KREN-351 Introduction to Korean Literature up to 1900
Fall for 2013-2014
This course introduces the classical literature of Korea from the 1500s up to the early 1900s. In this course, students will learn the literature of that period and the social, historical, cultural background of these novels. The mid 1500s was the time of great development on all levels of society under King Sejong the Great who invented the Korean written language Hangul. With his support for the arts and literature, there was an unprecedented boom of literature written in both the traditional method of Chinese characters and the newly introduced Hangul. Before the introduction of Hangul, education was mainly and almost exclusively for men, but after Hangul was introduced women finally had a way to express their ideas or simply write. There was particularly a great increase of women anonymously publishing various works written in Hangul. The goal of this course is to gain a fundamental understanding of Korean language and culture, which is expressed in Korean literature. The students will study selected texts from the Joseon dynasty up to the enlightenment period of the early 1900s. Students will naturally learn the historical background of tradition and modern trends of pragmatism (“Shilhak”) creating social turbulence and confusion in this era and how this is reflected in the literature.
In each section, the students will discuss what they have read, and they will write a paper based on the discussion. This course will provide the tools for students to compare the Korean literature with other countries’ literature including European literature from around the same period. Some examples will include comparing Geum-oh-shin-hwa with Shakespeare’s works and Hong-gil-dong-jeon with Robin Hood.
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Fall '13: staff (description)
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