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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Seung Bum Kye
HSTAS 482
Seattle Campus

History of Modern Korea: 1860 to the Present

Traditional institutions and society, Japanese colonial rule, liberation and the Korean War, early Korean communist movement, and North Korea and South Korea since 1945.

Class description

This course will trace the history of Korea over the two centuries from the opening of Korea to trade by Japan in 1876, the breakdown of the traditional order, the establishment of Japanese colonial rule from 1910-45, the division of Korea, the causes and consequences of the Korean War in 1950-53, and the subsequent development of communism in the north and bureaucratic capitalism and military dictatorship in the south. It will also discuss the consequences of the collapse of communism everywhere but North Korea and Cuba after 1989, the transition in South Korea from state capitalism to greater freedom and market liberalization, and the economic crisis of 1997 and recovery since, and the transition from political dictatorship to parliamentary democracy. The politics of the first three civilian presidents of South Korea (1992-present) and the ongoing crisis between North Korea and the U.S. over the North¡¯s nuclear weapons program will also be discussed.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Approximately a quarter percent (or more) of the class sessions is reserved for discussion based on assigned readings, and the remaining three quarters (or less) are for lecture.

Recommended preparation

Read assigned readings and attend all sessions. Textbooks will be available at the U Bookstore before the spring quarter.

Class assignments and grading

Midterm (30%), Paper (30%), and Final (40%).

Based on the UW catalogue; e.g. 100-94% out of 100% = 4.0 or 3.9; 90% or higher = 3.5 or higher, and so on.


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 Seung Bum Kye
Date: 02/07/2006