defend a clear and interesting thesis about your theme. Examples of an acceptable theme include—but are not limited to—mythological and shamanistic belief, Buddhist culture, the nature of monarchy, Confucian ethics and aesthetics, gender roles, and the relationship between Korea and its East Asian neighbors. Alternatively, you may also choose to write a more creative piece, in which you reconstruct a day in the life of a Korean who lived in a specific dynasty. If you choose the latter, your narrative should be as original and concrete as possible in the details of periodical customs, values, and material culture. The essay is due on September 30 for both online and hard-copy submission.

5. Critical Essay (20%): For this assignment, students will either write an essay (6 pages; 1200 words in max) in response to the instructor’s prompt or choose their own topic after consulting the instructor. The essay should involve an analysis of at least two cultural texts, at least one of which is literary. The texts should be drawn from the modern era, or the twentieth century onward. You may choose to compare a Korean text with that of another country. Recommended topics will be made available two weeks prior to the submission deadline, November 25.

6. Extra Credit Activities: Students may earn extra credits by attending select on-campus Korean cultural events and posting a one-paragraph response to the course webpage. The response should include your personal observation of and reflection on the event. A plain summary of an event may disqualify your posting for the credit. The list of qualified events will be announced during the semester.

Grading Scale for Essays


A 100-90 %

creative, original analysis; well-organized, articulate writing; perfect or near-perfect documentation

B 89-80

attentive, substantive analysis; organized, logical writing; good documentation

C 79-70

Acceptable analysis, writing, and documentation with some flaws

D 69-60

lack of analysis; poor writing; little or no documentation

F 59

no assignment or plagiarism


Early Korea

Week 1 Introduction/ From the Beginning to Three Kingdoms (57 B.C-A.D. 668)

8/26 Organizational meeting

8/28 The Origins of Korean Cultural Identity

“Foundation Myths,” 3-16 [R]

Hwang, “Koguryŏ and Ancient Korea”

Screening: VANK, “Koguryŏ”

Week 2 Silla (B.C. 57?-A.D. 935)

9/2 Labor Day--No Class

9/4 Buddhism and Politics in Silla Society

Biographies of Buddhist monks, 26-36 [R]

Hwang, “Queen Sǒndǒk and Silla’s Unification of Korea” and

“The Unified Silla Dynasty Kingdom”

Screening: VANK, “The Silla Kingdom”/ clips from Queen Sŏndŏk (2009)

Week 3 From Koryǒ (918-1392) to Chosǒn (1392-1910)

9/9 Cultural Cosmopolitanism and Social Struggles in Koryŏ

Wang Kŏn, “Ten Injunctions,” 154-156 [R]

Ch’oe Sŭngno, “On Buddhism,” 167-168 [R]

“Manjŏk’s Slave Rebellion,” 200 [R]/ Koryǒ Songs, 39-43 [R]

Hwang, “Founding of the Koryǒ Dynasty” and “The Mongol Overlord Period”

Slides: Koryŏ Buddhist arts

Screening: clips from Yu Ha, A Frozen Flower (2008)

9/11 Creating a Confucian Kingdom

King T’aejo, “Founding Edict” and the Inspector-General, “Admonition to the New King” 271-276 [R]

“Invention of the Korean Alphabet,” 294-296 [R]

Hwang, “Koryǒ-Chosǒn Transition”

Screening: clips from Hangŭl and Im Kwŏnt’aek, Chunhyang (2000)

Chosǒn (1392-1910)

Week 4-5 Confucian Hegemony and Its Challengers

9/16 The Worldly and the Supernatural in Aristocratic Romance

Kim Manjung, Kuunmong: the Cloud Dream of Nine, 1-92

Slides: Chosŏn literati arts

Screening: Asian Art Museum, Nine Cloud Dream
9/18 Kuunmong 93-177

Screening: clips from Kim T’aeu, Forbidden Quest (2006)

9/23 Courtesans’ Literary Culture

Unyŏngjŏn: A Love Affair at Royal Palace of Chosŏn Korea

Hwang, “Confucianism and the Family in the Early Chosŏn Dynasty” and

“Ideology, Family, and Nationhood in the Mid-Chosŏn Era”

Slides: Chosŏn women’s paintings

Screening: Hanok, the traditional Korean house
9/25 A Tale of a Taoist Wizard Bandit

Hŏ Kyun, The Tale of Hong Kiltong 119-147 [R]

Hwang, and “The Great Invasions, 1592–1636”

Recommended: DPRK film, Hong Kil Dong (1986) [Youtube]

Screening: clips from Choi Donghoon, Jeon Woochi the Taoist Wizard (2009)

Week 6 Popular Religions and Culture

9/30 Gender and Transgression in Popular Songs

“The Abandoned Princess,” 299-329 [R]

“Wretched Married Life” 161-162 and 271-276 [R]

“Song of an Old Maid,” 197-200 [R]

Boudewijin Walraven, “Popular Religion in a Confucianized Society,”160-198 [R]

Screening: clips from Pak Kibok, Mudang: Reconciliation between the Living

and the Dead (2002)

LACMA Essay Due
10/2 Commoners’ Everyday Life and Peasants’ Uprisings

Sasŏl sijo, 147, 156-157 [R]

Documents from the Tonghak Peasant Uprisings, 263-267 [R]

Hwang, “Popular Culture in the Late Chosŏn Era” and “1894, A

Fateful Year”

Screening: clips from Lee Junik, King and the Clown (2005)

Midterm Keynote Distribution
Week 7 Encounter with Modernity/ Midterm

10/7 Commerce and Technology in Sirhak, Practical Learning

Pak Jiwǒn, “The Story of Master Hŏ” 27-37 [R]

Pak Chega, “Memorial of 1786,” 107-112 [R]

Chŏng Yagyong, “Tools and Techniques,” 113-116 [R]

Hwang, “Intellectual Opening in the Late Eighteenth Century” and “Nineteenth-

Century Unrest”

Slides: Chaekkŏri paintings

10/9 Midterm
Modern Korea (20C)

Week 8 Enlightenment and Cultural Nationalism

10/14 Enlightenment and Individualism

Yi Kwangsu, The Heartless 77-221

Hwang, “The Great Korean Empire” and “The Japanese Takeover, 1904–18”

Screening: clips from The Last Empress (2001)

10/16 Between Imperialism and Nationalism

The Heartless continued, 222-348

Hwang, “The Long 1920s”

Screening: clips from Soyong Kim, New Woman: Her First Song (2004)
Week 9 Colonial Modernity and Its Critiques

10/21 Socialism and the Proletarian Cultural Movement

Na Tohyang, “Samnyong the Mute,” 125-140 [U]

Kang Kyǒngae, “Underground Village,” 77-106 [R]

Documents of the Korean Communist Movement, 352-360 [R]

Screening: clips from Socialist Revolution and a Small Country’s Independence

Movement (2005)
10/23 Modernist Aesthetics in a Colonial Metropolis

Pak T’aewŏn, A Day in the Life of Kubo the Novelist [U]

Hwang, “Nation, Culture, and Everyday Life in the Late Colonial Period”

Screening: clips from Yoon Inho, Radio Days (2007)

Week 10 Fascism, War, and Division

10/28 Pan-Asianism and Its Contradictions

Kim Namch’ŏn, Barley [U]

Hwang, “Wartime Mobilization, 1938–45”

Screening: Chosŏn, Our Rear Base (1939)

10/30 The Korean War: Its Origins and Cultural Aftermaths

Yi T’aejun, Before and After Liberation [U]

Hwang, “The Liberation Period, 1945–50”and “The Korean War”

Screening: clips from Liberation and Division of the Korean Peninsula (2005)

Week 11 South Korea in the Age of Industrialization

11/4 The Miracle of the Han River and Its Shadow

Kim Suyŏng, “Ha… No Shadows” 138-139 [R]

Kim Chiha, “Five Bandits,” 401-411 [R]

Hwang, “1960s South Korea” and “Culture and Politics in 1970s South Korea”

Screening: clips from Big Businesses and the Ghost of Confucius (1992)

11/6 Class and Gender in the Minjung Democratization Movement

Pak Wansŏ, “Identical Apartments,” 97-110 [R]

Kong Chiyŏng, “Human Decency,” 43-78 [R]

Hwang, “South Korean Democratization”  

Slides: Minjung woodblock print arts

Screening: clips from The Fight for Democracy (1992)

Week 12 North Korea

11/11 Chuch’e Ideology and Its Decline in North Korea

Kim Pukhyang, “The Son,” 186-213 [R]

Hwang, “Early North Korea” and “Monumental Life in North Korea”

Slides: North Korean paintings

Screening: clips from Daniel Gordon, A State of Mind (2004)

Essay #2 Assigned
11/13 A North Korean Spring?

Han Ungbin, “Second Encounter,” 1-16 [R]

Victor Cha and Nicholas D. Anderson, “A North Korean Spring?” 7-24 [R]

Screening: Jung Jiwoo, “A Boy with a Knapsack” (2004), 26 min.

Week 13 Globalization and Postmodern Aesthetics in South Korea

11/18 Posthuman Fables

Pak Min’gyu, “Is That So? I’m a Giraffe,” 62-82 and

“The Raccoon World,” 193-214 [R]

Hwang, “South Korea in the New Millennium”

Screening: Hyung-Yun Chang, A Coffee Vending Machine and Its Sword (2007),

30 min.

11/20 Sci-Fi and Fantastic Imaginations

Pak Min’gyu, “Castella” 1-10 and “The Road Kill” 135-155 [R]

Screening: Kim Chiun, Heavenly Creatures (2012), 40 min.

Week 14-15 Diaspora and Hybrid Identities

11/25 Multicultural Korea and Migrants’ Activism

Jamie Doucette and Robert Prey, “Between Migrant and Minjung: The Changing

Face of Migrant Cultural Activism in Korea,” Japan Focus [R]

Screening: Jeong Yun-cheol, Muhammed the Hermit King (2006), 35 min.

Essay #2 Due
11/27 Happy Thanksgiving
12/2 Korean Americans as a Model Minority and Their Discontents

Chang-rae Lee, “My Low Korean Master,” 121-132 [R]

Nancy Abelmann and John Lie, Blue Dreams, 49-118 [R]

Screening: Ishle Park, “Sa-i-gu”

Final Exam Keynotes Distribution
12/4 Last Class Party

Week 16 Study Days—No Class

Week 17 Final Exam

12/16 (Mon.) Final Exam, 8-10 am at THH 114

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