KORE2811 Readings in Korean Culture

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Korean Studies major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit is designed to enhance students understanding of Korean culture and society through introducing students to a broad range of topics and issues that relate to Korean culture past and present. It aims to enhance students' critical understanding of South and North Korean cultures as sites for identity formation and political practice.Through examining the relations of culture and power, this unit encourages students to develop solid understanding of the broader context of the development of national identity discourses in South Korea, and to a lesser degree, North Korea. Topics covered in the unit include Korean culture under colonialism, protest cultures, trauma cultures, traditional culture, cultural diplomacy, and North Korean arts and public culture.

The unit introduces students to researching and reading a range of materials both in English and Korean, albeit only a very basic level of Korean language ability is expected at this level as all assignments are submitted in English. Students have the opportunity to engage with a range of visual media (such as films and television dramas), art, literature and music, and to examine why certain meanings are attached to cultural texts at the moment of their production. This unit enhances students' ability to analyse cultural texts in a non-Western context, and to identify, analyse and evaluate the significance of the political and philosophical discourses that underpin and inform cultural production in the two Koreas.
Students are able to (1) develop a range of research skills relevant to conducting research in Korean Studies through analysing a variety of authentic Korean language materials appropriate for their level of Korean linguistic competence (sociolinguistic competence) as well as research and academic writing skills in English; (2) make the first steps towards Korean cultural literacy by having critically engaged with some of the fundamental issues and themes shaping contemporary South Korean society; (3) gain the ability to interpret accurately culture-specific social situations, thereby demonstrating intercultural sensitivity towards our 'globalised and culturally diverse environment in which graduates will be living and working'; (4) identify, analyse and evaluate the significance of discourses that underlie and inform cultural narratives, and understand and apply basic research methods including research design, data analysis and interpretation; (5) assess and identify relevant resources for a research project and prioritise conclusions reached from an analysis of a variety of cultural and academic texts, giving reasons; and (6) apply emergent theories and methods routinely applied in the field of Korean Studies and demonstrate intermediate research skills through critically engaging with a broad range of sources and latest available research to identify relevant materials for an enquiry-led research project.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation (may include an online component); (2) short essay; and (3) major essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Joanna Elfving-Hwang
Unit rules
KORE1402 Korean 2
equivalent as determined by the unit convener,
ASIA1001 Asian Societies and Cultures
ASIA1002 Asia from Colonial to Modern
Contact hours
Up to 3 hours a week for 10 weeks (including online lectures). This is a blended-learning unit.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.