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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Hwasook Bergquist Nam
SISEA 490
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Course content varies.

Class description

This course examines changing gender roles and identities in Korean history from the Choson period (1392-1910) to the present. It explores how discourses on gender and practices and policies regarding women have been continuously reconstituted over time in the larger processes of political, social, economic, and cultural changes, such as Confucianization of Korea, abolition of the slavery system, introduction of modern ideas and ideologies, colonial rule by Japan, wartime mobilization, industrialization, and recent experience of democratization. The course pays special attention to ordinary women’s lives and actions and to women’s activism, including women workers’ union movement and the struggle surrounding the so-called “comfort women” issue. In the course, students analyze various historical interpretations using primary as well as secondary source materials available in English and discuss key theoretical issues.

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

Seminar format. In addition to secondary literature, students will read, analyze, and discuss primary source materials in class.

Recommended preparation

Korean language proficiency is not required.

Class assignments and grading

participation in class discussion sessions; written assignments, ranging from short response papers to a 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: 06/10/2008