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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Hwasook Bergquist Nam
HSTAS 481
Seattle Campus

History of Traditional Korea: Earliest Times to the Nineteenth Century

Korean history from earliest times to the modern period.

Class description

This course surveys the history of Korea from prehistoric times to the mid-nineteenth century. It identifies main themes in premodern Korean history, and seeks to understand and analyze various historical interpretations and debates using primary and secondary source materials available in English. This quarter the course pays special attention to the Choson period (1392-1910). It stresses Korea's changing relationships with other Asian countries, characteristics of Korean Confucian politics, social status system, and gender relations in premodern Korea. With the background provided by this course, students are prepared to better understand Korea's responses to the challenges of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Student learning goals

Improve critical thinking and reading skills

Improve writing skills

Develop understanding of historical methodology

Develop effective oral communication skills through class discussions

Develop capacity to analyze diverse viewpoints and interpretations

General method of instruction

The class meets twice a week, and in each class session a lecture will be followed by class discussion. Students will have a chance to read, analyze, and discuss primary source materials in class.

Recommended preparation

It is recommended that students take HSTAS/SISEA 212 (History of Korean Civilization) or another history course in premodern East Asia before enrolling in this course. Korean language proficiency is not required.

Class assignments and grading

Examinations, which test knowledge of assigned reading materials; participation in class discussion sessions; written assignments, ranging from short response papers to a short research paper. Timely reading of assigned course materials and active participation in class discussions are essential for success in this course.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Hwasook Bergquist Nam
Date: 05/07/2010